In a previous post, I discussed the beautiful frescoes at the William S. Simmons Plantation. I have done a good deal of research trying to learn more about these frescoes. After writing the previous post, I emailed the people responsible for the beautiful restoration at Beauvoir - Linda Croxson and Philip Ward - in the hope they might be able to point me towards some resources that might aid in my research. Mr. Ward was kind enough to respond and confirmed what I had suspected - it is difficult to determine the identity of the artist unless original documentation exists.
"Unfortunately that information rarely survives and is not often available," Ward wrote.
That regrettably may be the case with the William S. Simmons Plantation, but I will keep looking. There was some good news however. Upon reviewing the interior photos, Mr. Ward is of the opinion the frescoes were done in the same time period as those at Beauvoir - the early 1850s.
"It does seem to be of similar style and quality, and dates from around the same period, but that is a reflection of the fashion of that time for first-class work," he wrote.
He also confirmed what my research had indicated to date - there are not many of these frescoes remaining.
"The quality of work you are dealing with at the Simmons Plantation was once extremely popular and geographically widespread but over time a great deal of it has disappeared," Ward wrote.
We are very fortunate to be able to enjoy such historic, beautiful and now rare artistry.