See also: https://phayemuss.wordpress.com/2011/08/13/lizzie-borden-alone-painting-at-maplecroft/ UPDATE: NOTE THE LATEST COMMENT WHICH IDENTIFIES TO WHOM LIZZIE GAVE THIS PAINTING. PERHAPS HIS NAME WILL BE IN THE BOOK, PARALLEL LIVES.
UPDATE: “ALONE” ARTIST IDENTIFIED My stepbrother (who was so cool to give me a brand new Garmin GPS tracker for Christmas) was looking over my blog today and came across this entry and said: “Hey! I know that artist!” Well it turns out its Herman Alfred Leonard Wahlberg, a Swedish artist born in Stockholm February 13, 1834 and died October 4, 1906. Nordic landscape painting was popular during those years, and this Swedish landscape is typical of the Dusseldorf version of wilderness paintings. Known as just “Alfred Wahlberg” you can see a picture of him here.
(Original post follows): There are numerous known and unknown people all over Fall River and environs who have “stuff” that belonged to Lizzie. On my last visit while shopping at an outlet store at the Durfee Mills I chatted with the store owner who told me she had an old rocking chair that belonged to Lizzie and if I came back she’d show me a picture of it. I never made it back but we did exchange addresses and I’ve yet to write her. Meanwhile, here’s something I can relate and show now.
(Original post from 2007) Some months ago, Jeff Masson of Somerset, MA noticed an elderly gentleman admiring the house he lives in and Jeff, his mother and this man got to talking. Eventually the subject of Lizzie Borden came up (Jeff is a frequent visitor to the Lizzie Borden B&B and has a keen knowledge of the Bordens and others buried at Oak Grove Cemetery in Fall River.) During the conversation the gentleman, Elliott Barrows of Somerset, related that he had a painting that was given to his grandfather by Lizzie Borden.
The story goes that Lizzie had some work done at her house she named “Maplecroft” #7 French Street (now 306) in Fall River, and it was Mr. Barrows’ grandfather who did the work – “handyman” kind of work, not major construction. The painting below apparently hung in Lizzie’s house and Lizzie, so the tale goes, gave Mr. Barrows the painting as partial payment for his labor. Just exactly when this occurred is not known. Mr. Barrows subsequently brought the actual painting back to Jeff’s house and allowed him to keep it for a while and to photograph it, which are the images you see here. Remarkably, Mr. Barrows stated the painting had been appraised for $8,000.
The handwritten notation on the back of the painting reads as follows:
“This picture framed for the house of Lisbeth and Emma Borden, 306 French St. Fall River, Mass whose father Andrew Jackson Borden and stepmother, Abby Durfee Gray Borden were murdered at their house, 92 Second St., Fall River, Mas, Aug. 4, 1892. The trial was held in June 1893.” (and below) “Alone” by (unreadable) Art Supplement to the New York Recorder Sept 30th, 1894. The Knapp Co. Str. N.Y. Famous Paintings of Europe.”
It is very hard to distinguish the lettering in the name of the artist but it appears to be an “L” or “F” and then “V” and Rberg or Aberg. I believe this is a swedish artist.
There is a rather famous painting by Dawn Parkinson titled “Alone” showing a lone seagull soaring past a white chaulked cliff. Searching through various artbooks, Googling the name in assorted variations yielded no results. Unfortunately Mr. Barrows was not available for an interview on my most recent visit to Fall River. I’m currently awaiting follow-up from “Cemetery Jeff”. I know several people pursuing this find further as well, so maybe more information will be forthcoming.
The painting certainly evokes melancholy sadness and makes us wonder what it meant to Lizzie. I can not think it meant a great deal because to just give it away as partial payment to a handyman is not what one would do with a piece of art for which they had a strong emotional attachment. Perhaps this painting was a gift she received rather than a purchase made. Perhaps gazing upon it evoked emotions for an already sad and depressed woman to be even sadder. Maybe it clashed with that garish wallpaper of Victorian times. Who knows. But it’s a great little story, isn’t it?