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* 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 Ware


   Mother's 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 is lost."

    In "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.

    The 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.


Well-Found* (yesterday, in Mother's hand on a scrap of memo paper among her things, as I was finishing this site):

   Long 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.