Longtime Westporter Linda Gramatky Smith is — among many other things — treasurer of the Westport Schools Permanent Art Collection.
For 2 years she has tried to get donations of artwork from the estate of internationally known watercolorists Frederic Whitaker and his wife, Eileen Monaghan Whitaker. They lived in Norwalk from the mid-1940s to the early ’60s, and were close friends of Linda’s parents, Hardie and Doppy Gramatky. (Hardie wrote and illustrated Little Toot.)
It took a while, but last month 2 dramatic watercolors arrived.
Fred’s career spanned 70 years, and nearly 2000 paintings. Westport received his “Church in Weston, Connecticut,” created in 1950. The church was Norfield Congregational — and not much has changed in 60 years.
Eileen’s painting — “Granadinos” — is “so colorful that schoolchildren will love it,” Linda says. Westport schools are dickering over which will get the artwork.
It’s fitting that “06880” marks the Whitaker work coming to Westport — because today is the 120th anniversary of Fred’s birth.
Happy birthday, Fred (and happy 100th to Eileen, later this year). Welcome home!