Friday, June 19, 2009

Having A Priest in the Family

Virginia Hendrickson Irvin (1904–1992)
Father Charles E. Irvin, Jr. (1967)
Watercolor on ivory in gilded wood frame 3 in. diam. (7.6 cm)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Not many of us are fortunate to have our portrait painted. Even fewer I would suspect would have our portrait hung or in a collection of a distinguished and prestigious Museum or Art Gallery.

Father Charles Irvin is therefore one of the few.

He was ordained in 1967 and is now in “active retirement”. He was founding editor of Faith magazine, published by the Diocese of Lansing, Michigan.

His very interesting website is at

The portrait in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York was on the occasion of the ordination of Father Irvin on 3rd June 1967. It was painted by Father Irvin`s mother. It came into the ownership of Father Irvin who then gifted it to the Museum in memory of his mother.

Mrs Irvin was a distinguished miniatuarist. As well as having some other works accepted for the Metropolitan, her works are also in the Smithsonian American Art Museum.