Caroline Harrison, Nine of Hearts
From the collection of Tom LeClaire
Oil on linen, 40 x 64"
©1998 Tina Mion
Caroline Harrison was a Sunday painter. While First Lady, she conducted
china-painting classes, though her creative urges were mainly spent on
renovating the President’s house, with special attention to the
Red Room. She felt the White House was in dire need of an overhaul, so
she had electricity installed throughout, even though she was too terrified
of it to turn on a lamp.
Caroline died in the White House after contracting
tuberculosis. In my painting, Caroline’s restless spirit enters
the Red Room to admire her own renovation work — or perhaps she
returned in search of her niece Mary? Mary took care of Caroline during
her illness, only to swoop in after Caroline’s death to marry the
widower Benjamin, Caroline’s former husband.
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