Featured Art: Forgotten Treasure

Mary Lou Griffin
Diamond State Branch, Delaware

Forgotten Treasure: Grandma’s Bedroom Chair 
Pastel, 8 x 10

Grandma's-Chair by Mary Lou Griffin

 

I never got to know Leocadia Wielgorecki, my mother’s mother. She died several years before I was born. I only heard stories about her from my mother and my older brother and sister, as my grandmother lived with them. However, I am the one with her bedroom chair sitting in my basement.

Leocadia Wielgorecki

Grandma Leocadia Wielgorecki

That chair has traveled from state to state and house to house with me for many years. It sat tucked away in a basement corner until it was time to move again. I had great intentions of refinishing the wood and recovering the seat and pillow and using it — but that never happened. Even if I had restored it, I have no place to put in my downsized home.  

So here this chair sits, sadly looking at me when I am in my basement studio. Somehow, I cannot just throw it out. It’s one of the very few things I have that belonged to Leocadia. And besides, I grew up with that chair. I have memories of my dad sitting in it and changing his shoes after work each day. I remember my mom picking out that printed fabric to recover the seat and pillow. It’s not a fine piece of furniture. The fabric is faded, and the seat has lost its ruffled skirt. It’s seen better days, but it has history.

So, on a recent weekend, I decided to pay tribute to Leocadia, my parents, and “the chair.” I did this painting of it. It’s not a painting I would expect someone to buy. The chair is tired and worn. But by painting it, I somehow feel I’ve given it a new life just the way it is.

— Mary Lou Griffin