Teddy's Gifts

RC deWinter

Fairfield, United States

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© 2010 RC deWinter ~ All Rights Reserved

My brother Teddy was a bright and inquisitive boy. He was blessed with a decided scientific bent as well as a strong competitive streak.

Papa and Mama encouraged both of these natural proclivities. Although they were traditional in their core beliefs, my parents were also forward-thinking and could see that scientific knowledge would prepare Teddy for the changes that inevitably occurred with the passage of time. In addition, the notion of social Darwinism had gained popularity even in the farther reaches from intellectual ferment; they wanted Teddy, as their only son and natural heir to the family’s fortunes, to be a leader – a winner financially, socially and in his personal habits.

To this end, Papa, in the guise of Santa Claus during our childhood, would be sure that the jolly old elf gifted Teddy with amusements designed to teach as well as enchant. I particularly remember the Christmas when I was thirteen and Teddy, eleven. I received an embroidery kit and a beautifully bound and illustrated edition of ‘Little Women’ by the late but still revered Miss Alcott, along with various other items designed to promote useful and decorative feminine accomplishments.

Teddy, however, was the recipient of games to encourage mental as well as physical skills and educational materials to further his academic understanding and progress.

In this regard did the Santa bolster the common wisdom embraced by most somewhat educated and well-off parents of the times.
~ from the diary of Ellen Fall (1889-1965)

Digital oils from an original photograph shot December 4, 2010 at the Barnes Museum, Southington, Connecticut.

Tech specs: Photoshop, Filter Forge, Xero, DAP


Artwork Comments

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