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Lewes, Delaware
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November 15, 2002     Cape Gazette
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November 15, 2002
 

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RBHS hears about life of Delaware artist Ethel Le ach By Trish Vernon Members of the Rehoboth Beach Historical Society (RBHS) stepped back in time Saturday af, temoon, Nov. 9, during their an- nual fall luncheon, when Pinewa- ter Farms artist Amelie Sloan gave them insight into the life and art of her aunt, the well known Delaware painter and illustrator Ethel Pennewill Brown Leach. Wearing a black lacy dress that had belonged to her late aunt, Sloan noted that Leach spent many happy childhood summers in Rehoboth Beach, as her father built a home on Park Avenue in 1926, along with the landmark Corner Cupboard Inn in 1929. Due to an unexpected family fi- nancial constraints, Leach's fami- ly, the Pennewills, were forced to move to the home of an aunt, Rose Verdon, at 17 Oak Ave. Ethel P.B. Leach was also one of the co-founders of the Re- hoboth Art League in 1938, along with Louisa Corkran and was deemed honorary president for life of RAL. Leach also was in- strumental in foundingthe Re- hoboth Beach Village Improve- ment Association (VIA) exhibit in 1928. Art historian Jan Gilmore of Alexandria, Va., took an interest in Leach while she was research- ing the life of a more famous artist, Olive Rush, who wrote let- ters frequently to the Delaware artist. Upon her death in 1959, Leach, 81, had left many letters, some from Rush, and diaries in the attic of her Frederica home. In 1999, Gilmore, who had been amassing materials on Leach for 10 years, put together a three-part exhibit of Leach's work.  One show was held in Wilmingtoh, sponsored by the Delaware His- torical Society, while the Kent County exhibit was sponsored by the Dover Visitors Center, and RAL hosted the third segment of the three-part exhibit. "These ex- hibi'ts put Ethel on the map," Sloan noted. There are some gaps in the 60 years of diaries found in Leach's attic, although enough informa- tion was found for Sloan to bring Leach's life alive for the RBHS audience. Born in Wilmington in 1878 to a doctor and his wife, Ethel and her younger sister, Blanche, who is Sloan's mother, spent much time growing up on the family's Fred- erica farm. Their mother died when the girls were very young and they became very close to Continued on page 36 CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, Nov. 15 - Nov. 21, 2002 - 35 Imperial Napoleonic Egg. 1912 On the occasion of the anniversary of the defeat of Napoleon at Borodino, her son Czar Nicholas II gave this egg as a gift to the Dowager Empress Marie. The egg is translucent green enamel over a sunburst-pattern guilloch6 ground. Military trophies fill each panel, which are framed by eight hundred and sixty-five handset Austrian crystals and leafage.The egg contains a folding six-panel photo frame. (6 inches with stand). $2000 JOIN US DURING THANKSGIVING WEEKEND FOR OUR FABERGE EVENT WITH TATIANA FABERGE, PLEASE CALL FOR DETAILS. Established 1977 25 Baltimore Avenue Flehoboth Beach, Delaware 19971 302-227-8331 * 800-225-8331 www.Wooden I ndian Ltd.com Monday-Saturday 10 to 5 Sunday 11 to 5 - ]