ERHARDT, Mrs William Herman (Frances Lee Huntington)

Three quarter length standing in a landscape wearing a feathered hat and a large fur stole.

Present Whereabouts unknown.

Broadway Magazine, New York, March 1904, p.462, as ‘Portrait of a Lady’.

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The sitter’s was born in 1870 and died in 1902. Her husband (1868-1940) was the son of Charles Erhardt (1820-1891) and worked at Charles Pfizer & Co., Manufacturing Chemists, 81, Maiden Lane, New York, which company he joined in 1889.

The picture must have been painted posthumously from a photograph. He wrote to Muller-Ury on February 27, 1903 on this company’s factory note paper at 11 Bartlett Street, Brooklyn (artist’s papers), and this was annotated by the artist ‘Mrs Erhardt Portrait’ – as follows:

‘My dear Mr. Muller-Ury,

In answer to your little note of Wednesday I will say that the picture is perfectly satisfactory to me. That is I realise it is as good a likeness as could be made under the circumstances and it is certainly a work of art as a picture. Unfortunately I won’t be able to send you a check today being a little short of ready cash just now but will do so the first of next week. I’m sorry that I will have to put you off for a few days, but it can’t be helped.

                                     Yours sincerely, W. H. Erhardt.’

According to the New York Times, 25 October 1902, Mrs. Frances Huntington Erhart, daughter of Benjamin H. Huntington, President of the Dime Savings Bank of Brooklyn, died in a hotel at San Antonio in Texas on 22 October 1902 having been carried from Colorado Springs in a special train chartered by her husband who was accompanying her in an effort to save her life.

This picture was photographed by the talented amateur photographer Harriet V. S. Thorne (1843-1926), a member of the New York Camera Club, many of whose photographs were donated to the Connecticut Historical Society’s Museum and Library by The Rosalie Thorne McKenna Foundation (Acquisition: 2011.344.150).

In November 1922, the sitter’s son with William H. Erhart, C. Huntington Erhart, married Katharine Kent – a daughter of Mrs George Edward Kent of Jericho, LI – whose maternal grandmother, Mrs. William R. Grace, had just died.  Katharine Kent Erhart was a cousin of Mrs. J. S. Phipps and the Countess of Donoughmore, and Mr and Mrs Bradley Martin were amongst the guests at the wedding.

A William H. Erhardt aged 28 was living in 1940 at 98 Rosedale Street Providence, RI, with mother Emma F. Erhardt 50, sister Evelyn F., brother Raymond E, 25 and James F. 23, and these may be related.