Folly acquires old paintings
Published 9:33 pm Wednesday, April 24, 2013
A set of four watercolor drawings of Union positions near Suffolk during the Civil War recently surfaced and came back home to Peanut City.
Riddick’s Folly acquired the artwork from the estate of a Hampton woman who died several years ago. She was a collector, according to Marc Ramsey of Owens and Ramsey Historical Booksellers, who helped appraise the collection.
The woman’s books were
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donated to Christopher Newport University, per her wishes. But her collection of artwork was another story.
“I thought Suffolk would be the ideal place for them,” Ramsey said. “This way, they can be shared with the public.”
Ramsey emailed Riddick’s Folly and inquired if they wanted them. After some back-and-forth on the price, Lee King of Riddick’s Folly approached Frank Monahan, who agreed to purchase the paintings and donate them to the Folly.
The scenes depict battlefields and ruined mills in the Suffolk area. They were done by Acting Adjutant 2nd Lt. Frank M. Weaver of the Third New York Volunteers.
King said he is “ecstatic” the drawings have come home to Suffolk. They hang in a group on the third floor of the house-turned-museum, which was built by Mills Riddick in 1837 with the insurance settlement from a widespread fire that burned several of his buildings.
During the Civil War, the Union Army commandeered the home for Gen. John J. Peck’s headquarters. It now displays artifacts from the Riddick family, the Civil War and the period during which the house was occupied.