Alice Brown Chittenden

Information and Paintings

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from a hand written note on the letterhead of the California Academy of Sciences

Department of Botany

Nov. 24, 1971

Elizabeth Hay Bechtel
Montecito, Calif.

Dear Betty:

What a privilege you conferred on the Bay Area community when you loaned the Alice Chittenden Wild Flower paintings to the Moya Library of the Marin Art and Garden Center! I made three visits while they were there: (1) to identify the flowers; (2) to attend the preview and reception, at which I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Cory; (3) to accompany a dozen or so members of the Calif. Bot. Club. I hope you had an opportunity to see them - the charming old Octagon House was a wonderful background for them – and yet so different from the wonderful setting they have in your home. I wish you could have been with the Botanical Club – it was such a beautiful autumn day, so a stroll around the grounds was an extra dividend.

At the reception I had the pleasure of meeting again Mrs. Chittenden’s granddaughter, Mrs. Robt. Larribeau. When she told me she had prepared a list of all the wild flower paintings, I asked her if I might borrow it, so that I could give you the data that became concealed when your selection of special paintings was framed. She has graciously loaned me her list and I have had sever copies done by Xerox for you and for the ??? (Illegible word). I am sending you a copy of Mrs. Larribeau’s list with this letter.

Then from that list I made a complete list of my own. I did this in order to bring the nomenclature up to date and to correct some misspellings and other miscellaneous data. Names or data where such changes have been made are indicated with a “check mark” on both the Larribeau and the Howell lists.

At the suggestion of Elizabeth McLintock I have indicated on the Howell list the names of plants that are not native –either naturalized or cultivated plants. Such names are marked “(X)”.

Both McLintock told me you have considered separating the non-native plant pictures from the rest. I hope you will not do this, since they are an integral part of this unique set of pictures, - and some of them are among Alice Chittenden’s most attractive studies. Of course, personally I am terribly prejudiced when it comes to “weeds” – my respect, admiration, and “love” for them was taught me by Alice Eastwood!

Many thanks to you for loaning your precious pictures – but see, your loan has paid a dividend!

Tom Howell