A reluctant smile crosses the artist’s face. “My marriage to George Tradd was very brief. I think the beginning of the end was somewhere between the church and the reception and the end of the end wasn’t far behind. I’m not complaining. It was a very nice party. And it did leave me with two valuable things. It balanced my name and it convinced me I never needed to do that again. I like the cadence- Elizabeth Anne Wentworth Tradd. As I say, it’s nicely balanced.”
She doesn’t like to discuss her own looks and she prefers not to be photographed. “I can never decide if we were pretty children, or our mothers just said so. I can’t completely ignore my appearance-I am in the beauty business, after all. There’s not much point in pretending otherwise. Audubon likes to sneak in a little carnage now and then. He’s eager for people to know that nature can be dangerous, but I’d rather stick with the beauty.” She says this as if Audubon had just left the room.
And just as quickly, she is back to her ex one more time. “ He was baptized ‘ St. George’, which he never was when I knew him. I don’t know why he’s on my mind. Maybe it’s the snakes I’ve been looking at.” She pauses for effect, then grins. “ I can’t blame him, really. I was the one who left. He was the one who had to scream and shout. We thought Santa Fe would be different, but it was just wrong for me. I hate to admit this. I missed the humidity. I had to leave the West behind and come home to South Carolina. You know what they say, ‘it was all a long time ago.’ “
“My work isn’t girly, but I don’t think of it as particularly severe or masculine.” She denies the rumor that her gender is some kind of marketing trick. “ I never tried to keep it a secret that I’m a woman. I don’t know that I could if I wanted to. I just want this all to be about the pictures, not ‘Society divorcee blah blah blah.’ If people assume that Wentworth Tradd is a man, that’s fine with me, as long as they buy his pictures. I really don’t know why they would assume that, though. Look at the backgrounds. Diamonds are a girl’s best friend.”
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