Portrait of Libbie Kapfer - 1881
Art work by  Theodore Gegoux  (1850 - 1931)

Woman Portrait   "Portrait of Libbie Kapfer - 1881"
Pastel, about 40 inches by about 30 inches, signed and dated 1881.
Photographs by Robert Newton   © Copyright 2006 - All Rights Reserved  

Miss Kapfer was the daughter of George Kapfer, a wholesale and retail furniture dealer in Carthage, New York.   She died of a fever in April 1881, and such a fever also claimed her sister, Anna, later that same year.   Libbie was an accomplished dressmaker.   After her death the family commissioned the artist Gegoux to excute a portrait of Libbie as a rememberance.   Please she the news articles below and letters, which were received from the family.  
More background on Gegoux's work of this period ...  
Gegoux's 1880 - 1881 Watertown Directory advertisement  
- showing prices and techniques.  
The Watertown Daily Times - May 12, 1881 Thursday - A Lifelike Portrait.
There is on exhibition at Hanford's show window a fine work of art. It is a life-size pastel crayon portrait of Miss Libbie Kapfer of Carthage, the work of Prof. Gegoux. This is certainly one of the best pieces of coloring ever exhibited in our city.  

The Carthage New York Republican - April 18, 1876 to Sept 1877 - Tuesday
Miss Libbie Kapfer continues to do Dress-Making and Sewing of all kinds at reasonable rates, at her residence No. 16 Alexander St. or at the houses of her patrons.  

The Carthage New York Republican - April 15-29, 1879
Miss Libbie Kapfer takes pleasure in informing all her customers that she has just returned from her visit, and is now ready to do dressmaking as usual.  

The Lowville Journal & Republican - February 24, 1881 - Thursday
Miss Libbie Kapfer, of Carthage, is visiting Miss Minnie Habarer, of this place.  

The Watertown Re-Union - April 14, 1881
Items Gathered Here and There by Our Industrious Pencil Pusher.
Correspondence of the DESPATCH,
CARTHAGE, April 11 Miss Libbie Kapfer who has been confined to the house for a short time is very low with "typhus fever," her physicians are doubtful of her recovery.  

The Lowville Journal & Republican - April 14, 1881 - Thursday
Many of the young people of this village will be pained to learn of the death of Miss Libbie Kapfer, of Carthage, which occurred Tuesday morning. Miss Kapfer visited her cousin. Miss Minnie Haberer, in this place a few weeks ago.  

  Dear Mr. Gegoux,  
I forwarded your e-mail to the Mr Paul Bush.  He is now the owner of the painting and knows more about it.  The portrait is a female member of the Kapfer Family.  I believe it was the grandmother of my neighbors, Carl and Alice Kapfer.  It may be Regina, who was the wife of George Kapfer who was a furniture maker here in Carthage in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  
She's wearing a very dark blue dress and the detail is amazing. She's wearing a pin at the base of the neck with musicial notes on it.  I think the painting may be Paul's Great-grandmother.  He will be able to answer more of your questions.  
There is also a pastel picture, unsigned.  It's the a little smaller, but the quality is excellent.  (The portrait painting framed (original frame) is about 3' wide x 4' tall) (maybe larger).  Could I send you a picture of the pastel also?   It is also a young woman.  Paul gave me permission to send the digital photos, so I'll do that first thing Saturday.  We started this project looking for a way to appraise the pictures for insurance purposes.  I've been doing more research on Theodore Gegoux in the area and am finding it all fascinating.  
Thanks for all your help and the web-site is wonderful.  
Mary Newton  
Information contributed by Newton family - March 2, 2006 © Copyright - All Rights Reserved.  

  Dear Mr. Gegoux,  
I believe I have found a Theodore Gegoux portrait painting (dated 1881 and signed) in the home of my deceased neighbors.  I live in Carthage NY Watertown area and I am in the process of helping my neighbors family clean out their home.  Until recently we believed it was just a painting, but last week the light hit the painting just right and we discovered it was signed and dated.  I first thought it was G Gegoux, but after reading about Theodore and taking a second look at the signature I now believe it is legit.  I have so many questions, that I don't know where to begin.  Please reply so I know your out there.  By the way - - It is a beautiful painting.  
Mary Newton  
Information contributed by Newton family - February 28, 2006 © Copyright - All Rights Reserved.