Bettie & Sis Goldie Shared Love of Creativity & Humor

by: Tori Rodriguez, Editor

One of the many things Bettie fans admire about her is her DIY approach to making her own one-of-a-kind outfits, and that self-reliance and creativity runs in the family. In this third installment of his monthly blog series, Bettie’s nephew Ron Brem, son of Bettie’s sis Goldie, gives us a peek into their artistic endeavors and shares a never-before-seen photo of the iconic sisters.

Bettie & Goldie at the beach; photo hand-colored by Goldie

Bettie and my mom Goldie took part in the “do-it-yourself” movement* that was so popular in the 1950’s, and they were both very talented. Along with their love of photography and sewing, my mom had a passion for art and got started by hand-coloring some of the photographs she took using transparent photo oil colors. This led her to experiment with oil painting and she soon became very good at it, joining local artist guilds and displaying her paintings at art exhibits all around the St. Louis metropolitan area.

The actual photo oil colors Goldie used

I remember all of the plaques and ribbons she would win at some of the events and how proud she was when there was an article about her in the local newspaper. My dad and I would build the picture frames in our garage and help out at the art exhibits. My mom eventually ended up teaching oil painting lessons and even had her own small art gallery in south St. Louis for a short time. She also enjoyed drawing portraits using pastels later in life

A 1977 gallery exhibit of Goldie’s paintings

Mom was always a real comedian at heart–Bettie too, for that matter. She always enjoyed hearing and telling a good joke. She was also quite a good poet, writing hundreds of poems and song lyrics, although she did not play any musical instruments. That was where I came in handy: She would look to me for help with music for the songs.

The photos above show one of the hand-colored photographs my mom did in the 1950’s, the actual photo oil colors she used, and one of Mom’s art gallery exhibits in 1977.

*A bit of history on the DIY movement in the United States: http://journal.eahn.org/articles/10.5334/ah.bd

1 reply
  1. Raphael Reine
    Raphael Reine says:

    Wow! That was some great tidbits of information I never knew about Goldie; I knew about Bettie s creativity with making her own outfits, but I never knew just how talented her sister was as well! Talent certainly ran in Bettie s family that’s for sure!

    Reply

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