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Painter & potter liked flowers

Painter & potter liked flowers
Potter Wheel

Painter and sculptor Edith Lotterhos, born in 1888, was the only daughter of well-known merchant Augustus Lotterhos and his wife Magdalene Lieb. Her father and his family came from Germany to the U.S., arriving by boat at New Orleans, later settling in Crystal Springs, while other members of his family chose Summit.

Meliora “Ora” Newton Gibson, the Crystal Springs painter, and well-known artist Marie Hull taught Lotterhos, who also cultivated her art skills and made long-lasting friends at several colleges, receiving her primary education at Newton Female Institute, graduating from Mississippi Synodical College, a Presbyterian school at Holly Springs in 1909, earning a certification to teach kindergarten from Newcomb College at Tulane in 1914 and making other educational stops at the University of Chicago and the University of California at Berkley.

In the 1920s. Lotterhos joined the Mississippi Art Association, became an active member and started exhibiting her works. The Municipal Art Gallery (known as the “Clubhouse”), which opened in 1929, honored her as its first artist as a lone exhibitor, displaying 60 of her oil and watercolor paintings, nine handmade and cast pottery pieces and an assortment of clay modeling, basketry and hand-painted china. She would go on to win many ribbons, honors and prizes over the years, along with a cousin, Helen J. Lotterhos, also known as an outstanding artist.

Lotterhos participated in the Crystal Springs Floral Club, Southern States Art League, New Orleans Art Association and the Arts and Crafts Club of New Orleans. On one occasion, she hosted a Crystal Spring Floral Club Original Day at her home in which local authors competed for an engraved silver loving cup with their name, and Flo Hampton’s “Preachin’ All Day” received the grand prize. She exhibited in New Orleans on several occasions, mostly displaying works in which flowers around her Georgetown Street home in Crystal Springs were the subjects – wisteria, japonicas, black-eyed Susans and petunias.

Foregoing marriage, Lotterhos took care of her father until 1945 and painted in their old home in Crystal Springs following her mother’s death in 1920. Lotterhos died in 1965, and her family’s old home, which had withered over the years, was torn down in 1972 to make way for expansion of the Methodist Church. Lotterhos is buried under a simple marker with the word “Artist” with her parents in Crystal Springs Cemetery. Her works are scattered, with a few, such as “Camellias” and “Chrystanthemums,” in the hands of Mississippi collectors.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Throughout the 2023 Copiah County Bicentennial year, Wesson News will feature sketches of past and present visual artists, musicians, authors and photographers who are natives of the county.They will be excerpted from Tricia Nelson’s reporting in A Shared History:Copiah County, Mississippi 1823-2023 edited and compiled by Paul C. Cartwright and available through Cartwright for $25 plus $5 for shipping at 3 Waverly Circle, Hattiesburg, MS 39402.Nelson is a Crystal Springs writer who contributes to the Copiah County Monitor


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