Page 36 – At last they came to rest

by Kelley Smoot Garrett
Austin, Texas

In this self-portrait, Letitia summed up her frustrations of being a bird in a gilded cage. While surrounded by quite magnificent wealth and opulence, she still was not free to choose to be an artist, and to not choose motherhood and family life – then the only socially-accepted role, suitable for all women, of all races, creeds, religions, and financial class in 1941. Nothing her aunt, Mary Pickford, had achieved – which were considerable film industry, charitable, and philanthropic firsts ever, in all humanity – had altered the very structured roles assigned to women, even her niece.

Letitia Fairbanks as the Lonely Princess

Left: Portrait of Letitia Fairbanks by an unknown photographer, circa 1945.
Right: Letitia’s self portrait of the Lonely Princess from her 1941 fairy tale, Princess April Morning-Glory.

This was a huge issue in Letitia’s life – self-determination. So I’ll leave it at that. Till next week dear readers…

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