8”x10” Oil on Panel En Plein Air
Gallery-wrapped stretched canvas
Rolled and shipped in a tube
Also available in Print or Enhanced Giclee
Little Gracie Watson
The story of little Gracie Watson has captivated visitors to Savannah’s Bonaventure Cemetery for well over a century. Gracie was born in 1883 to Wales (W.J.) and Margaret Frances Watson. The Watson’s had made their way to Savannah from Boston when W.J. was hired to manage the Pulaski Hotel, which at the time was among the most luxurious hotels south of the Mason-Dixon line. The hotel was in Johnson Square, Savannah’s initial square designed by General Oglethorpe in 1733, located near the corner of Bull Street and Bryan Street. Gracie was a precocious young girl who purportedly entertained hotel guests with her spirited short shows filled with song and dance. Unfortunately, Gracie died of pneumonia in 1889 at the age of six and was laid to rest in the Watson family burial plot in Bonaventure Cemetery. Brokenhearted in the loss of their daughter, the Watson’s commissioned a memorial in 1890; hiring sculpturist John Walz to carve a life-sized and wonderfully detailed statue entitled “Gracie” using her likeness from a photograph of their little girl. Eventually, W.J. and Frances Watson returned to New England where they died and both buried. This reality hauntingly continued their little girl’s heart-breaking Savannah story; because little Gracie Watson has remained buried alonein the Watson family plot in Bonaventure Cemetery for nearly 130 years. Temporarily adopting the young girl, visitors to her grave-site often leave toys, flowers and other gifts that any young girl would enjoy. Because of little Gracie’s popularity, an iron fence now prevents damage to the sculpture. This painting is Luba’s initial study of the little Gracie Watson statue. Luba plans to paint a more significant work of Gracie soon.