Wednesday, December 21, 2016

HvS IN VERMONT | Painting, Trapp Family Lodge, 1950

Hilda van Stockum doing a plein air demo of her painting at
or near the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vt. In the background
is surely Mt. Mansfield, Vermont's highest peak.
The photo at left appears to be from a visit of HvS to the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vt. in about 1950.

The Marlins spent a few weeks at a Music Camp at the Lodge in about 1947, right after the death of Georg [von]* Trapp.

We all learned to play instruments – especially the recorder – and to sing in parts. Most of the music was religious because the Trapps' brilliant but forgotten (i.e., not in the script of the Sound of Music) musicologist was Fr. Franz Wasner.

The Trapp Family Lodge  experience kindled a desire by our Dad to expose us to more culture and led to the multi-week vacation trips that we took around Europe in our Volkswagen bus in 1954-55.

A photo of HvS from around 1950.
Maria [von] Trapp ran the camp with a firm and businesslike hand. She invited Mom to return to provide one of the activities for Lodge visitors – plein air painting. So Mom painted for her supper and was invited back several times, according to her daughter Lis.


*The "von" is in square brackets because it helps identify Maria Trapp as the wife of "Baron" von Trapp, who became famous through the movie The Sound of Music. When the Trapps became U.S. citizens, they forswore titles, and the "von" in the German language connotes nobility. (In Dutch, it does not.)

Corvette Captain Georg Johannes Ritter [Knight] von Trapp (1880–1947), incorrectly referred to in The Sound of Music as Baron [Freiherr] von Trapp, earned his fame as WW1 Austro-Hungarian Navy officer.  Submarines SM U-5 and SM U-14 under his command sank 13 Allied ships totaling about 45,669 gross register tons. Following Austria-Hungary's defeat and  collapse, Trapp returned to his family but in 1922 lost his first wife to scarlet fever. Most of his children were by his first wife.

Five years later, Georg von Trapp married his children's governess, former novice Maria Augusta Kutschera, who trained the children to sing and perform to earn money after most family wealth was wiped out by a bank failure. After the Anschluss, von Trapp refused to serve in the Nazi Navy. Instead, he fled to Italy and then to the United States, where he bought a farm in Vermont and lived there until his death in 1947. The Lodge is now run by a grandson of Georg and Maria von Trapp.

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