Four Loves

For some time I have been trying, very sporadically, to reconstruct the lives of four Salem women called Love:  Love Rawlins Pickman (1709-1786), Love Pickman (Frye,1732-1809), Love Frye (Oliver, Knight, 1750-1839) and another Love Rawlins Pickman (1786-1863). The first Love, from a prominent Boston family, married Benjamin Pickman of Salem and gave birth to the second Love, who married into another prominent (though unfortunately Loyalist) Massachusetts family named Frye, and gave birth to the third Love. The second Love Rawlins Pickman, a friend of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s wife Sophia, was, I believe, a granddaughter of the first, niece of the second, and cousin of the third. They are all part of the wealthy and influential Pickman family of Salem, whom I have mentioned several times before on this blog in reference to their amazing houses:  here and here. The two Love Rawlins Pickmans really are Salem women–one is buried in the old Broad Street cemetery which I can see from my study, the other up in North Salem–while the in-between Loves, Loyalists that they were, are buried in Britain. I could flesh out more by engaging in more genealogical research but (like most professional historians that I know), I have very little patience for that pursuit, preferring the forest to the trees. What I’m really curious about is:  which Love Pickman made these beautiful embroidered pictures?

Pickman Embroidered Picture 2

Pickman Embroidered Picture 1

Pickman the Kiss Given

Pickman the Kiss Returned

Silk embroidered pictures by Love Rawlins Pickman,
including The Kiss Given, and The Kiss Returned, after 1747, The M. and M. Karolik Collection of Eighteenth-Century American Arts, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

The curators at the Museum of Fine Art, Boston, attribute these amazing pictorial embroideries to the second Love Pickman, and of course they’re probably correct, but I can find no reference to her as Love Rawlins Pickman, and she would have been quite young, in her early to mid-teens. As a girl from a wealthy Massachusetts colonial family, no doubt she would have been tutored in needlework (though not at the famous Salem school run by Sarah Stivours, which came a bit later: 1778-1794) but I’m wondering if this another extraordinary example of schoolgirl art or perhaps Mrs. Pickman indulged in such artistic pursuits? This is just one query about the elusive-but-everywhere Pickman family–I’ve got lots more.


5 responses to “Four Loves

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