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Natural Selection: An Evangelist, a Babysitter, and the Family they Loved

Stern family standing in front of Nature's Fan painting
Art Unbound
Art Unbound
Natural Selection: An Evangelist, a Babysitter, and the Family they Loved
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In 1881, William-Adolphe Bouguereau painted Nature’s Fan (also known as Girl with Child) — a large oil painting depicting a young woman and a small child playing in the clearing of a wooded area. It currently hangs in the European Art galleries of the Portland Art Museum on a long-term loan from Helen and Jerome (Jerry) Stern. This episode of the Portland Art Museum Podcast is about this painting’s journey from Bouguereau’s studio to the walls of the Museum, focusing specifically on the last 50 years. What started as a family’s search for a babysitter resulted in the chance meeting that would lead Helen and Jerry to inherit this painting and inspire a lifetime and legacy of collecting art.

This episode is narrated by Jerry and Helen’s grandson, Jonathan Singer. Jonathan’s sister Anna’s artwork can be found at the Portland Art Museum’s Rental Sales Gallery.

Featured in this episode

Jonathan Singer, Partner at Bard Singer, PC
Helen Stern, philanthropist

Produced by Jon Richardson
Intro/Outro music by Jon Richardson
All other music by Mark Orton

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