Question of the Week: Do you have any artists in your family?

+13 votes

Do you have any artists in your family? 

I checked the Relationship Finder to see if I'm related to Vincent Van Gogh, since he's my favorite artist but   My dad's best friend was an incredible painter but I can't think of any ancestors that were artists. 

How about you? 

PS Reshare the question on Facebook and get your friends and family talking. 

in The Tree House by Eowyn Walker G2G Astronaut (1.8m points)
edited by Eowyn Walker
Oh, my yes - quite a few in fact. Grandfather painted, sister does watercolors,  brother is a cartoonist and his son is well known designer for sport shoes.
If you mean an artist as a painter, then the answer is no. If you mean artist by definition then yes, my wife is an author and has several books registered in the US Library of Congress, the largest collection of books in the world.

Our Barker family has several artworks from Joshua P Barker who was born in 1830 and lived in Massachusetts. His artistic gene was passed down to several members of the family including my own son.

Yes, I'm an artist and I'm also a descendant of Sir John Lavery.  He was my great-great Uncle. There are several artists in our family, not famous like him, but artists in their own right.
Alice Gibson Hornby, My Great Grandmother 1860-1960, can be googled.  She loved to paint flowers to bring joy to a home.  Alice didn't thin most of her oils which gave them a three dimensional appearance.  She did genealogy on the family 1923. Saw the relatives & the country by Automobile from CA to PA.
why yes my mother and I are ceramic atrtist as well as my daughters who while trained have chosen other money paying careers. ButvI also dabble in fiber arts as well as painting and drawing.
I am an artist who works in pastels, watercolors and oils. I specialize in portraits. I am also a photographer and writer of plays and short stories.

As far as my ancestors, I'm still doing research. I do know the was a Metcalf who founded The American Impressionist movement, but I don't have evidence as to relation to him.
My Grandfather has his artwork published in a few books, Lee R.Updike. His favourite is to draw First Nations people and village scenes.

My father in his last decade drew unique cartoons, with whimsey and irony. He loved the New Yorker cartoons and the local comic strips.

I drew and painted everything from childhood through middle age: pencil works, watercolors, acrylic paintings (small; traditional). 

In the "other" arts:  I played classical flute and piccolo from 4th grade through high school, about 9-10 years in various bands, marching bands, and orchestras. Practicing was full of pleasure for me and an old man who listened from his open window across the street. (I'm grateful that he let my mother know. I'd wondered how the woman next door liked it. She never said anything, and that was a vote in either direction.)

 In college and grad school, I wrote fiction and poetry with the major works being published.

I've used my writing skills to earn money, but it is a craftsman's art so it's not a big earner. 

As an adult, my "works" extended into the garden, with some seasonal successes fixing or replacing the broken ones. 

I still love making in the abstract, widely applied. It is an artist's skill no matter what the medium. But I do not make cakes and pies, as my mathematically polished mother did. They were wonderful, and not to be imitated.

Hi I was wondering do you have a family tree for John Lavery as I am wondering if I could a distant connection to him.

Many Thanks
Not related!

58 Answers

+12 votes
Me.  As far as I know, there are no other artists in my family. :)
by Skye Sonczalla G2G6 Mach 2 (29.0k points)
+16 votes
Yes But by my moms adopted father.

My mother’s Adoptive father was an artist. I have many paintings and drawings he did. He was very good. Sadly, they are drawn on paper that is very fragile and I have to get them framed museum quality so they can be protected but that will cost a lot of money. One is a small painting he did in 1913 at about 13 years old. It’s my favorite. I’ll see if I can get a pic of it and post later.
by Angela Herman G2G6 Mach 1 (16.0k points)

Ok, figured it out. LOL

Can anyone translate the wording underneath??

Here's a pencil drawing he did in 1946.

The text underneath says "Holländische Mühle" - Dutch mill. BUT that doesn't mean the mill was in the Netherlands, there are, judging by a small google-search, quite a few "dutch mills" in Germany.
Thank you, Jelena!
This sketch is beautiful, and would have meant a lot to my father, John Thomas, who was a flutist. What's more, he served in the Army in WWII and was posted to Holland and N. Germany, where after the war he studied with the principal flutist of the Bremen Phi. I love the dog, I love the windmill.

What's the name of the artist?

Thanks for posting it.  DET
Good morning, David. Thank you very much for your post. It made me smile this morning :)

His name is Kurt Edmond fritz Zacharias. He was my mother’s adopted father. I never new him and know virtually nothing about him. He died in 1965.
Angela, An expense such as you wrote about is often very important to someone down the line.

