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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Happy Birthday, Tasha Tudor

Tasha Tudor was born on this date in 1915 and passed away in 2008....

I only just discovered her, however, in 1992 from an article about her lifestyle that appeared in Victoria Magazine.  Her ability to follow the direction of her dreams appealed to me greatly and so I began collecting her books and the books about her.  I found I delighted in her gentle watercolor drawings in her books for children, especially the ones from the 1940's and 50's.  This is the endpaper for Biggity Bantam (1954)....
Because place figures largely in people's lives I endeavored to locate Tasha's New Hampshire house last year...the one the above painting is based on.  With a little detective work and a lot of perseverance we found it....
NOTE:  In 2014 I discovered that THIS was not NOT her house.  Her house is just down the road on the left.  See my 2014 post.

Around 1970 she moved to Vermont where her son, Seth, built her a replica of an early 1800's house using only hand tools.  I was fortunate enough to finally visit that house on this same trip.  As I walked around inside the house I felt her absence acutely.  Marjorie, her daugther-in-law showed us her bedroom and talked about her last hours there.  She had been such a presence in that house and in her garden, that I left feeling as though she had just died and I was coming from her wake.  I showed the photo of the NH house to Seth during the tour and he confirmed that it was indeed the house in which he grew up.  He told me the barn had recently burned down and had been rebuilt.  

The books about her feature her amazing doll house, her beautiful garden, her hand crafts from an earlier era, and her unique home.  We were not allowed to take our own photographs, but I found these on the Internet that show some of the quaintness about the property....
Tasha's side porch
Close-up of porch
The approach to the back side of the house
The several books about her life hold many wonderful photographs of how she lived.  You can find some of these books on the family's website: Tasha Tudor and Family as well as Cellar Door Books and other used book sellers on the Web.

There is also a Tasha Tudor Museum in Brattleboro.  You can read about my visit there last year here.  Be sure to visit their website to see the grand plans they have and contribute if you can.  


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