by Joan M. Rehlin
A mini art history tribute to Mildred Miller Weber (1886–1958), who was born, lived her life, and died in Pittsburgh, PA. Both an artist and an English teacher, she received a degree to teach English in the public schools, but she also found time to pursue her love of art. She painted in oil and watercolor, and as was the custom for young women during the late 1800s and early 1900s, she painted floral designs on ceramics, too. Along with those activities, Mildred Weber raised four children, the third oldest being Jim Rehlin’s mother, Martha.
Jim recalls his grandmother encouraging him to learn many useful life skills when young, including how to tie his shoelaces. Most importantly, Jim credits Grandma Weber with being the first artistic influence in his life. When he was an 8-year-old, she noticed Jim’s talent and gave him a box of oil paints, which he eagerly put to good use. This eventually led to his taking extracurricular painting classes at Carnegie Institute during his elementary school years (for more on Jim’s artistic education, please visit Jim’s Artist’s Statement webpage).
Grandma Weber was a loving, positive influence on her children and grandchildren, and encouraged Jim’s emerging artistic talent. Although she didn’t achieve artistic fame, many of us, especially Jim, believe that she has more than earned this mini art history tribute. Thank you, Mildred Miller Weber!
Untitled, oil on canvas, c. 1954, Mildred Miller Weber
Composite photo, clockwise: 1) Painting depicts the artist’s son’s back yard, which is shown in next photo; 2) Labor Day 1952, with Mildred (middle) and her children Emily, Martha, Harriet, and Dave; and 3) Mildred, in her college cap and gown.
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Welcome to our Art Blog where we occasionally present topics of interest in the fine art world, including featuring artists other than Jim Rehlin. Some of the artwork has been created by long-departed but well-known greats; some, by compelling contemporary artists. All will be pieces we find worthwhile to share with you. If you like any of these, consider sharing the posts forward to your own blogs and other social media.