My father was born Rudolf Berg. His father is unknown, as in "not recorded." His mother, Anna Berg, was, by inference of this fact, embarrassed and so then hid/obscured his name. He was b. Frankfurt, DE (Germany) in 1906 or 1907.
+12 votes
I have quite a few distant cousins who are famous artists like Washington Allston and Norman Rockwell. But by far my favorite is my son who is a good painter. He will never be famous for this but he definitely carries the gene.
by Gurney Thompson G2G6 Pilot (199k points)
+12 votes
Likely more in the family line, but I am an artist.
by Doug McCallum G2G6 Pilot (424k points)
+12 votes
My uncle Wim Klabbers was a sculptor and painter who made beautiful things.  He went to the art academy just after WW2 when a lot of materials weren't available and art was a luxury. So he learnt to work with  the rubbish other people threw away. He was a very modest, unpresuming man so didn't become famous in his time. But he deserves it.
by Eef van Hout G2G6 Pilot (127k points)
+9 votes
My brother-in-law was a wonderful painter.  He was once the president of the Texas Watercolor Association and artist in residence in a couple of other states.  (Jim Powell)
+9 votes

Yes, the biological father of my ancestor's nephew was Edmund Wildman who was a student of William Turner. His son Francis Wildman was born illegitimately to Ann Rufus whilst Edmund was married  to his fact Ann was living with Edmund, his wife and their children whilst she was pregnant!

I have been hoping to find links to John Constable as my Constables lived quite close, but I haven't found any connection yet!

by Michelle Wilkes G2G6 Pilot (128k points)
+19 votes

Yes, by g-grand-uncle Henry McEvoy. According to the Canadian Heritage Information Network there are twenty-two Henry McEvoy works in the permanent collections of Canadian Museums. He primarily painted landscapes in the area around Hamilton, Ontario.

I have a painting that has been passed down through the family to me, very similar to the one below... I think Webster Falls was one of his favourite subjects.

Webster Falls - Henry McEvoy

by Ken McEvoy G2G6 (7.8k points)
I like that painting.
Wow, amazing painting! Thanks for sharing!
Wonderful painting, Ken. I keep meaning to go for a hike in that area to see the falls. Now I definitely will this spring.
Thanks, Ken, for letting us into that part of your life.
+12 votes

Not an ancestor, but my third cousin three times removed Jeannie Mabel "Mabel" Lesslie.

by Melanie Paul G2G6 Pilot (294k points)
+11 votes

My mother has a few watercolors done by her grand-uncle Henry Theifels, a priest, and her grant-aunt Cecilia Thiefels (later Sr. Charlene). My aunts and grandmother have some others, I think.

My husband is related (by marriage) to Albert (Mentzel) Flocon, a well known German-French artist. His first wife, Charlotte Rothschild, was my husband's first cousin 2x removed. He was born in Berlin in 1909 and attended art school there, but he and his wife and daughter immigrated to France in about 1933. He served in the Foreign Legion and the French Resistance and was a prisoner for some of the war. His wife and oldest daughter were arrested and murdered during their deportation to Auschwitz. After the war, Albert became a French citizen and changed his surname to Flocon, after a maternal grandmother, who I understand was a descendant of the French revolutionist Ferdinand Flocon. I have not been able to find information on Albert's ancestry yet, however. All I know is that he had a brother named Günther.

Anyway, he became an art professor at a few art schools in Paris and also became a well known engraver and painter.

And now in writing this, I noticed that one of sources I have for his family (Covoi 77, a French Holocaust memorial site) has been updated with a short autobiography he wrote (in French) before he died! Thank goodness for Google translate!

ETA: After reading his autobiography, I learned that one of the things that helped Albert convince the prison to release him back into France instead of sending him to a German work camp was that he had become the head guards' "official artist." He would draw portraits of the guards and their wives and families (based on pictures) to send home.

by Emily Yaden G2G6 Mach 1 (11.0k points)
edited by Emily Yaden
+10 votes
Two of the ancestors of the husband of my great-great-grand-aunt are Lucas Cranach the younger and the elder. Especially Lucas Cranach the Elder is among other things famous for his portraits of Martin Luther and his family. In the wikipedia-article about Martin Luther are all the pictures of Martin's family of Lucas Cranach the Elder. Little did he know at that time that his greatgranddaughter would marry a greatgrandson of Martin Luther. That way they got related and not only very good friends. The elder Lucas helped Martin a lot in the propaganda for the reformation.
by Jelena Eckstädt G2G6 Pilot (756k points)
+14 votes
Edward Hopper ( is my 7th cousin, 3 times removed.

