Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Anne's Mink Coat: Miller Art Museum Exhibit

Present Day Miller Art Center
Donated in 1956  to the town of Springfield, VT

Last fall I donated my Aunt Anne Miller Collins' mink coat 
to her childhood home - now the Miller Art Center in Springfield, VT:

Donna Welles, the grand niece of Anne Miller has graciously donated her aunt's fur coat to the Springfield Art and Historical Society. It was the Miller family who, in 1956, donated their family home to the town to Springfield. The building is now know as the Miller Art Center and is home the Springfield Art and Historical Society.

The coat, dating to the 1950s or 60s, is made entirely of mink and is in beautiful condition. It has a maker's label which readsHolt Refrew. The coat, along with other new donations, will be on display at the Miller Art Center beginning in June.
The museum asked that I write Anne's bio for the exhibit which opened June 2, 2012:

          Anne Miller was born on Jan 2, 1912 in Perkinsville, VT to Grace Spencer and mechanical engineer, Edward Whitney Miller who worked with Fellows Gear Shaper from 1898-1968. She graduated from Springfield High School before going on to study Italian at Wellesley College. Anne married David "Dave" O. Collins of Hingham, MA and they lived in Hartford, CT until WWII began.
          Dave took his saxophone with him to the European theater where he served as a combat medic in the 63rd Infantry Division of the 7th Army under General Patch. He helped repel the German Offensive called Operation Northwind. After the war, the couple returned to Vermont where Dave worked at the Fellows Gear Shaper plant.
          Never having any children, Anne and Dave explored artistic interests by listening to classical jazz - they saw every great act that came through New England. Highly intelligent, Anne collected art and Hester Bateman Silver. The two of them were genuinely happy until Dave died in 1981. Anne lived another 20 years until September 2001.
          In 2004 Donna Welles, Anne's great niece, took this coat with her to Russia where she spent a year at St. Petersburg State University, before graduating Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Texas in Dec 2005.

Me Wearing the Coat Before It Went Back to Vermont
Portrait of Anne Miller Collins
Photo by Miller Art Center and Historical Society
Wider view of the exhibit
Photo by Miller Art Center and Historical Society 

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