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Showing posts from 2012

My Primitive Life in Alabama

Welcome to my Alabama home, built by my ancestors Benjamin and  Hannah Harless Wilson when they came here in 1816.   The house suits me well. The square of marble on the left is an original  upping stone ,  used to make it easier for riders to get on and off their horses.     The lard cooker in the side yard holds 80 gallons and was cast in 1878 in Batavia, Illinois, according to the bottom of it. The green duck weed in the cooker has just about disappeared for the winter. It will magically reappear in the spring.  The zinnias came up on their own. The dead branch is poke salad and its purple berries have been picked to use as dye.  My great grandmother's outside pots.  They escaped the melt down scrap iron drives during World War 2. A friend gave me the old rusted out pedal car.  This is the spinning and weaving house. My Kentucky loom is just inside.  So is the iron cook stove and three spinning wheels.  View from the front porch. The grain bin is square-nai

The little red-haired boy, formerly the little sad boy

The Little Red Haired Boy  My sister noticed his red hair which is unusual so I decided to change his sobriquet to The Little Red Haired Boy from  The Little Sad Boy.  That makes things a lot happier.  I finished his outside frame ( a patch job at best) and that will have to do for now.  He is in the old part of the house and I hope he feels good about being there--better that being rolled up and tossed in an attic.  I need to show you his mother and his sister.  I have several proposed names for sister...the Elf  Child,  or Salem's child,  of Little Ev ( short for Evil) or "the for sale would anyone want her? Child"..... Mom looks typically primitive and too busy for a portrait sitting with farm and house work to do.   Now you understand why Little Red Hair got the frame and the other two got the "maybe later." Mom is going to Tennessee.

1840 Portrait of The Little Sad Boy

He was found in an attic cut out of his frame, rolled up, and torn.  I bought him because I guess I felt sorry for him.    I was able to stretch the canvas and he just fit an old frame I had in a closet upstairs.  The outside frame is new and I had to cut it to fit.   It will be painted gold to match.  Then he will join the others in the house.    It's a large portrait, about 3' by 2 1/2', and I really like the hands. Some of the famous portrait painters charged more to show two hands, but I doubt this primitive painter got any extra for that.   I don't know why he appears to be so sad to me.  Maybe he didn't like sitting still for the artist. We are so accustomed to people smiling in photographs today. Back then, such behavior was considered foolish, so maybe his look is more sincere than sad.   A painting of his little sister was found rolled up with him.  I haven't begun to do anything with her yet.  And, a third painting of their mot

Oil Portraits in the House

Now that my English lady is sold, and three more restored paintings are on Ebay for sale, I walked around the house and photographed the oil portraits that are here.  Here is my family's Old Miss of the plantation, hanging in my library.  She was a kind soul.   Going up the stairs is the cousin who was a wealthy businesswoman, namely a saloon owner.   The 1790's portrait by an artist named Taylor Dean. My mysterious stranger.  He is shy and hard to photograph.  My Alabama Portrait.  Felix Taylor Taliaferro ( pronounced Tolliver in the  South).  He was a cotton merchant in Mobile, Alabama after the war.   His grandmother was a cousin to President Zachary Taylor.  He moved to Alabama and got married but later moved back and lived in Orange County, Virginia, and by 1900 was in Hudson, New Jersey.  His father was Edmund Pendleton Taliaferro and his mother Octavia Hortense Robertson.  Edmund's mother was Mildred Taylor Taliaferro.  Mrs. Felix Taliaferro wa