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Annie Cogswell Wood & Irene Leache

andrew potter
Anna "Annie" Cogswell Wood (Aug. 2, 1850, Winchester, Frederick County, Virginia - Feb. 9, 1940, Florence, Toscana, Italy) was an American writer, art Collector, teacher and world traveler.

She wrote under her own name and the pseudonym Algernon Ridgeway. Her books include "Westover's Ward," "The Story of a Friendship," "Idyles and Impressions of Travel, From the Notebooks of Two Friends."

Along with her teacher and companion, Irene Kirke Leache (1839 - Dec. 2, 1900), she founded a school for girls, The Leach-Wood Seminary, in Norfolk, Virginia. The Norfolk Society of Arts, an offshoot of the school's alumnae association, funded the construction of the Norfolk Museum of Arts and Sciences. They ran the Leache-Wood Seminary for nearly two decades before retiring to Europe, where Leache died in 1900.

Upon the death of her friend of 30 years, Anna founded the Irene Leache Memorial Collection, now a part of the Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, Virginia.

Even if they died in Italy, they are both buried at Elmwood Cemetery, Norfolk, Norfolk City, Virginia, though not on the same plot. Epitaph for Irene reads "The thought of her past years is us doth breed perpetual benediction", that for Annie "Their works do follow them."


The Leache-Wood Seminary, facing Granby Street (from Artwork: Norfolk and Vicinity, Part VI, 1895 - Jean Outland Chrysler Library Rare Book Collection)
Annie Cogswell Wood was an American writer, art Collector, teacher and world traveler. She wrote under her own name and the pseudonym Algernon Ridgeway. Along with her teacher and companion, Irene Kirke Leache, she founded a school for girls, The Leach-Wood Seminary, in Norfolk, Virginia. They ran the Leache-Wood Seminary for nearly two decades before retiring to Europe, where Leache died in 1900. Upon the death of her friend of 30 years, Anna founded the Irene Leache Memorial Collection.


Annie Wood in Florence circa 1930 (Chrysler Museum of Art collection)

Source: www.chrysler.org/about-the-museum/irene-leache-memorial-foundati/

Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time by Elisa Rolle
Paperback: 760 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (July 1, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1500563323
ISBN-13: 978-1500563325
Amazon: Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time

Days of Love chronicles more than 700 LGBT couples throughout history, spanning 2000 years from Alexander the Great to the most recent winner of a Lambda Literary Award. Many of the contemporary couples share their stories on how they met and fell in love, as well as photos from when they married or of their families. Included are professional portraits by Robert Giard and Stathis Orphanos, paintings by John Singer Sargent and Giovanni Boldini, and photographs by Frances Benjamin Johnson, Arnold Genthe, and Carl Van Vechten among others. “It's wonderful. Laying it out chronologically is inspired, offering a solid GLBT history. I kept learning things. I love the decision to include couples broken by death. It makes clear how important love is, as well as showing what people have been through. The layout and photos look terrific.” Christopher Bram “I couldn’t resist clicking through every page. I never realized the scope of the book would cover centuries! I know that it will be hugely validating to young, newly-emerging LGBT kids and be reassured that they really can have a secure, respected place in the world as their futures unfold.” Howard Cruse “This international history-and-photo book, featuring 100s of detailed bios of some of the most forward-moving gay persons in history, is sure to be one of those bestsellers that gay folk will enjoy for years to come as reference and research that is filled with facts and fun.” Jack Fritscher


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