Folding fan. Off-white paper leaf is a print that was made into a fan. Polychrome Asian scene of a man kneeling on the floor and painting; behind him is a woman kneeling on the floor, using a stirrer in a bowl. To the right of the woman are shelves with bowls. Three other people stand in the background. Colors include blue, green, pink, yellow, and magenta. The upper left has a box with Asian characters. The reverse side of the leaf is mottled brown/copper paper. Sticks are bamboo. Handwritten inscription in pencil on three of the sticks: "M. O. Gay / Centennial / 1876". Made in Japan.
(Keywords: Fashion, Accessory, Asian, Commemorative)
|Acquisition||Gift of Elizabeth Willcox Kidwell|
|Ownership and History||
The leaf of this fan is made from a Japanese print decorated with scenes and descriptions regarding the life of a famous Japanese printmaker named Ukiyo Matahei, who is also known as Iwasa Katsumochi Matabei (1578-1650).
Mary Otis Gay (1861-1933), whose name is inscribed on the sticks of this fan, was about 15 years old at the time of the 1876 Centennial Exposition. She was the daughter of noted abolitionist Sydney Howard Gay. The Gay family lived in West New Brighton, Staten Island.
Mary married William Goodenow Willcox on May 28, 1889, and they had five children. Mary was involved with many local community organizations. Her activities included serving as chairman of the Richmond County Chapter of the American Red Cross; trustee of the Staten Island Hospital, the Staten Island Academy, and the Staten Island Institute of Arts and Sciences; and chairman of the Staten Island Woman's Suffrage Party.
This fan was part of a collection of clothing and accessories donated to the Staten Island Historical Society in 1958 by Mary's daughter, Elizabeth (Willcox) Kidwell.
|Lexicon Sub-category||Personal Gear|
Willcox, Mary Otis (Gay)
|Support Acknowledgment||Online Collections Database record made possible by the Fan Association of North America (FANA), 2013. (www.fanassociation.org)|
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