|Birth: ||Jun. 24, 1859|
|Death: ||Jul. 16, 1944|
Mrs. Annie Morgan, Artist of Note, Dies at Age 85
Mrs. Annie Stephenson Morgan, nationally known artist, clubwoman, world traveler and Methodist lay leader, died at her home, 916 Trigg, at 12:35 yesterday morning. She was 85 and had been in failing health several months.
Recalled Civil War
Daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Franklin Clark Stephenson, Mrs. Morgan was born on a plantation south of Memphis. As a child she saw both this Confederate and Federal Armies on the march, and several times, she frequently related, Federal Soldiers invaded the home of her parents to take whatever pleased their fancy.
After the war, Mrs. Morgan heard many thrilling battle storied from the lips of a military leader she never forgot- General Nathan Bedford Forrest. General Forrest was a frequent visitor in the Stephenson home, and Mrs. Morgan often recalled how she would sit on the General's knee as he told her tales of conflict.
Mrs. Morgan attended the old State Female College, located what is now College and McLemore. A girlhood ambition to be an artist grew stronger with the years. She began the study of art under the late Miss Kate Carl and the late Madam Stradella here and later studied in St. Louis and New York before going to Paris in 1889. She remained in Paris a year and then went to Italy to study under noted art teachers there.
First Art Chairman
Upon her return to Memphis, Mrs. Morgan opened a studio and later taught art at St. Mary's Episcopal School and at the old Higbee School. She also tutored many private pupils, some of whom achieved distinction as artists and architects. She was the first art chairman of Nineteenth Century Club, and it was principally through her efforts that the first large art collections from New York and Boston were exhibited here.
Mrs. Morgan had charge of the Memphis Art Exhibit at the Tennessee Centennial at Nashville in 1896 and at the St. Louis World's Fair in 1904. She exhibited her paintings at the Charleston Exposition, and for more than 50 years she had paintings exhibited at art shows throughout the country each year. She gave away hundreds of her best paintings, some of which have been on display at Brooks Memorial Art Gallery, an institution to which she was especially devoted.
Mrs. Morgan produced much of her best work after she was 60 and did not lay her skilled brush aside until after she was 83. A few days before her death she requested that certain of her paintings be brought to her bedside. She would inspect these with the practiced eye of a true artist and then plan pictures she hoped to paint in the future. "The greatest desire of my life has been to create an interest in art in Memphis." She said a few days ago.
Wrote for Paper
Mrs. Morgan has traveled extensively, and wherever she went, she always visited the art galleries first. She spent many hours taking notes on exhibitions she attended abroad, and she served as a special correspondent for the Commercial Appeal on her trips to Europe.
Mrs. Morgan was married to Dr. E. W. Morgan, a Confederate veteran, in 1892. I the first wedding ceremony performed in the old Mississippi Avenue Methodist Church. Their son, the Rev. Edwin L. Morgan, entered the ministry from Southside Methodist Church, Now Calvary Methodist, into which Mississippi Avenue Church was incorporated.
She turned the first spade of earth for the new Calvary Church building, and she spent much of her time in beautifying the church grounds. She was active in women's work of the church, and often visited her son's churches in West Tennessee and Kentucky, always to the inspiration of the congregation. A suggestion by Mrs. Morgan led to one of the greatest revivals ever held by Greenland Heights Methodist Church, where her son served his first charge. The Rev. Mr. Morgan also held pastorates at Stephenson's Chapel, Longview Heights, Oakville, Mt. Vernon, Camp Ground and other churches in the Memphis District. Mrs. Morgan's father gave the land for Stephenson's Chapel.
Mrs. Morgan was active in club Work and civic organizations. She was a member of the Nineteenth Century Club, The Press and Arthur's Club, and was a charter member of Greenwood Civic Club. She formerly took a leading part in work of the Parent-Teachers Association. In recognition of her long and faithful service to the city, one of the trees in Magnolia Tribute Circle in Chickasaw Gardens was dedicated to her last year.
She leaves another son, F. Weston Morgan; a daughter, Miss Anne D. Morgan, both of Memphis; a brother, Robert Lee Stephenson of Oakland, Calif., and three grandchildren, Corp. Charles Weston Morgan of the Army, Miss Anna Virginia Morgan and Joseph Lee Morgan, both of Memphis.
By Walter L. Durham, published in Memphis Newspaper
From death certificate
Father: Franklin C. Stephenson (Ala)
Mother: Emily Germany (GA)
Franklin Clark Stephenson (1826 - 1885)
Emily Camilla Germany Stephenson (1828 - 1904)
Ephriam Weston Morgan (1847 - 1935)*
Frank Weston Morgan (1893 - 1969)*
Anne D. Short Morgan (1895 - 1969)*
Edwin Lee Morgan (1897 - 1973)*
Olivia Watson Stephenson Weaver (1850 - ____)*
Millard Alfred Stephenson (1856 - ____)*
Walter Clarence Stephenson (1857 - 1897)*
Annie Germany Stephenson Morgan (1859 - 1944)
Maggie Cassander Stephenson Maynard (1861 - 1891)*
William Pleasant Stephenson (1867 - 1880)*
God is Love
Stephenson Chapel Cemetery
Created by: Neil Loftiss
Record added: Jun 07, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 38028579