Saturday, May 28, 2016

Amelia Earhardt and Abby Sutherland Brown of Ogontz College

While this is a bit off-topic, it is an interesting side item. While seeking the possible location of Francis Quirk's portrait of Carl Sandburg, we conducted a search on information related to Abby Sutherland Brown. She was the primary force driving Ogontz College and commissioned the portrait of her friend, Sandburg. 

Carl Sandburg (January 6, 1878 – July 22, 1967) was an American poet, writer, and editor who won three Pulitzer Prizes: two for his poetry and one for his biography of Abraham Lincoln. During his lifetime, Sandburg was widely regarded as "a major figure in contemporary literature", especially for volumes of his collected verse, including Chicago Poems (1916), Cornhuskers (1918), and Smoke and Steel (1920).

The main Sandburg portrait we found is the work of William Smith from 1961. It is not the work of Francis J. Quirk.

Portrait of Carl Sandburg by William Smith

In a Dictionary of Literary Influences we came across this write up of Ogontz College student Amelia Earhart and her relationship with Abby. 

You can find the original text of the book here

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Francis Quirk Obituaries

A thoughtful friend of Francis Quirk came across our blog and graciously provided two obituaries. They do provide some interesting new information. 

First, he died in Portland, Maine. We knew he planned to retire there to paint after retiring from Lehigh. We do not know where he lived in the area yet. He was buried in Laurel Hill Cemetary in Saco, so that may have been his hometown. His wife has been linked to their Arts Education program.

Second, we learned that one of his artworks found its way to the Zurich Embassy. So that gives us another thread to run down in seeking his work. 
Francis J. Quirk Artist Obituary
Obituary of Francis J. Quirk from the Allentown Call
Listed Artist Francis J. Quirk   Obituary
Globe (?) Obituary for Francis J. Quirk

Finally, he had a son and daughter-in law who lived in Portland. Sadly, his son who attended Colby College died in 1997.  Here is the bio for James from the Colby Alumni Magazine.

James R.F. Quirk '65, Feb. 23, 1997, in Alexandria, La., at 50. A professor of computer science at Louisiana State University-Alexandria, he was rated by the National Chess Federation and played postal chess with opponents from around the world. Survivors include his daughter, Marie Quirk, and a sister.