Tales of the Eerie Saloon: The Portrait

Tales of the Eerie Saloon: The Portrait
By Ellie Dauber and Chris Leeson © 2015

This story is dedicated to our fan, Angelvan15, for giving us the idea. Chris did the picture while we were writing “Winter”, when Ethan began doing the painting..

From The Arizona Citizen Star
(Serving Arizonans Since 1870)

“Lost Portrait Restored”
May 12, 2015

The staff of the Arizona Historical Museum announced today that they had completed the restoration of a recently discovered work by renowned nineteenth century portraitist, Ethan Thomas.

Thomas is known to have traveled in the southwestern U.S. for several years in the early 1870s. During this time, he created a number of his best known works, including “The Three Fates”, which currently hangs in the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Research into markings found on the back of the canvas has determined that the untitled painting portrays Wilma Hanks, a famous and infamous demimonde and, later, madam of the period. The portrait had been in a private collection until 1934, when it was donated on the condition that the donor remains unnamed. It has been suggested that the donor’s ancestor may have been a business associate of Wilma Hanks. Restoration was financed, in part, by a grant from the Josiah Whitney Foundation. Ancestors of the Whitney family lived in the same part of Arizona as Ms. Hanks in the 1870s, and they may also have known the woman.

The portrait of Miss Hanks will hang in the Quinlan Gallery of Art, with a formal, public unveiling scheduled for Friday, May 15.

“Portrait of Wilma”
By Ethan Thomas



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This story is 261 words long.