Larsh, Theodora - portraits of herself and her husband

These two miniature portraits are part of a group of six miniatures by Theodora Larsh. They were acquired in two groups of three, in both instances from previous owners who had purchased them at the time of a sale of items from her studio.

The first miniature is a self portrait by Theodora Larsh (11 Oct 1887-1955) and the second miniature is of her husband, Francis Dane Chase (1873-?). The self portrait is signed "Theodora Larsh NY 1929".

Research, including a hint from a kind visitor to the website, has revealed more about her. A clue to finding out more was that a Theodora Larsh arrived by ship in New York in 1913, aged 26 and gave her birthplace as Crawfordsville, Indiana.

For the 1900 census she was living with her parents John and Elizabeth Larsh in Chicago, where her father was a contractor. In 1910 she was living as a lodger in Chicago and gave her occupation as artist. For the 1930 census she was living alone as an artist in New York and stated her age as 42, also stating she had first married at age 32 (i.e. in 1920). From the comments below, it appears her marriage to Francis Dane Chase was late in 1920.

Her father died in 1932 as indicated in this June 11, 1932 obituary from the Crawfordsville Journal. "Mrs. Mary Stubbins, S. Grant Ave received a message Saturday morning from Babylon NY informing her of the death of her brother John M. Larsh that occurred in that city on Friday afternoon at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Theodora Larsh Chase. Mr. Larsh was born in Montgomery County on April 16, 1852 son of Tolliver and Jane Gilkey Larsh, pioneer residents of Ripley Twp. Mr. Larsh lived in Crawfordsville for many years and was associated with the hardware firm of Tinsley & Martin."

Theodora Larsh was a member of the prestigious Art Students League of New York and the Art Students League of Chicago, as well as the National Association of Women Painters and Sculptures. She was awarded the Griffith prize for miniatures in 1926 and served for some time as the Director of the New York League of Business and Professional Women. For more about her, see Reviving the story behind an image from the past

Theodora (also known as Teddy) became the second wife of Francis Dane Chase (1873-?) and as seen in the portrait here. His first wife was Edna Woolman Chase (1877-1957) Editor in Chief of Vogue magazine from 1914-1952, see Edna Woolman Chase - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia and their daughter was Ilka Chase (1900-1978) the American actress and novelist see Ilka Chase - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia So far no record has been located of Theodora having had any children.

In 1920, Francis Dane Chase was the General Manager of the Hotel Colonial on West 81st Street, New York. However, rather than describing himself as divorced in 1920, he stated he was a widower. Thus it appears he was not married to Theodora at the date of the 1920 census. 1247, 1249


Anonymous said...

Hello Don,

I am fairly certain that Theodora Larsh was the second wife of Francis Dane Chase. Francis's first wife was Edna Woolman Chase, editor in chief of Vogue magazine. Their daughter was Ilke Chase, famed actress and radio hostess.



Don, the collector said...

Many thanks for the extra information, I will have a look and see what I can add. Researching the artists and sitters is usually very interesting.