Harriet’s Story Continues...
James Shirley just called the Museum this week. He saw our newly donated portrait of Harriet Fitzgerald (Or what we thought was a Harriet Fitzgerald’s self portrait) on Instagram, and he is sure this is in fact his grandmother painted by his great aunt, Harriet Fitzgerald. His mother had blue eyes, like the portrait. Harriet had brown eyes, said Mr. Shirley. James Shirley has just moved to Chapel Hill, so he will be coming up to Danville to look at the portrait painted by Harriet Fitzgerald. He will be sending us pictures too! We cannot wait to see how this story unfolds…
We also just received a report from the curator working on the Harriet Fitzgerald Retrospective:
Report on Harriet Fitzgerald by curator Runchan Zhang
Submitted October 4, 2020
Updates on my research (The following is for the newsletter):
For the retrospective show of Harriet Fitzgerald, I mainly consulted three types of materials: 1) scholarly publications which directly discussed Harriet's social circle consisting of civil rights activists and fellow painters, such as Anne Braden and Peggy Anderson; 2) primary sources written by Harriet's friends, contemporaries, and confidants, such as I live in Virginia by Julian R Meade; and 3) local newspapers, such as The Danville Register and The Bee feature interviews with Harriet. To understand Harriet's family background, I also checked census records.
A side note for our readers: If you are related to Harriet or knew her personally, please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to have photos of Harriet, for the only available image of Harriet is on findagrave.com. Correspondence (postcards, letters, etc.), paintings/drawings by Harriet, and anecdotes would also be wonderful. Thank you for reading my full update report HERE
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