Friday, February 1, 2008

Photography and Painting - Interview with Mary Pillans VanAntwerp

Photography & Painting
example of landscape painting                              example of ruined abbey

Some of the descendants of Willis and Asenath Alexander Roberts who were artistically inclined included Mary Pillans Van Antwerp daughter of Joel Ninde’s second cousin. [i] A photographer by avocation, Mary stated, “Well,I dabbled in everything. I became a pretty well known photographer. I’m in four books and a museum in Russia.” Another family member, Elizabeth Sargent Henshaw Torrey, painted. Daisy Pillans referred to her mother’s beautiful paintings in her memoirs, “I have two of my mother’s paintings. One is a large landscape painted at the age of fourteen. The other is a ruined abbey with
stained window.” [ii] Elizabeth Torrey married Harry Pillans, the son of Joel Ninde’s great aunt. The three Roberts and Pillans homes on Government Street in the last quarter of the nineteenth century were remembered as being filled with many lovely paintings[i] In Mary Van Antwerp’s living room is a large oil painting of Laura Malvina (Roberts) Pillans c. 1850. Mary Van Antwerp, Interview by Corinne Toth, August 8, 2005.[ii] “Elizabeth Henshaw “Daisy” Torrey Pillans Memoirs” February 11, 1936 Original in possession of Mary Van Antwerp, Mobile, Alabama. Transcript copies at University of South Alabama, Mobile, Alabama.

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