Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Talented Wheeler Women of Lowell Avenue

I ask you to remember the ladies...
               Abigail Adams to her husband, John Adams

Two very talented ladies dwelled at 5317 Lowell Avenue along with their very accomplished husband and father.

Hilah Drake (1878-1970) met her future husband, Clifton Wheeler, while studying art in Europe.  The daughter of Alexander Drake, an art critic for The Century magazine, the young woman was a talented watercolorist.  In 1910, the couple married and briefly lived in his hometown of Mooresville, Indiana.  She gave birth to Hilah Mary Wheeler in 1911.

Hilah Drake Wheeler and daughter, Hilah Mary--1912

By 1912, they were building their dream home at 5317 Lowell Avenue in Irvington.  The Wheelers had their architect, George Hoagland, design a beautiful studio with a tall ceiling and a fireplace as part of the home.  Both of the Wheelers tended to paint landscapes and portraits although Mrs. Wheeler also specialized in still lifes and silhouettes.

Clifton and Hilah Drake Wheeler Home--1913

Flower Stall, Indianapolis City Market by Hilah Drake Wheeler 1925, Courtesy of Indianapolis Museum of Art

Hibben Home, Pleasant Run Parkway by Hilah Drake Wheeler

Still Life by Hilah Drake Wheeler

Their daughter, Hilah Mary Wheeler (1911-2002) was also a talented artist in her own right.  She married George Remaily (1912-2004) and moved to Hammondsport, New York.  Mr. Remaily became renown as a viticulturist.  His grapes were used in wines throughout the US.

Hilah Mary Wheeler Remaily with her daughter, Hilah Katrina Remaily--1939 at 5317 Lowell Ave

Portrait by Hilah Mary Remaily

The elder Mrs. Wheeler remained at Lowell Avenue for much of her life.  Upon Clifton Wheeler's passing in 1953, she painted this scene in 1954 to capture what the room looked like upon his sad death at the age 69.  She later moved from the home to be near her daughter.  The historic images are courtesy of Bruce and Michele Oertel.  The scene below is only a partial view of the painting. You may learn more about the Wheelers by clicking on the link below.

Wheeler Studio by Hilah Drake Wheeler, 1954, courtesy of Bruce and Michele Oertel

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