On this day in 1956, after years of illness and gradual memory loss, Irene Langhorne Gibson died on a farm in Greenwood, Virginia.
Her husband, the Massachusetts artist Charles Dana Gibson, used her as an inspiration (one of many, I’m sure) for the famous “Gibson Girl”—the newly emancipated post-Victorian woman whose “sporty jaw,” slender waist, and often indifferent gaze signified that she was at least equal, if not superior, to the gentlemen who called on her.
When the southern belle Langhorne married this fancy-pants northerner in 1895, even respectable historians declared that postbellum reconciliation had finally arrived.
Hogwash? You decide.
IMAGE: The Weaker Sex