Re: May C Munson, artist 1902-1906, possibly from Waterbury - Who was she?

Mike McHenry

This sounds like a commissioned commercial artist. Was your family wealthy at the time?  Did you find her in the 1900 or 1910 census?

On Mon, Oct 26, 2020 at 11:03 AM billjosey via <> wrote:
Looking for info about May C Munson who painted two oil paintings that have been handed down in our extended family.  The two paintings are nearly identical, and they are paintings of the home of our ancestor, Rasmus Hansen (1824-1894), who was a clockmaker in Skibby, Sjælland, Denmark.  They were painted in 1902 and 1906.  The 1902 painting is in one branch of the family and the 1906 painting is in another branch.  I'm trying to determine who May C Munson was and why she would have painted two pictures of our ancestral home.  I've done extensive genealogical research on the family over the past 50 years, and I have no evidence that she was related to us.

Here is what we know about May C Munson:

- She painted an oil painting in 1902 of the Skibby, Denmark, home of Rasmus Hansen for Theodore M. S. Hansen, resident of Waterbury, as a gift for his parents Anton Mathias Hansen & Mariane Christine Hansen.  Mariane was born in the house.
- She painted an oil painting in 1906 of the same house for Nikoline Olivia Hansen Petersen (or for her daughter Elna), resident of Waterbury, who was also born in the Skibby house.
- she signed both paintings "May C Munson"
- She painted a watercolor in 1900 that was auctioned in 2018 on ebth.comThe signature looks the same as the one on the 1906 painting in our family.  You can see it at
- She painted a water scene that is also in the family.  I don't know whether it is a watercolor or an oil.
- Olivia's granddaughter Ramona Madison Bendell (now deceased) said in 1994 that she thought May Munson roomed with someone in the family on West Main St. or Bishop St.  She referred to Munson as "Miss May Munson."  Ramona was about 80 years old at the time of this conversation, so I don't take the details of something that occurred before her birth in 1914 as necessarily accurate.  (She would have heard this information from her mother, Elna.)  Olivia Hansen and her husband Niels Peter Petersen lived at 716 West Main Street in Waterbury in 1900-1901, 48 Manhan St. 1902-1904, and after he died in 1905, Olivia lived at 19 Willow St until 1910.

Two images of the 1906 painting are attached.  One shows the overall painting; the other is a close-up of the signature.  I'm hoping somebody recognizes the name.  Any clues are welcome!

Bill Josey
A Connecticut transplant in Kensington, Maryland


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