The painted lady at Modern Photo

MildredIThe text reads: “The story goes, that in the 1950s local artist Eddie Starr publicly took on Neal Cobb’s mother Mildred, regarded by most as an excellent painter. He did so because she painted from photos as did Roy Powers in later years. Starr asserted that this method lacked originality because they looked like photographs. In a pique, Mildred set up an easel in Modern Photo’s display window on Second Street. On the canvas, in public view, over a span of many weeks she painted an intricate representation of a human skeleton, from memory. Time marched on, and when the skeleton was completed, she fleshed in the bones with muscles and tendons, veins and arteries – from memory a la Leonardo da Vinci. A growing lunchtime crowd gathered each day. Next came skin, covering the muscles, until a drop-dead gorgeous life-size nude eventually graced the window at 28 East Second Street. All from memory.
“Neal recalls that Mildred only grudgingly omitted the middle digit of one of the Modern Photo lady’s hands daintily extending from the proximal interphalangeal joint as a public greeting to her detractor Eddie Starr.”

5 thoughts on “The painted lady at Modern Photo

  1. So cool…read the article in the paper and then got on the computer and there she was!

  2. Life-size nude on display in a window on 2nd Street in the 1950’s. 2014 they are complaining about pictures on the Wild Orchid billboard.

    My, how times have changed.

  3. Hello, Mr. Breckenridge and “Old Reno Guy.”: I liveed in Reno all my life, and well remember that beautiful portrait you described, but did not know the story behind it. Wow. That is a great historical story! Thank you. Betty

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