NANNIE HUDDLE (1860 - 1951)
Nannie Huddle was born in Mobile, Alabama in 1860, the third of six daughters of Leonora (Moss) and Benjamin Franklin Carver. When she was a young girl her family moved to Austin, where she attended St. Mary's Academy. There she received her first art lessons from a nun who arranged for her work to be critiqued by William Henry Huddle, a painter of historical scenes and portraits who moved to Austin in 1876.
Nannie and Huddle were married ten years later, at which time Nannie temporarily gave up painting. They had a daughter in 1891. After her husband's premature death in 1892, Mrs. Huddle withdrew from most outside contact for a period of about eight years, she began painting again in 1894. She concluded that she needed further training, and in the early 1900s spent several years in New York City, where she studied at the Art Students League. Additonally, she studied with T. S. Frackelton in Chicago.
Huddle taught at the Texas School for the Deaf, a position she held until her retirement in the mid-1940s. In addition to teaching, Nannie Huddle became a close friend and the sole pupil of Elisabet Ney, with whom she studied sculpture from 1903 until Ney's death in 1907. Huddle soon returned to her first love, flower painting. She is credited as one of the first in the state to paint fields of bluebonnets, and as a wildflower painter.
The first solo exhibition of her work was mounted in February 1933 by the Austin Woman's Club, and in 1943 she exhibited landscapes and flower arrangements at the Texas Federation of Women's Clubs headquarters in Austin. Selections of her wildflower paintings were periodically exhibited at the University of Texas, where they won praise for scientific accuracy as well as loveliness. Nannie Huddle was a member of the Southern States Art League and the Austin Art League.
She died on July 21, 1951. Two years later, her paintings were displayed with her husband's in a joint show at the Texas Fine Arts Festival in Austin, and in 1989 Fannie Huddle's sculptures were included in the exhibition A Century of Sculpture in Texas, 1889-1989. Examples of her work are included in the collections of the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center and the Texas Memorial Museum, both located at the University of Texas at Austin.