This presentation by West Hartford Historian Dr. Tracey Wilson explores the friendship between First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and G. Fox C.E.O Beatrice Fox Auerbach, and is co-sponsored by the Noah Webster House and West Hartford Historical Society.
“Both women were strong, independent humanitarians who shared many of the same beliefs,” said Wilson. “Over the years they stayed in touch through visits and by exchanging 187 letters.” Their correspondence reveals both the mundane—scheduling visits, thank yous for farm fresh eggs from Auerfarm—and the more profound connection between two women who were leaders and public figures and understood the difficulties of being pioneers.
From 1946 to 1962, the First Lady of the United States, Eleanor Roosevelt, and the First Lady of Hartford, Beatrice Fox Auerbach, developed a friendship that resonated with visits, letters, and advice. Find out more about the women on whose shoulders we stand today as Dr. Wilson chronicles how these two female leaders interacted in the 1950s and 1960s. In one letter from February 1951, Eleanor Roosevelt wrote to Beatrice Fox Auerbach to tell her about a young Australian artist named Sylvia Davis Patricelli. As a result, G. Fox & Company sponsored an exhibit of Patricelli’s work, opened by Roosevelt, the same year. Later, Patricelli painted portraits of both Roosevelt and Auerbach. The Patricelli painting of Eleanor Roosevelt will be brought out of private collection and displayed the night of the lecture. Patricelli’s self-portrait, in the collection of the Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society, and a copy of the portrait of Beatrice Fox Auerbach will also be on display. The artist’s daughter, Susan Regan, will be in attendance to recall her memory of her mother’s portrait painting sessions at Auerfarm.
$5 for CHS and Noah Webster House members │ $10 non-members │ reservations requested at (860) 236-5621 x238 or [email protected]
Tracey Wilson is a teacher of US History at Conard High School. She also serves as the town historian of West Hartford. In 2009, she won the Gilder Lehrman History Teacher of the Year for Connecticut. In that same year, she won the Olmsted Prize for Excellence in Secondary School Teaching from Williams College. She earned her Ph.D. from Brown University in 1993.