KOHLER, The Misses Rita (Later Mrs Julius Augustus White) and Vera (Later Mrs Gustav Erbe Jr, Mrs Carroll B. Alker, Mrs William Howard Bell)

Two little girls seated outside on a cushioned bench. Oil on canvas, signed and dated lower left ‘Muller Ury 1912’.

Present Whereabouts Unknown

By family descent to Mrs. Robert de R. Craigmyle, Los Gatos, CA.

M. KNOEDLER & CO., 556-558, Fifth Avenue, New York, March 31 – April 12, 1913, No. 8.

American Art News, New York, April 5, 1913.

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Rita Mary Kohler (1903-1970) married Julius Augustus White (born 1896) and had a son Charles Kohler White (1925-1957), who in 1956 became the third generation president of Kohler & Campbell Piano Manufacturers.

Vera Kohler was first married to Gustav Erbe Jr., then in the Oyster Bay Reformed Church of Brookville, LI, to Carroll B. Alker, of 825 Madison Avenue (who had until his divorce in Reno in June 1928 been married to Katharine Ingalls Sloane, daughter of Mrs George Ingalls whom the artist painted in 1942.) and had two daughters Nancy Kohler Alker (married September 23, 1955 to Thomas N. McCarter 3rd, of Far Hills, New Jersey) and Vera Alker. In 1948 she married William Howard Bell of South Carolina and lived in Locust Valley.

The double portrait was painted in Mahwah, New Jersey.  A letter from the sitters’ father dated November 27, 1912, written on the notepaper of ‘Kohler & Campbell Piano Manufacturers’, in the artist’s papers, reads as follows:

‘Dear Ury:

On my return home last night I was agreeably surprised to find the portrait which you painted of the children.

It is certainly an artistic production and speaks volumes for your great ability as an artist.  Mrs. Kohler and myself could not be better pleased with it than we are and it more than meets our expectations.

I take pleasure in enclosing herewith my check in settlement of the same.

With kindest regards, I remain,

                  Very truly yours, Charles Kohler.’