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The Goddard Women


Goddard Women




Mary Fairchild Low (1858-1946)
Oil on canvas
58 x 48"; 147.3 x 121.9 cm.
Hewes #60



This large portrait of three generations of the Goddard Family by Mary Fairchild Low, a major artist, was a substantial commission that suggests the status of the Goddard and Daniels families in Worcester society.(1) The painting has always been displayed in what is now called the music lounge, in the wing that includes an elegant dining room that was added to their Salisbury Street house, at the time of the marriage of Eleanor Grace Goddard to F. Harold Daniels in 1915. This portrait depicts three generations of women of the Goddard and Daniels families. The story of Grace Goddard is described in conjunction with the portrait by Arthur M. Hazard, and that of Eleanor Goddard Daniels in the portrait by Mary L. Cheney. The youngest of the three is Eleanor Daniels (Bronson Hodge), painted when she was five years old. She is nestled against her grandmother as her mother stands in the background. To the right of her grandmother's head is a shadowy representation of a woman's figure, perhaps recalling Marion Goddard, who died in 1918.

Like her mother, Eleanor Bronson Hodge was a graduate of Smith College. Her junior year in France in 1937-38 was the first extended period that she lived abroad. Following that, she served with the American Red Cross in Europe during World War II, and years later spent two years (1969-71) in Vienna, with her family. For many years before and immediately after her marriage to Samuel G. Bronson, she worked as an editor for the trade department of Houghton Mifflin in Boston and for the Macmillan Company in New York. They had two children, Peter and Amy. Bronson died unexpectedly on January 31, 1981, coincidentially the same day as Eleanor Goddard Daniels.

G. Stuart Hodge, whom she married 1985, had, like her, grown up in Worcester, but they had known each other slightly as teenagers. Their paths crossed in France at the end of the Second World War, occasions that Eleanor mentioned in her diary. Then, after he retired from the position of director of the Institute of the Arts in Flint, Michigan, their paths crossed again and led to marriage. He died in 1997. She is the author of several books: Sojourner: People and Places I Have Loved, Highlights from a Daughter's Life which honored her mother, Fifty Favorites in Fifty Years inspired by her fiftieth college reunion, and Thither and Yon: Travels with a Sketchbook, illustrated with her own drawings recording her travels to Europe, Australia, South America, and Antarctica.(2)


1)   The artist Mary Fairchild Low, born in New Haven, Connecticut, studied at the St. Louis School of Fine Arts, and then in Paris with Carolus-Duran and with Bouguereau, Lefebvre, and T. Robert Fleury, at the Academy Julian. Her figure paintings were frequently exhibited in both France and the United States. Will H. Low was her second husband. After their 1909 marriage, they lived in Bronxville, New York. Low, a renowned mural and landscape painter, had also studied with Carolus-Duran and the Écoles de Beaux Arts. Mantle Fielding, Dictionary of American Painters, Sculptors & Engravers (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.: Apollo Books, 1986), 557; Peter H. Falk, Who was Who in American Art, 2069-70.

2)   Information about the life of Eleanor D. Bronson Hodge is drawn from her memoir, Sojourner: People and Places I Have Loved (Falmouth, Mass., 1997).

Goddard Women


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