Ted Braithwaite

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Ted Braithwaite was a close friend of Luigi Rist for many years.  While he worked at the Christian Science Monitor, he was instrumental in showcasing Rist's prints in a number of issues.  While Braithwaite didn't sell very much of his art during his life, two of his daughters have produced a book of his work and have a WEB site.  I found out about them because I bid on a "Nude" print signed by both Braithwaite and Rist on Ebay in 2000.  Because of my bid, I was contacted by Joan Braithwaite Haller and got a copy of the Braithwaite book.  My intial interest was in the print and I asked if they knew anything about it.  Here Joan's reply:

"There isn't anything on my site about the collaboration because the eBay auction was the first I knew of Louie making prints from my dad's drawings. Turns out that there are *three* nudes that I've since learned about. Two are claimed to be 1937 work and my dad isn't credited on them, but I know them to be the same date as the 1932 piece you bid on, and I KNOW that they were based on sketches by my dad (trust me, I'd know my dad's work anywhere!)."

She went on to elaborate on memories of Louie (Luigi) Rist in the text that follows:

"About my dad and Louie: Louie was a big part of our lives from 1925 until 1935 when my parents separated and my dad moved to Boston. It started when Sigurd Skou moved from Chicago back to New York (he was a citizen of the world, it seems) and taught at the Grand Central School. Louie became one of his students. My dad, who had studied with Skou in Chicago, went to New York in the mid-1920s to study again with Skou. He met Louie through Skou and the three of them were an inseparable trio cruising the bars at night. Skou died in the late 20s; Louie and my dad were co-executors of Skou's estate as well as beneficiaries of all his studio equipment (I received this information from Skou's niece)."

"When Louie would stay overnight in Manhattan, he bunked with us. I was born in 1930, at the start of the Great Depression, and my mother told me many times how Louie would get up in the wee hours of the morning to visit the neighbors' doorsteps. When he found someone with more than one quart of milk delivered, he'd take one "for the baby" (me). Yes, he stole for me, but he was scrupulously ethical about never taking the ONLY bottle of milk. He was a good man, and I really love that story. Louie and my dad remained close friends for many years. When Louie decided to retire and leave New Jersey where he'd apparently lived all his life until then, he purchased a farmhouse in Whitingham VT to be near my dad who had a "country home" there. Later they may have had a falling out - or perhaps Louie just didn't like the cold winters in Vermont - and he (Louie) moved to Pennsylvania. But he kept the Vermont house and used to visit in the summers."

"Louie's wife, Ida, was an interesting character in her own right. Louie married relatively late in life (in his mid 40s), and the marriage surprised everyone because he was considered a confirmed bachelor. Louie's brother, Ben, had always lived with Louie and continued to share the family home with them. Ida worked - sometimes two jobs - so that Louie could do his woodcuts full-time. She believed he was destined for greatness (and I think time is beginning to prove his genius). Ida apparently considered my dad a bad influence on Louie; she'd worked hard to get him to "settle down", and she didn't like him to drink - which my dad did a lot of. I've received a very thorough bio of Louie (with only a few minor errors that I'm aware of) and catalog of his work. It includes many mentions of both my dad and of Sigurd Skou."

"I'm attaching a pair of Louie's prints that I have in my personal collection (one was a wedding present to me and one a gift to my mother). "Paper Doily" is one of his more popular works while "Roses #4" seems to be relatively rare, perhaps even unknown."

- Joan