| Samilla Jameson-Heinzmann is primarily known as Samilla Love Jameson Heinzmann
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An example of work by Samilla Jameson-Heinzmann
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|This biography from the Archives of AskART:|
|The following, submitted November 2005, is from Kevin Murphy.|
Samilla Love Jameson was born on April 22, 1881 in Indianapolis,
Indiana to Edward Love Jameson, a mail carrier, and Elvira Custer, a
farm girl from Logansport, Indiana. The couple was married on
December 31, 1879 and Samilla was born 16 months later. When she
was still young, her father died and she and her mother went to live
with Samuel Custer, her maternal grandfather, on his farm in
Even though Logansport was an isolated farming region in north-central
Illinois, Samilla was exceptionally well educated for her time.
She attended the Chicago Art Institute, the Detroit Fine Arts Academy,
the Carnegie Institute of Technology and she studied at the Academy of
Fine Arts in Vienna under Alois (August) Delug. Until she was
about age 30, she spent her free time at her mother’s farm in
Logansport, selling drawings and paintings to help with the bills.
After this time—around 1913— she relocated to New York, where she found
work as an illustrator for magazines and also did artwork for the books
of Flora Nerr, a middle-aged public school teacher and poet.
Sometime around 1915, Jameson married a German immigrant, Otto J.
Heinzmann, who owned his own tool-making shop in Queens. True,
Heinzmann was a toolmaker, but he was considerably more than
that. After emigrating from Germany in 1879, Heinzmann worked as
an aide to Thomas Edison in West Orange, New Jersey for eighteen
years. Later, he designed tools for himself—including fine
draftsman’s pens— and was granted a number of patents. Until
around 1921, the couple lived on Lenox Avenue Queens, while Otto
traveled extensively selling his tools. In the early twenties,
they moved to Greenwich Village.
Jameson-Heinzmann ultimately chose sculpture as her mainstay and did
many commissions for the City of New York. In 1923, she was asked
to design and sculpt a bronze plaque for the Thomas Paine home at 59
Grove Street for the Greenwich Village Historical Society, of which she
was a member. Later that same summer, she was chosen for another
memorial tablet for the Richmond Hill Mansion (once the headquarters of
General Washington). At the unveiling ceremony for the Thomas
Paine Memorial, she met New York City’s President of the Board of
Elections, John R. Voorhis—an old Greenwich Villager himself. Six
years later, he chose Jameson-Heinzmann to do a bust of him for Tamany
Hall on the occasion of his 100th birthday.
Since Otto Heinzmann traveled around the world selling his tools, it is
possible that he engineered the Henry Hudson Memorial tablet commission
in Amsterdam, Holland for his wife. Another possibility is that
Jameson-Heinzmann was traveling with her husband and landed the
commission herself. The details are not known.
Otto Heinzmann was nine years older than his wife, but his wide-ranging
interests and facile mind made them very compatible. The
Heinzmanns’ stay in Greenwich Village was short lived for, in about
1925, they moved to 28 Terrace Avenue, Princes Bay, Staten
Island. Samilla worked out of nearby Willow Bridge
Studios. Heinzmannn’s obituary states that he had lived on Staten
Island for 60 years, which is an exaggeration. In all
probability, he had property in Princes Bay for six decades, but
actually only lived there with Samilla from about 1925 until he died in
1950. The artist and the toolmaker had no children.
After Otto’s death, Samilla continued her work on Staten Island, but
eventually relocated to Florida. She died in Pike, Kentucky
(probably on vacation) on December 22, 1965 at the age of eighty-four.
Samilla Love Jameson-Heinzmann was a wide-ranging artist, equally at
ease with cartoon drawing, magazine and book illustration, oil painting
and sculpture, but unfortunately very little of her artistic or private
life has been recorded for posterity. The attached Time magazine article (1929) shows that she was strong willed and loyal to other artists, but little else.
All of this information can be corroborated using the US Census
reports of 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910 & 1920. Also, there is some
information in The New York Times (The Times is completely digitized
now), including Otto Heinzmann's obituary on January 31, 1950.
are articles about Samilla Love Jameson in The Times on Jan. 10, 1923,
p. 10, Aug. 26, 1923, p.E6, May 13, 1923, p. E7, June 3, 1923, p. E2
& on Dec. 9, 1928, p. N7. There is also a mention of a bust of
Tamany's John Richard Voorhis in Time magazine on August 26, 1929. (If
you need to see any of these pieces, I can send copies to you.
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