Think about some of the most talented people you know. Often times, they will never be on American Idol, featured in a museum, or making the headlines. The success stories of Hollywood and the music industry tell of average Joes and Janes who manage to break through local popularity into national fame.
Quite comically, Justin Bieber started out singing on the street and Miley Cyrus stumbled into the spotlight because of her father's mullet.
I was made aware of an extremely talented Judson alumna by Ms. Judy Martin last semester. Her name is Margaret Eliza King Lumpkin. She was part of Judson's first graduating class and the daughter of Edwin D. King.
Some of you might recognize King's name, because he is considered one of the three principal founders of Judson College. His daughters all attended Judson and were some of the sisterhood's first members. If you're wondering what any of this has to do with talent, I'm glad you asked!
As mentioned earlier, Ms. Judy Martin told me about Margaret Eliza last semester in hopes that I would write a blog and raise awareness. Now I'm getting ahead of myself! Let me tell you about Margaret Eliza's contribution to the school.
Walk around Jewett Hall and one of the first things you see are LOTS of paintings. All of Judson's presidents, donors, founders, buildings, etc. have a portrait somewhere. The supporters of the college can't help it! They simply cannot have enough Judson memorabilia around the school and their homes. Now, back to the point, Judson periodically has paintings refurbished when signs of aging appear.
Ms. Martin took Edwin King's portrait to Nashville, TN to be repaired last semester. When the conserver got a closer look at the painting she was amazed. Margaret Eliza King Lumpkin painted the portrait of her father in 1879 from a tin type. Edwin King had died some time before it was painted and this was one of the family's gifts to the school. The conserver said that there is no way Margaret Eliza was a first time portrait painter.
What does that have to do with today?
Ms. Martin and I (along with numerous others) believe that Margaret Eliza has more paintings out there. In fact, Ms. Martin met this past week with one of King's descendents, Patty, to discuss the portrait. We are on the prowl for artwork done by Margaret Eliza. Here's what we know so far:
~We have traced some of her relatives to Selma, AL and Athens, GA.
~Her artwork could also be floating around the Perry County region.
~She signed her paintings as Emmy Lumpkin.
Hopefully we can recover the lost artwork of a former student and display her extraordinary talent once again. If you have any information that might help in this search, please call Judson College and ask for Ms. Judy Martin.