|painting by Gretchen Reis Pape, 1906, courtesy Margaret Williams|
In researching a painting my husband's grandmother Rose Weiland Gorman left after her death, I came across your blog about the artist Gretchen Reis Pape [1886-1947]. The painting we have is signed only G. Reis, and a note on the back reads "from Gretchen Reis, September 5, 1906". We think it might have been a wedding gift to Rose Weiland Gorman's parents. She was born outside of Chicago, and moved to Denver as a child...she was born in 1908 and passed away in 2006.
As a child, my husband thought this was a picture of Santa Claus after a hard night delivering gifts, getting ready to finally go to bed! We have always wondered who the subject in the painting was, if it was based on a real person or just from the artist's imagination.
It was a blessing to find your blog, and we are happy the mystery of the painting has been solved.
Best wishes to you,
Margaret was kind enough to photograph her painting and take a close-up of the signature, and to give me permission to use both on this blog:
|enlargement of the signature "G Reis 9/1/06" in the lower right corner of the painting - photo courtesy Margaret Williams|
I suggested to Margaret that perhaps the painting's subject might be a member of Rose's family (maybe a grandparent or uncle?), and she might want to compare to any photographs her husband or Rose might have had.
Rose's parents were Henry Weiland and Mary Bugner, and they did marry in Chicago on September 5, 1906 (per FamilySearch.org). Henry was born in 1882, Mary was born in 1884, and Gretchen was born in 1866. Based on some of the names I see in the family trees on Ancestry.com (such as Didier), I think they probably met each other through church, likely St. Nicholas in Evanston. Perhaps Gretchen was friends with Henry's and Mary's younger sisters, both named Anna, born 1885 and 1887 respectively.
© Amanda Pape - 2013 - click here to e-mail me.