Audrey’s Ribbons

AOPHA stands for Association of Ohio Philanthropic Homes for the Aged. Every year they sponsored a state-wide art show.

These are my mother’s ribbons for awards she won for artwork she made during her last years, when she lived in a nursing home. My mother always won First Place ribbons for the Regional contest, and always placed either First, Second, Third or Fourth in the State contest.

It wasn’t a professional art show and it certainly wasn’t her high point as an artist. But the sense of community and purpose really made her happy and kept her busy at the nursing home, where she lived out her last six years. It was a reciprocal relationship by which the community and the individual benefited from each other equally.

In 2008, ten months before she died, she had a show of her golden-era movie star portraits at the Arts Commission of Greater Toledo’s Parkwood Gallery. The newspapers wrote about the show. It was pretty great. People came to the opening who she worked with fifty years earlier, like the owner of the Deluxe Frame Shop where she had the portraits framed that she made for private and public commissions back in the 50’s and 60’s.

My mother left Toledo in 1973, to live in Albuquerque, Honolulu, and Portland, Oregon, returning to Toledo in 1990.

Mom and me, and Anna and Mom, 2004

A trip through time

At the studio

Put Rebel Flag in Museum Says Vet

I don’t blame the Grays a bit for wanting to preserve their flags, and I believe in a reunion with them. But their flag should not be used in public — I am absolutely opposed to that! The rebel flag should be preserved in a museum as a relic of the old days. This is the only place for it.

Anna Friemoth in Venice, Italy

ANNA FRIEMOTH in the exhibition PERSONAL STRUCTURES at the PALAZZO MORA in the context of the 57TH VENICE BIENNALE


Anna in Venice with her future ahead of her, 1994 and 2017
MAY 13 – NOVEMBER 26, 2017
Open daily 10-6, closed Tuesday
European Cultural Centre
Strada Nova, 3659, 30121 Venezia, Italy

Anna Friemoth presents new photographs in the exhibition Personal Structures, held in the context of the 57th Venice Biennale. Anna’s series of self-portraits, titled Insight, is about the experience of piercing through the thoughts and actions of the human condition and finding an inner light. Insight was created especially for Personal Structures. The show is organized by the GAA Foundation and is on view at the Palazzo Mora in Venice, Italy until November 26, 2017.

European Cultural Centre PERSONAL STRUCTURES – open borders Exhibition page


William Pynchon, 10th Great Grandfather

Illustration from The History of Springfield in Massachusetts, for the Young (1921) by Charles H. Barrows

2,048 mathematical possibilities exist for my 10th great grandfathers, and I have the luck to have one of them be the first person in America to write a book that was banned and burned in 1651 — William Pynchon.

William Pynchon graduated from Oxford when he was 11 years old in 1596. The historian, Henry M. Burt said that “William Pynchon was undoubtedly the best reasoner and the best scholar residing in the colony during the first century.”

Pynchon’s book, The Meritorious Price of Our Redemption  was a critique of the newly formed society of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and Calvinism, the dominant religious doctrine of the day. Pynchon wrote that the meritorious price Jesus paid to save humankind and reconcile for Adam and Eve’s disobedience, was obedience to the will of God, and not hell, punishment, and the wrath of God.

The Calvinistic Puritans called Pynchon a heretic and put him on trial. They banned his books and burned them in the Boston Common.

Portrait of William Pynchon by master etcher Louis Orr, 1927

Mural of William Pynchon and the founding of Springfield painted by Umberto Romano in 1937 for the Springfield Main Post Office, now the Commonwealth of Massachusetts State Office

Possible end use of Pynchon’s fur pelts in Europe. Etching by Wenceslaus Hollar, 1643

Pynchon was from an old English family that settled in England with William the Conqueror. He came to America in 1630 with his wife, his son and two daughters with the Winthrop Fleet. He founded Springfield on the Connecticut River. He had good relations with the Native people, with whom he negotiated the purchase of Springfield and traded beaver pelts. He is called a “Puritan entrepreneur” for his success in the fur trade.

Pynchon would not retract anything in his book. He gave all of his land to his son, John, and returned to England in 1654. He wrote more books on religion, including The Jewes Synagogue. He died in 1662.

William Pynchon is the forebear of Anna Hale, my great great great grandmother on my mother’s father’s mother’s side.