DuPont Coudert, Amalia Kussner, History

ngillispie Member Photo

Clipped by ngillispie

DuPont Coudert, Amalia Kussner, History - Local Woman Was World-famous As Miniature...
Local Woman Was World-famous As Miniature Painter in Her Day DO YOU REMEMBER? — Amalia Kussner, a Terre Haute woman, became internationally famous as a miniature painter at the turn of the cen tury. Her beauty is evident in the portrait top left One of her miniatures of Mrs. Lorillard Spencer, maternal aunt of Winston Churchill, top right, and the diamond and emerald neck lace presented her by the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII of England, below it, are no w in the possession of her cousin, Carl Weinhardt of Indianapolis. The diamond pin, lower left, a replica of the Prince's prize-winning race horse, Persimmon, also was presented to the miniaturist by Edward. It is now at St. Mary-of-the-Woods College as Amalia attended the academy there as a little girl. Lower right is one of the tiles from her family's fireplace, on which Amalia painted as a child. and emerald necklace (later she gave the gems to England for war relief work and had them replaced with synthetic stones) and a diamond brooch, a replica of his prize-winning race horse, Persimmon. She raised her price to $1,000 and eventually got as high as $4,000 for one miniature. Not only was she then accepted socially in London's court circles, but New York's "400" began to recognize her. Through Mrs. Paget, Amalia went to St. Petersburg, Russia, in March of 1899. There she painted Grand Duchess Marie Vladimir and was summoned to the Winter Palace to make miniatures of both the Czar and Czarina of Russia. Besides payment for these, she received gifts of a bracelet, necklace and ring of diamonds and rubies. BY FRANCES E. HUGHES Now treasured as collector's items are the many miniatures made by Amalia Kussner, Terre Haute woman, at the turn of the century. For Miss Kussner was world- famous for her art and she painted most of the women in the "400" of society in New York, wealthy women of Chicago, royalty and members of court circles in Europe and Cecil Rhodes, the "Diamond King" of Africa. Miss Kussner was a first cousin of the late Allen Weinhardt, and pieces of her art are treasured by his sons, Allen J. Weinhardt, Jr., of 114 South Twenty-fourth Street, Carl J. Weinhardt of Indianapolis and Robert Weinhardt of Elysian Way, East Liverpool, Ohio. + + + LORENZ KUSSNER, who had come from Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany, and his wife, Emmaline Weinhardt, who had migrated with her family from Weisbaden, Germany, were married in Crawfordsville. There their two daughters, Louise and Amalia, were born. After they moved to Terre Haute, a son, Albert, was born. Mr. Kussner established a store, "Palace of Music," in the present Memorial Hall building, where he made and sold musical instruments. The family lived in an apartment on the second floor. + + + ENROLLING at St. Mary-of-the- Woods Academy at the age of 6 years, Amalia was the youngest student ever to attend the school. It was there that her interest in art was stimulated by Sister Maurice and she received the fine training that led to her success. Eighty years ago she was graduated from Wiley High School, and both before and after her graduation she studied at the academy and under private tutors. One year was spent in New York at Mme. deSilva's and Mrs. Bradford's fashionable boarding school. Many local friends of the family have pieces of china on which Amalia painted when a little girl. She painted on everything she could find, including the tiles of the fireplaces in the homes of her parents and of her uncles and aunts. Dr. and Mrs. Allen Pence and Mr. and Mrs. John Weinhardt, and on ivory keys from old pianos in her father's store. + + + SHE BECAME interested in "painting-in-little" from a miniature given her as a child. She painted miniatures of her family and friends and was commissioned to paint some of Donald and Hamill Baker, sons of Attorney and Mrs. Harry Baker, and of Marian and Fred Reynolds, children of Attorney and Mrs. Reynolds, and others. When Albert went East to enter Philips Exeter Academy, Amalia went along to New York. There she looked up a friend, Alice Fischer, who had made a success on Broadway and organized the Twelfth Night Club for actresses. Alice gave her an introduction which led her to get a job as staff artist at Tiffany's. Then, when Amalia opened her own studio, Alice helped her get commissions to paint Lillian Russell, America's prima donna, and Marie Tempest, English