HILL, Rachel

Present Whereabouts Unknown.

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There is a letter dated merely October 24, and written from 26, West 55th Street, New York (artist’s papers) which reads:

‘My dear Mr. Muller

‘Rachel’ arrived in fine condition, and positively a speaking likeness. Are you not proud of it? Everyone here who knew Rachel considers it perfect. I am so stupid that I can never realise the excellence of the pictures until after about a week after I have first seen them, so it is only now that I begin to appreciate all the lovely things you showed me, particularly the white Madonna. I see her all the time, so sweet, so quiet, and so gentle. Thanking you again I remain

     Yours very sincerely, Gertrude Hill.’

It is difficult to be sure to which Rachel Hill the letter above refers.  One Rachel Hill (1881–1967) was a daughter of James J. Hill (who seems to have owned the Madonna and Child that was published by Hanfstaengl referred to in the letter, and which may have been inherited by Gertrude Hill Gavin in 1916). She married Egil Boeckmann in 1912(?) and had a daughter called Gertrude. But James. J. Hill’s ninth child, Gertrude Hill (1883–1961), who married Michael Gavin, a banker, in 1906, and lived at 12, East 65th Street, New York from 1906. Presumably, Gertrude Hill is commenting on a portrait of her sister Rachel Hill.