Katherine Maren Mortenson, 18901935 (aged 44 years)

Name
Katherine Maren /Mortenson/
Surname
Mortenson
Given names
Katherine Maren
Also known as
Mortenson Carr
Birth
Marriage
Death of a son
Death of a father
Death
Burial
Family with parents
father
Mortensen, Jacob
18471924
Birth: September 15, 1847 Dänemark
Death: May 25, 1924USA
mother
Marriage MarriageDecember 18, 1888Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
18 months
herself
Mortenson Carr, Katherine Maren
18901935
Birth: June 18, 1890 42 23 USA
Death: May 13, 1935Großbritannien
7 months
younger brother
Father’s family with Margaret Davis
father
Mortensen, Jacob
18471924
Birth: September 15, 1847 Dänemark
Death: May 25, 1924USA
stepmother
Marriage MarriageFayette, Missouri, USA
half-brother
Family with George Russell Carr
husband
Carr, George Russell
18781965
Birth: January 23, 1878 USA
Death: 1965
herself
Mortenson Carr, Katherine Maren
18901935
Birth: June 18, 1890 42 23 USA
Death: May 13, 1935Großbritannien
Marriage Marriage1913Chicago, Illinois, USA
2 years
daughter
daughter
son
Source citation
Source citation
Note

Born in Wisconsin.

Katherine Maren Mortenson graduated with honors from Wellesley College in 1912. Her Wellesley class secretaries wrote upon her death (in 1935):

"One of the most brilliant members of our class died May 13 in London....The beauty and charm of her radiant personality have lived and will continue to live in our memories. Her friendliness, delightful sense of humor, and enthusiasm in whatever she undertook endeared her to all with whom she worked or played. She was outstanding in scholarship; talented in music, writing and dramatics; served as class secretary, Shakespeare president, and president of the Chicago Wellesley Club.

After studying music in Germany (Miss Weaver's finishing school in Munich) Katherine returned to this country and married George Russell Carr of Chicago (in 1913). Two daughters, Katherine and Martha, were born in that city. (Martha was born on December 19, 1919. A boy, George, brother of Kay and Martha, died shortly after birth, in 1918.) As it became necessary for her to fight tuberculosis she lived in California, Colorado Springs and Switzerland. Her daughters accompanied her. Having completely recovered from tuberculosis, last summer she underwent a serious operation (cancer) and apparently was gaining. While she was in London in May, acute anemia developed, which proved fatal.

Our love for Katherine is real; our gratitude for her life among us for four years is deep; our sympathy for her husband, daughters, mother, sister and brother is sincere."

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BEAUMONT

When Katherine Mortenson Carr had recovered sufficiently from tuberculosis, she began planning a (32-room!)country house in the hill country of Provence at Valbonne near Grasse. She bought the land (25 hectares) in 1929. Beaumont was designed by the later prominent architect Jacques Couelle. Construction lasted 3-4 years. Of Beaumont she wrote:

"I built Beaumont during the golden years between the Armistice and the Crash. Failing an earthquake, it will stand to the end of the centuries as a memorial, a kind of cenotaph, to the more spacious sort of life we used to live and which is apparently in the act of vanishing from human ken.

The house stands a thousand feet up on top of a pine-covered hill. From every side except the north we look across other rolling sweeps of pine woods to the blue Mediterranean sparkling in its almost perpetual sunlight. To the south and west our horizon is bounded by the long purple ridges of the Esterel thrusting its great arm into the sea, while to the north our hill descends delicately into the slopes of a broad fertile valley which unrolls below us little square patches of vineyards, and olive groves, sheep pastures, and jasmine-filled fields, finally merging with the last ranges of the Alpes Maritimes. And above and behind all this are the snow-covered tips of the Italian Alps, white and silver in daytime and rosy pink at sunset. At night we see the flicker of lights from the dozen or so tiny villages that cling to precarious footholds along the slopes of the mountains, and later, one by one, we see them dimmed, and know that the valley sleeps.

When Beaumont was under consideration the first thought and care was to create something which would not ruffle the placid timeless aspect of the landscape.

My house at last took form, not as an overgrown farm house but as a tiny walled village. From the road that winds around the foot of our hill you look up at what seems to be a group of small stone houses clustered about a central tower crowned by its iron belfry just like every other village and town in Provence. From the road and fields below there's nothing to indicate that Beaumont has not sat there snugly on its pinnacled hill ever since hill villages were first being built in Provence.

Inside the house there are high ceilings and stone floors that catch and guard the coolness of evening through all the long hot Provençal summer days; there are huge fireplaces to gather about during the fierce rains and blasts when the wind of Provence blows off those snow-capped mountains to the north. There are balconies and terraces to rest upon through the quiet jasmine-scented afternoons and there are flower-carpeted woods to wander in when the world seems too near. It is a refuge and a fortress, so I thought, to withdraw into -- 'the world forgetting, by the world forgot,' a haven for a tired and bruised spirit, a place of peace and forgetting. Every craving for beauty could be satisfied within the boundaries of my own domain. No need for human intercourse to one in daily contact with such almost supernatural loveliness on every side. Here had I set the mark of my hand, here would I live and die.

This is what I thought when I first built my house."

Media object
Mortenson Carr, Katherine Maren
Mortenson Carr, Katherine Maren
Note: 1890 - 1935
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Mortenson Carr, Katherine Maren
Mortenson Carr, Katherine Maren
Note: 1890 - 1935
Media object
Beaumont
Beaumont
Media object
Beaumont
Beaumont
Note: Under German military occupation~~
Media object
Mortenson Carr, Katherine Maren
Mortenson Carr, Katherine Maren
Note: 1890 - 1935
Media object
Mortenson Carr, Katherine Maren
Mortenson Carr, Katherine Maren
Note: 1890 - 1935
Media object
Beaumont
Beaumont
Media object
Beaumont
Beaumont
Note: Under German military occupation~~