This "Home" link takes you to the main page of "Digitizing Mother:the mind of Gwyn Ware'," a website I originally created
years ago; while "Home" for the 2013 website, "Gwynneth Woodhouse Ware a life in letters," is here.
If you got to this page by clicking a link on the new site, just hit the "back" arrow at the top left of your browser. Also know that you can get to
this site from a link on every page of the new site. (Not to confuse you. Gwyn wouldn't want me to. --so)
Gwynneth Mary Woodhouse
intellect was happily anarchic, plucking ideas, images, quotations,
music, discoveries, gags, from the undifferentiated fields
of history and art, literature and low culture, sculpting
lavishly on the fly in conversation and letters. And if her
conversation now rings only in God's ear, she has left behind
her letters and her art. Her life is not finished. She still
has surprises and treasures to share with those who take a
shine to her. This site is my small first step in freeing
her creations -- like the butterflies that delighted her --
to travel immense distances to light on the shoulders of strangers.
She who habitually, sometimes exasperatingly, disdained time
on any level and communed with minds across oceans and eons,
would have savored the idea of a new self in cyberspace. She
often and lovingly quoted her father who said, "Nothing
"Digitizing Mother" you may sample her writing and visual art. All
of the art was created before her 21st birthday. The writing
is from various periods of her life.
elder of two children, she was born on December 9, 1912, in
New York City. Her parents were Rebecca de Mendes Kruttschnitt
and Henry de Clifford Woodhouse. Her mother, especially, never
forgave her for not being male. Gwyn's younger brother Paddy,
born in 1915, was Cliff and Becky's favorite and the light
of his sister's life. At the end of the first World War the family
moved to a farm in Vermont, where the children spent some
of their happiest years. When Gwyn was eight or nine
her parents relocated to England and sent Paddy to boarding
school while Becky, who had trained at the Art Institute of Chicago,
quirkily taught her daughter at home. Gwyn and Paddy were
both artistic and spent much of their time drawing and painting. When Gwyn
was twelve her parents dispatched her to a disasterous series
of convent schools. She
left or was proudly kicked out of each. She later had formal training in art
in California and Paris.
The most vivid times in Gwyn's life were two early
periods in America and her wartime service as a VAD (volunteer
nurse's aid) in several English and Allied hospitals. These
were the days she would return to over and over in her reminiscences.
She met my father during World War II. James Crawford Ware
was a sergeant in the U.S. Army Medical Corps. They married
in 1944 and I was born in 1945. Not many months before my
birth, Paddy, a fighter pilot, was shot down by friendly fire over the English
Channel. My father returned to
his home in Georgia prior to my birth. Mother and I lived
in Wales for more than two years before joining him in the
States. Settled in Hogansville, Georgia, my parents added
three sons to our family: John, now a doctor; Peter, an engineer;
and David, a lawyer. I as a proto-librarian am rather the
dark horse in the bunch. Gwyn has eight grandchildren,
every one of whom channels a mean pen and brush from
Granny's genes: Tom, Caitlin, Patrick, Bob, Amy, John,
Elizabeth and Emily. Never having mislaid her inner child,
Gwyn was an inspired companion to them all. My father, who
divorced my mother in 1974, died in 1991. Gwyn died in 1995.
I have purposely skimped here on details from her life, as
they are scattered throughout the exhibit.
(yesterday, in Mother's hand on a scrap of memo paper among
her things, as I was finishing this site):
let us walk, / Where the breeze blows from yon extended
field / Of blossomed beans (-James Thomson)
*Ben Trovado was a pseudonym Mother sometimes used
in letters to the editor.