Snead, Lousie Willis - portrait of Emma C Rose

This miniature portrait of Emma C Rose is signed in red "Snead".

The packing inside the frame includes an invitation shown below which is dated 10 February 1907 and thus this is probably the approximate date for the miniature.

Snead is the signature of Louise Hammond Willis Snead (25 Dec 1866-1958) who according to her 1924 passport application was born in Charlston, SC and worked in Noroton, CT and New York City.

So far, no confirmed record of her parents has been found, but they may well have been Major Edward Willis (1834-1910) and Elizabeth Louise Hammond Willis (1835-1917) of Charleston, SC.

As is the rightful privilege of women generally, the year of Louise's birth tended to become more recent as each year of her life passed.

Thus, it is not exactly clear which year she was born, as her stated birth years seem to vary between 1866 and 1875.

Louise married Harry Vairin Snead (15 Mar 1867-16 Sep 1924) on 4 Sept 1894 in Blowing Rock, NC. Harry was the son of Colonel Thomas Lowndes Snead (10 Jan 1828-17 Oct 1890) and Harriet Vairin Reel (26 Apr 1833-?) from St Louis, Mi. who were married in St Louis on 24 Nov 1852.

Louise and Harry had a daughter, Louise V Snead who, in 1918, became engaged to Roderick Murchison Edens. It seems that Harry V Snead was a judge in later life, but on 14 Nov 1893 and before he was married, he was falsely arrested, see A CASE FOR INVESTIGATION.

Harry's father, Colonel Thomas Snead was senior assistant adjutant general under Confederate Major General Sterling Price during the Civil War. Thomas Snead later resumed his career in NYC as a lawyer and newspaper editor.

On 18 Oct 1924, very shortly after her husband's death and when she was living in Noroton, CT, Louise Snead made a passport application, containing the attached passport photo, to travel for health and study reasons to England, France, Germany, Italy, Egypt, and Palestine.

Louise was a small lady, being only five feet tall, with brown hair and eyes, and gave her occupation as artist. She returned from her trip on 11 May 1925.

The sitter in this miniature is identified on the reverse as Emma C Rose. However, she has not yet been more closely identified.

Louise Snead was more than a miniature painter. She was also a journalist and illustrator.

An article she wrote for "Outing Volume XXXVIII" titled "Houseboats and Houseboaters" can be read at [PDF] Houseboats and Houseboaters.

The first illustration by her shown here, being in a book by F. H. Lundgren.

"When Titania leads her fairy dancers about the heads of little dreamers." Illustration for "Reading the Book of Fate" by Louise Willis Snead. St. Nicholas. Volume 23, No. 1 (November 1895), 33

The second is of a lady wearing a large red hat on the cover of McCall's Magazine for September 1909.

SIRIS appears to have references to Louise Willis Snead under the heading of Macbeth Gallery Records.

In 1916 Louise Snead wrote and illustrated a 58 page book titled "Silver and Gold" about the History of the Stamford Trust Company. 1329


Susan said...

I am Louise's great granddaughter. She was born on 14 Dec 1866. Her mother-in-law Harriet Snead died on 7 July 1906 in Flushing, NY. Louise did an oil portrait of Henry Miller Shreve which is hanging in the Shreve Memorial Library in Shrevesport, LA. She did many miniatures as well as other illustrations for The Ladies Home Journal. She also wrote plays although I do not have any of them. I do own several of her minatures and some watercolors she did while traveling in Egypt.

Don Shelton said...

Hi Susan, Thank you very much for the extra information. Don

Steve said...

Hi Susan,
I live in Shreveport and was viewing the portrait today. It is undated. Do you know the year it was painted?

Steve Smith

jon said...

Hi Susan, I am Roderick Murchison Edens great nephew. I assume he is your grandfather.