Object Record

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Title Willie and Annie Hoe
Catalog Number CVHM-90.52 A
Description Portrait, Willie and Annie Hoe. Full length portrait of young boy and girl. Boy is seated in green chair, wears black shorts, white shirt, striped bow tie. He has blond hair, blue eyes. Girl stands beside him. She has dark hair and eyes, and is wearing a white dress with a blue sash and a gold bar bin. Patterned carpet on floor and alphabet blocks are scattered about.

According to the death records on file, Willie died at the age of three on June 13, 1878 of acute hydrocephalus, and Annie died at the age of two on June 14, 1878 with cause of death listed as scarlet fever. Willie and Annie are buried in Springfield Cemetery.

(Label text below, GAM)

This painting is colorful and endearing at first glance, and provides a delightful look into the play room of two Victorian children, but once we know why it was painted this picture takes on a very somber quality. Willie and Annie contracted scarlet fever and died one day apart in June, 1878. Springfield artist George F. Bottume offered to paint a likeness of the children following their deaths. Bottume was a friend and neighbor of the children's parents, Andrew and Mary Spear Hoe. According to the death records, Willie was three and Annie was two at the time of their deaths. They are both buried at Springfield Cemetery.

BOTTUME, George F. (1828 - 1900)

The artist George Bottume was born Lisbon, CT in 1828. Around the age of thirteen, he left to study in NYC, returning around 1845. For a time he worked in Norwich, and then traveled throughout Connecticut. He eventually settled in Springfield MA where he was primarily a portrait painter, although he was known to have completed some landscapes. He died on July 17, 1900 at the age of 72. (See Death Records registered in the City of Springfield, 1900.)
Artist BOTTUME, George F.
Object Name Painting
Date 1878
Dimensions H-50.5 W-38 inches
Credit line Purchased from Stanton Auctions
Museum Lyman and Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History
On Exhibit Yes, Lyman and Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History