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3595Re: [aloha-donblanding] Majel Claflin

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  • tjmarkle@earthlink.net
    Jan 7, 2004
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      ATTA BOY Keith....never give up the spunglass ship! Sometimes things are meant to be. I hung in for almost 3 years before getting the Carmel box...persistance does pay off sometimes. Keep up the great work...tj

      -----Original Message-----
      From: keith2draw <keith2draw@...>
      Sent: Jan 6, 2004 2:14 PM
      To: aloha-donblanding@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [aloha-donblanding] Majel Claflin

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      <tt>
      Hello all,<BR>
      <BR>
      After a few years of mostly fruitless searching for information on the artist Majel G. <BR>
      Claflin, who was at one time Blanding's fiance, I have some hopeful news. <BR>
      <BR>
      Several years ago I left a message on a genealogy forum asking for info on the artist, <BR>
      and on sunday a woman responded. Her grandmother took care of Majel's sister <BR>
      Bernice in her later years. Bernice was a longtime schoolteacher in the Claflin's <BR>
      hometown of Eaton Rapids, Michigan. When she died, some of her things were willed <BR>
      to the caretaker, which included Majel's portfolio, some journals, and letters between <BR>
      the two sisters.<BR>
      <BR>
      She has temporarily misplaced the journals and letters but is going to look in her <BR>
      storage unit when she gets a chance. In the portfolio she recently dug up are <BR>
      drawings, advertising samples, and copies of a daily cartoon she produced in the <BR>
      "Ripley's" vein. She also has a few pieces of tinwork around her house which Majel <BR>
      made. Apparently, Claflin traveled alone to Tunisia in 1928 to see examples of tin <BR>
      work first hand, and then studied with a tin master-craftsman in Sante Fe for a <BR>
      number of years.  She became known as the "tempestuous tinsmith of Taos," and was <BR>
      a WPA artist in the thirties.<BR>
      <BR>
      My contact remembers the journal describing in detail her Chicago Art Institute days, <BR>
      and memories of Sherwood Anderson, who lived in the same boarding house as Don <BR>
      and Majel around 1914. She also found a copy of Vagabond's House with a Blanding <BR>
      letter tucked inside from 1944.<BR>
      <BR>
      Somewhere in the storage unit are also newspaper articles about Majel, and an <BR>
      obituary. She was a heavy smoker, and her death was probably attributed to the <BR>
      fumes from her tinsmithing work. There was a photo of Majel's self portrait in the <BR>
      obit.<BR>
      <BR>
      I think she's going to give me all this stuff when she finds it, but I'm not positive yet. <BR>
      If she does, or if I at least get copies of everything, I hope to write an article about <BR>
      Majel for a Michigan and/or New Mexico publication.<BR>
      <BR>
      Keith<BR>
      <BR>
      <BR>
      </tt>

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