   (I call hime Cousin Ed. :-)

Also, fingerpainting was my best subject in school. (Just saying.)
by Bill Vincent G2G6 Pilot (142k points)
+15 votes

I don't have any direct ancestors who are artists.  I really wish I did. I do have a fifth cousin through my Howard line who was quite a famous portrait artist, Rembrandt Peale.

Self Portait of Rembrandt Peale

UPDATE:  Just discovered today that Norman Rockwell is my 7th cousin through my Riggs family line.

by James Stratman G2G6 Mach 8 (84.3k points)
edited by James Stratman
The dimension in this portrait is phenomenal!  :)
I'm awestruck. And that in the frame of reference that I wrote about the arts for magazines and newspapers for at least ten years. Thanks so much, James, for showing us this portrait by Rembrandt Peale.
+13 votes

My mother, Pat San Soucie, is an award-winning watercolorist and member of American Watercolor Society.

Alas, I have not inherited her artistic abilities.

by Rick San Soucie G2G6 Mach 2 (27.4k points)
+10 votes

Lamar Dodd, who was dean of the University of Georgia art school (and for whom it is named) is my 2nd cousin 2x removed; Ed Dodd, creator of the "Mark Trail" comic strip, is also my 2nd cousin 2x removed; Joel Reeves, my great-aunt's husband, was dean of the Atlanta College of Art (in addition to painting, he designed the stained glass windows in the Ida Cason Callaway Memorial Chapel at Callaway Gardens, near Atlanta).

by C Handy G2G6 Pilot (123k points)
edited by C Handy
+9 votes
My grandfather, Frank Taborsky, my mom, Janet R. (Taborsky) Hughey, my sister Barb, and my first cousin (Patricia) were all painters.  My own artistic abilities are of a different sort as I am a published poet.
by David Hughey G2G Astronaut (1.6m points)
+12 votes

The first I come to think about is my first cousin four times removed, Gustaf Fjaestad.

His wife Maja was also an artist.

On wikipedia Gustaf Fjaestad and Maja Fjaestad.

by Maria Lundholm G2G6 Pilot (119k points)
+7 votes

I don't recall having any artists among my direct ancestors.  As for cousins, one such distant cousin is Canadian painter Marc-Aurèle de Foy Suzor-Coté.  Besides spotlighting his work, I am pointing him out because, as a Côté, he likely has many WikiTree cousins.

by Greg Lavoie G2G6 Pilot (316k points)
+7 votes
Benjamin West
Born in Springfield Twp, Chester County, Pennsylvania
Died in Newman Street, London, Middlesex, England
"was an American history painter around and after the time of the American War of Independence and the Seven Years' War. He was the second president of the Royal Academy in London, serving from 1792 to 1805 and 1806 to 1820" from wikipedia
"West is best known for his influential history painting, The Death of General Wolfe (1770; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa), exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1771. A milestone in English and American art, this was the first major depiction of a contemporary event with figures in modern clothing." from the National Gallery of Art
"The Death of General Wolfe" is probably his best know piece of work.
Ironically my maternal great grandmother Mary Emily (West) Simon
married Charles William Simon
who is an artist and photographer well known locally.
And Benjamin West's mother Mary Pearson
shares the same grandfather as Sarah Pierson
Lawrence Pearson my 7x's great grandfather
Sarah Pierson marries into the Scarborough family in my maternal tree and Mary Pearson into the West family in my maternal tree
and my 2x's great grandmother Mary Jane Scarborough
marries my 2x's great grandfather George West
Can anyone else wrap their head around how this intertwining of my maternal, maternal family goes... I would love to be able to get the DNA on all of them!
And we have had a painting of a forest in my family for years. Wondering now if it's possible it's from Benjamin West or Charles William Simon or neither? I have the painting now so I shall seek who can tell me, hopefully.
by Louann Halpin G2G6 Mach 6 (62.3k points)

I don't know about famous ones, but I am an artist, Started in 4th grade when the principal hung a drawing of a crocodile I drew in his office.My wortk is posted further down my home page. 

+9 votes
Grandma Moses thru my Francis Cooke line
by Diane Pomponi G2G1 (1.1k points)

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