by Susan Taylor Block, Airlie historian
A portrait of a young Sarah Wharton Green Jones Walters recently emerged in brighter form. Glenn McAndrews, of Ohio, had the good fortune to purchase the oil painting at auction. The beautiful work hung most recently at the Newport residence of Mrs. Walters’s granddaughter, Jane Pope Akers Ridgway.
The painting shows a determined, confident female, holding a branch of greenery. The resolute, fearless image mirrors that of a photo taken of Sarah about 1915. Eleanor Wright Beane, who was in Mrs. Walters presence many times, said the photo below exhibited Mrs. Jones’s usual expression. That same presence is evident in the childhood portrait, and the same firmness of purpose enabled Sarah to function as a congressional hostess in her youth, and to create the original 155-acre Airlie garden landscape at the turn of the 20th century.
Mr. McAndrews, who refurbished the frame, treasures the painting, and is eager to know more about its inception. Comments are welcome.