Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Archival Treasures: Janet's Silhouette

With all of the interest we've had in our silhouette postings, I try to keep my eye out for Livingston silhouettes while I am going about my usual business. While doing some research about Janet in the archives Saturday, I was lucky enough to happen across this.

This silhouette, marked 1921, shows Janet Livingston at age 11. This would have been during the Livingston's travels in Europe. It was apparently during one of their jaunts to England, where they visited Janet's half sister Katherine Timpson, because the address imprinted on the card 290 Oxford St., London, W.

The silhouette is cut from black paper, adhered to a white piece of cardstock, the cardstock printed with all of the studio or artists's advertising material. Handrup, the name on the piece, described this little silhouette as "A quick study silhouette portrait, cut with scissors entirely freehand in one minute."

Janet looks particularly smart in her tam 'o' shanter hat, with her chin up and long, girlish hair trailing down her back. Janet was the more boisterous of the two sisters so I imagine that a one-minute portrait was perfectly suited to her.

I don't know if Honoria got a silhouette too, though I did not find one in the same file. Perhaps if Honoria did have a silhouette cut, it was later passed onto another friend or family member. Or perhaps Janet, on a stroll through London saw the shop and showed a particular interest. Either way, it would have been a nice little souvenier of the Livingston's wanderings in London.


  1. did janet or honoria ever have children?

  2. Hi! Thanks for asking.
    Honoria married a "charming young Irishman" named Rex McVitty, and the two of them enjoyed a life of leisure, but they did not have any children.
    Janet never married. She did not have children either. Instead, she completed an associates degree and wet to work on Wall Street as an investment banker (as a woman during the Great Depression--the guts that took!).

  3. Rex McVitty was my mother's cousin - their fathers were brothers. It would have been nice to meet cousins today!