Georgiana’s Portrait

Georgiana's portrait with frameUpon the death of his wife, William had a charcoal portrait made of Georgiana so that the children would not forget the face of their mother. The enormous portrait of Georgiana hung in the center hall of the O’Kelly home until the death of her daughter Mary in 1968. As an old woman, Mary sat beneath the portrait in a large upholstered chair, drinking Coca Cola and watching the little black and white tv she had set up on the opposite side of the hall. My mother showed a particular interest in Georgiana and so Mary gave the portrait to her which was henceforth known as Georgiana. I grew-up with Georgiana on the wall and like my mother, I often gazed at her, even talked to her. My sisters were frightened of her. They claimed that her eyes followed their movements, which is what mom and I knew to be the most precious aspect of Georgiana’s portrait. She was very much a living presence in our home. I took this photo a couple of months before the fire in 2005 that burned Mom’s house down and took Georgiana from us.

Georgiana's portrait close-up

Close-up of Georgiana’s portrait.

 

Photograph of Georgiana

The photograph of Georgiana that was recreated in the portrait. Taken by E.W. Mealy circa 1881.
Monroe, Louisiana.

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Filed under Georgiana Dull Van Emburgh O'Kelly, Mary Catherine O'Kelly, Photographs, William Abram O'Kelly Sr.

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