opera star. + + + AUCE ALSO GAVE her an introduction to Mrs. Theodore A. Havemeyer, a leader of New York's original "400," which led to a commission from the society woman. This started the "paint- er-in-little" in her phenomenal rise to success. She then opened a fine studio in the Windsor Hotel, raised her prices from $60 to $400, and received commissions from most of New York's society women. Twice she had her miniatures exhibited at the women's portrait exhibition at the National Academy of Design. Her fame spread to Chicago, where her family moved, and there she painted 16 miniatures of the Armour family alone as well as those of many other prominent families. A friendship made with Mrs. Arthur Paget, wife of a South African millionaire and a member of the court circles of London, caused her to go to London in 1896. There she painted Mme. Melba, the prima donna; Consuelo, Duchess of Marlborough, and most of the famous women in the court circle. + + + THIS LED to exhibit of her work in the National Gallery in London and, eventually, to a commission to paint the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII. Besides paying her a large sum, the Prince gave her a diamond Most Popular! PRINTED PATTERN 4918 SIZES 10-18 BY ANNE ADAMS Step into this tailored casual —step out with confidence in the fact that you look slim and trim all day long. Choose checks, small print or plaid, or a soft-spoken solid color. Printed Pattern 4918: Misses' Sizes 10, 12, 14, 16, 18. Size 16 takes 3% yards 39-inch fabric. Send FIFTY CENTS in coins for this pattern—add 10 cents for each pattern for Ist-class mailing. Send to Anne Adams, care of The Terre Haute Star, 409, Pattern Dept., 243 West 17th St., New York 11, N. Y. Print plainly NAME, ADDRESS with ZONE, SIZE and STYLE NUMBER. FALL'S 100 BEST FASHIONS —separates, dresses, suits, ensembles, all sizes, all in our new Pattern Catalog in color. Sew for yourself, family. 35 cents. WITH NO INTRODUCTION, Amalia next went to Capetown, South Africa, where she got a commission to paint Cecil Rhodes, the "Diamond King." Caught in the Boer War there, she came out by ox team and horseback and returned to this country. Her marriage to Captain Charles dupont Coudert, scion of a wealthy French-American family, took place July 4, 1900, in the sacristry of St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York. She then had all the fame, wealth and social position she desired, and the fad of having one's portrait painted in miniature on ivory was waning. So, she did then only what she felt would add to her reputation or people who inspired her. She and her husband traveled on the Riviera, in England and Egypt, and spent a year in an old castle in Germany. Finally, they settled at Windlesham Hall in Surrey, England, spending Summers at Dachstein in the Austrian Tyrol. She died of a lung ailment in May of 1932 in Switzerland. Her husband is now living there. + -f + AMALIA'S PARENTS both died at her home. Her sister, Louise, who gained recognition for her beautiful voice, was married there to John Wells Cloud, an American. Louise is now 95 years old and is living at Magnolia House in Sunningdale, Berks. Both couples became English subjects. Albert, her brother, married Mary Pettit of Wabash and gained fame as a pianist and composer. He died two years before Amalia at his home in St. Petersburg, Fla., and is buried in Highland Lawn Cemetery here. WILEY SCHEDULES OPENING SESSION All Wiley High School students, those entering for the first time and those returning, will meet at the traditional opening day convocation at 8 o'clock next Wednesday morning in the school gymnasium. New faculty members will be introduced to the student body and enrollment procedures will be explained during the convocation. Announcements pertaining to the opening of school also will be made. Following the convocation, all students will report to the home rooms to which they have been assigned for enrollment. At the convocation all new students, including the sophomores enrolling for the first time and others entering the school this Fall, will sit on .the bleachers at both ends of the gymnasium. Juniors and seniors returning to Wiley will be seated in the balcony. Two United States Mail Boats make daily deliveries over a 65- mile route on Lake Winnipesau- 'kee in New Hampshire. -^

Clipped from
  1. The Terre Haute Star,
  2. 31 Aug 1961, Thu,
  3. Page 9

ngillispie Member Photo
  • DuPont Coudert, Amalia Kussner, History

    ngillispie – 05 Dec 2013

Want to comment on this Clipping? Sign up for a free account, or sign in