Sister Mary Irenita Ecklin's 1970 Watercolor - Artwork as Personal Story, No. 2

Another piece of art work now in Robin's collection that has a strong connection to the my past - - as well as to hers.

In 1968 Sister Mary Irenita Ecklin was the Chair of the Art Department at Dunbarton College of the Holy Cross, Washington, DC. She interviewed me that year and accepted me into the academic program when I decided to return to college as an Art Major in Painting. 

I remember that she wondered how difficult it would be for me considering I had three elementary school age children - but I shrugged confidently and said, "not to worry." So I dove into classes and rediscovering myself and the changing world outside my kitchen. 

Ironically I would learn later that Dunbarton was founded in the 1930s with a primary purpose of providing college education for working women.

My children often had to sit out a day on the Dunbarton campus when I was in class on an out-of-school day for them. They came to know the place and the instructors. You see, that year, I was at the beginning of the tidal wave of women returning to college. There were only 4 married women registered at the time.  

I can't say the kids always loved being there - they have their stories about that but - - they had some interesting experiences, especially in the fine library where they set up study desks in the stacks. When Sister Irenita had a show of her wonderful watercolors I bought this one. I don't remember the price exactly,but I imagine I paid $100 or the work. We lived with it at home and for a time Jim hung it in his office on R Street downtown. It became a familiar! 

When Robin moved to New York and was "shopping at home" for art for the walls of her Madison Avenue apartment she asked for this piece and it has hung in her home since. It is now a familiar to a wider group. When I come to visit it reminds me of a warm and understanding woman who was my teacher and later my friend.

1 comment:

Still the Lucky Few said...

Our children were pioneers in their own right in those days—Like you, I was one of the mothers who went back to school or work, when there was no support system. They survived, and so did we. It was something we were compelled to do!