An Artist Moves In to Board, June 1903, New York City

Lessons and life continued on for Edith Vail Ross after her thrilling audition, singing for Mr. Conried’s representative at the Metropolitan Opera House. Her voice lessons with Mr. Desci in the mornings continued and were followed right after with the dramatic lessons with Miss Collins. Edith was happy with the back to back instruction time as it left her afternoons free to practice and visit.

She wrote her parents about meeting up with George Vail Allen, a cousin from Fair Haven Vermont, to help him pick out wedding presents. They ended up selecting a Preserve Dish made of Bohemian Glass and he purchased a tea set for his mother’s upcoming birthday and for Edith’s assistance on the shopping excursion, a pin tray.

In Miss Schirmer’s boarding house residents were changing. Mr. Voight cleared out of his rooms as his Eleventh Regiment was moving out into the field for training in Peekskill in Westchester County upstate New York. In his place was a new resident who Edith describes, “Miss Schirmer has a little friend coming to spend a week. She is a servant girl, 18 years old who has come here from California to study art. Her father is not very well off and she is very poor. Her mother was a cousin of Mrs. Marins and so Miss Schirmer has become interested in her and is going to keep her all she can. She is a dear little thing. Miss Schirmer had her here to dinner once. She has been on a visit to an Aunt in Pennsylvania for a month and now is coming back and Miss Schirmer has invited her to spend a week here. I expect to enjoy her very much. Her name is Margaret McKay”.

Margaret McKay Tee (1882-1955) drawing of the California Coast

Margaret McKay Tee (1882-1955) drawing of the California Coast

Margaret McKay became Margaret McKay Tee and is described in New School Library Archives in the following Finders Guide to her papers under the Kellen Design Archives:

“Margaret McKay Tee (1882-1955) came to New York from Cripple Creek, Colorado in 1902 to attend Cooper Union. Frank Alvah Parsons, whom she met at Columbia Teacher’s College, later hired Tee as a student instructor at the New York School of Art (soon thereafter renamed the New York School of Fine and Applied Art). After moving back to Colorado, Tee carried on a correspondence with Parsons for many years.” and additionally “Margaret McKay Tee was born in 1882 and raised in Pennsylvania until her family moved to Colorado. Following her education at Colorado College, she trained at New York’s Cooper Union and Columbia Teacher’s College, where she met Frank Alvah Parsons. Tee subsequently worked for Parsons as a student instructor when he joined the faculty of the New York School of Fine and Applied Art (later, Parsons The New School for Design). Before her marriage to John Tee in 1913, she also apprenticed with Jean Griest, a New York decorator. The Tees returned to Colorado and eventually settled at Brinton Terrace, an artists’ colony in Denver. During World War II, Tee and her husband worked at the Ogden Air Service Command base. As part of her professional career, Tee was a consulting designer for such notable companies as Bigelow Carpet Persian Rug Company, Cyrus Boutwell, and Emden & Wormser. She served as art director and teacher at the Graland Country Day school for fifteen years. She also taught fine art and design at several other schools in the Denver area, including the Denver Academy of Art, Colorado Women’s College, and Colorado University, as well as Denver’s Vocational High School.”

About Guenevere Crum

Guenevere Crum is an artist and a great granddaughter of Edith and Paul Eisler. She has been actively sleuthing her Eisler - Vail Ross heritage since 1999.
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3 Responses to An Artist Moves In to Board, June 1903, New York City

  1. Kelsey says:

    I stumbled upon your blog doing research on Margaret McKay. I have really enjoyed reading your blog, and I was wondering if you could email me with any information you have on her. I am especially interested in her paintings and drawings. I had never seen the one included in this blog post. Thank you so much!

  2. Pingback: Striking A Deal- Piano Lessons for a Portrait | edithandpaul

  3. Pingback: Dramatic Lessons at the Chelsea, June 1903 | edithandpaul

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