Buried alongside: Irene Leache
Anna "Annie" Cogswell Wood 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, 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. To honor her memory and her life-long devotion to the arts, Wood established in Norfolk the Irene Leache Library, which nurtured a growing art collection for a future museum in the city. Today, the Irene Leache Memorial Foundation continues to promote the cultural arts while building and maintaining the Irene Leache Memorial Collection. They are both buried at Elmwood Cemetery, Norfolk City, Virginia.
Together from 1870 to 1900: 30 years.
Anna "Annie" Cogswell Wood (August 2, 1850 - February 9, 1940)
Irene Kirke Leache (1839 - December 2, 1900)
Days of Love edited by Elisa Rolle
Release Date: September 21, 2014
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The Norfolk College for Young Ladies on Granby street, corner of Washington street, and the Leache-Wood Seminary on Freemason street, near Granby street, were erected for the purposes of female education, which had attained a very high standard in Norfolk in the XIX century
Address: One Memorial Place, Norfolk, Virginia 23510, USA (36.85639, -76.29298)
Type: Museum (open to public)
Phone: +1 (757) 664-6200
National Register of Historic Places: Downtown Norfolk Historic District (Granby, Freemason, Charlotte, Bute, and York Sts., College Pl. and Monticello Ave.), 01000613, 2001
The concept of the fine arts as a civic obligation took root in Norfolk in 1871, when two women arrived in the city and established a school for girls. Irene Leache and her student and companion Anna Wood ran the Leache-Wood Seminary for nearly two decades before retiring to Europe, where Leache died in 1900. To honor her memory and her life-long devotion to the arts, Wood established in Norfolk the Irene Leache Library, which nurtured a growing art collection for a future museum in the city.
Note: at Evergreen Memorial Park (Portsmouth, VA 23707), is buried Perry Ellis (1940-1986), American fashion designer who founded his eponymous sportswear house, in the mid-1970s. Ellis' influence on the fashion industry has been called "a huge turning point", as he introduced new patterns and proportions to a market which was dominated by more traditional men's clothing.
Who: Irene Leache (died December 2, 1900) and Anna Wood (1850-1940)
Miss Irene Leache and Miss Anna Wood, as they always were known, also hosted The Fireside Club, at which women and men discussed literature, philosophy, religion, and art. In 1891 as Leache’s health began to fail, they sold the school, moved abroad, and traveled across Europe, Russia, and the Middle East. In 1900, when it became clear that Leache had little time to live, the pair returned to Norfolk. She died, probably of tuberculosis, in December. In Mar. 1901, Wood, heartbroken but determined, founded the Irene Leache Memorial to perpetuate the memory and mission of her friend of 32 years. Having as its aim “all true illumination,” the group would provide lectures, concerts, and musical instruction, as well as aid and encourage the fine arts, literature, and the study of mystic science. Among its loftiest goals was to gather works of art—and to establish a Museum for their display and preservation. Wood enlisted the support of her seminary alumni before returning to Florence to begin sending artworks back to Norfolk. Until Wood’s death in 1940 and in the years that followed, the Leache-Wood protégés not only formed an art collection; they also became allies and arts activists, fostering cultural activities across the city. The vision and pioneering efforts of the Irene Leache Memorial led not only to the creation of the Norfolk Museum of Arts and Sciences, but to the founding of the Norfolk Symphony Orchestra, the Little Theater, the Norfolk Society of Arts, and the Tidewater Artists Association, and support for a host of other leading arts organizations in Hampton Roads. The Irene Leache Memorial Foundation has donated its entire collection of European Old Master paintings, sculpture, tapestries, and decorative arts to the Chrysler Museum of Art. Leache and Wood are both buried at Elmwood Cemetery (238 E Princess Anne Rd, Norfolk, VA 23510), in separate plots.
Queer Places, Vol. 1 edited by Elisa Rolle
Release Date: July 24, 2016
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