Irene Langhorne Gibson, the "Gibson Girl"
    1873 - 1956

Beautiful, charming, gentle, caring, civic minded - these are words one might use to describe Irene.

From the time she was a teenager, Irene attracted attention. She played the piano quite well, and her lovely voice was often heard as she sang in charity revues. She was the "belle of the ball," chosen to lead cotillions, not only locally but also in New Orleans, Philadelphia, and New York.

But in those days even a debutante was expected to settle down and marry. After declining 62 proposals of marriage, she said "yes" to the well-know artist and illustrator Charles Dana Gibson. They were married in 1895 in Richmond, and after an extended honeymoon in Europe, they lived in New York, and later also on an island off the coast of Maine.

Irene became Dana's inspiration. Her interests often became those of the women he depicted. The clothes she wore and the way she styled her hair set fashions, and the term "Gibson Girl' came to mean more than a pretty girl in a picture - now it was a person.

Throughout her life Irene was an inspiration to many. She was politically active -marching with the suffragettes, participating in presidential campaigns, and being a convention delegate. She was a strong proponent of education for women and an active participant in many charities.

As Irene's grandson Langhorne Gibson said of her, she "left behind a legacy of kindness and love, strength and passion."