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 Jean Kissam Barhydt  (1869 - 1952)

About: Jean Kissam Barhydt


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Lived/Active: Connecticut      Known for: interior, genre, crafts

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:

The following biographical information is provided by her great-grand-daughter, Katherine Hamilton Barydt Dickie as told by her daughter-in-law, Katherine Hamilton.

Jeannie was born on July 14, 1869 in Brooklyn, New York.  She had a younger sister, Elizabeth.  Her mother died when she was eighteen so Jeannie took care of her younger sister and tended the house until her father died in 1895.  (Her parents were Daniel Whitehead Kissam and Mary Joanna Nostrand.)  She married Father George Weed Barhydt on October 22, 1895.  She was named Jeannie after her grandmother Jeannie Williamson; but when she grew up she shortened her name to Jean.

She spoke French well and had considerable knowledge of literature.  She was very gifted with many skills and talents.  She made very fine lace and did the most beautiful needlework.  She gained a reputation as a painter.  She studied for two summers at Gloucester and one at Mystic.  She held her first exhibition in December 1915 at the Blackstone Memorial Library in Branford, CT.  From then on she exhibited pictures at the Paint and Clay Club annual shows.  In March 1934 she had a show at the Hartford Woman's Club and on in the New Haven Library.  Most of her work were in oil but she also did water colors and a few pastels.  A lot of her paintings were done in Europe as she and her husband spent many months in Italy, France, Spain and England.

When Jean was older she turned from painting to weaving.  She gained status as a Master Weaver from the Connecticut Society of Arts and Crafts.

When she returned from Europe, she and her husband lived in an apartment on Whitney Avenue in Hartford, CT.  After her husband passed away she spent some time living with her son Barry (Barent) and her son Steele.  Then she was admitted to a home for widows of Episcopal ministers on Wethersfield Ave in Hartford.  When her mental capacity diminished, she was moved to the State Hospital in Norwich.

She died in 1952.

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