#WomensHistoryMonth/#TBT: Florence Murdoch

Florence Murdoch was born June 14, 1887 in Lakewood NY to James Riley Murdoch and Florence Carlisle Murdoch. Although she was born in Lakewood NY, she lived her entire life in Cincinnati OH.

Newspaper article w/photo of Florence Murdoch and Crayon Drawings “Magniflora Americana”
Newspaper article

She was a member of the American Artists Professional League, the Women’s Art Club of Cincinnati, and the Cincinnati Crafters Club.

She exhibited annually in the Women’s Art Club of Cincinnati’s annual art show for many, many years. She had 16 solo shows between 1942-1960, including at the New York Botanical Gardens (1942), Ohio State Museum (1945), Missouri Botanical Gardens (1955), Boston Museum of Science (1956), and Dayton Museum of Natural History (1960).

Florence Murdoch is listed in Who’s Who in American Art (Gilbert, 1947 & 1959), Dictionary of Women Artists: An International Dictionary of Women Artists Born Before 1900 (Petteys, 1985), and Who Was Who in American Art 1564-1975 (Falk, 1999). She has an illustrated article in the January 1932 issue American Magazine of Art titled “Trailing the Bestiaries”.
In 1957, she was awarded an Ohioana Library Award for her drawings in an historical calendar.

Professionally, she taught art and crafts at various private schools and camps, including several years as art instructor at Oakhurst Collegiate School in Cincinnati, and as a crafts instructor at Camp Boulder Point in Inlet NY. She was also the organizer and director of the Junior Artist Clubs in Cincinnati.

Although she was known as a landscape painter in oils later in life, earlier on, she specialized in watercolors, floral crayon drawings, and the restoration of art objects. Her “Magniflora Americana” (attached photo), a series of crayon drawings of tiny native flowers drawn ten times life size, was widely exhibited and made her name known. It was also displayed at the Cincinnati New Church in April 1962. Some of the flowers in this series were so small that she viewed them through a 30X microscope while she painted.

Florence Murdoch worked alongside her mother for over 30 years to preserve Cedar Bog in Urbana OH. In 1942, six years after her mother’s death, Cedar Bog Nature Preserve became the first nature preserve in Ohio to be purchased with state funds. It is a National Natural Landmark, and ranks the highest of any
site in Ohio on the Floristic Diversity Index for its wide variety of plant species. The “Florence Murdoch Papers” collection at the Ohio History Connection, contains the two women’s correspondence, newspaper clippings, and documents about their historic work to preserve this site.

Information compiled by Mary Ann Fischer

References: https://remarkableohio.org/index.php?/category/172

#ThrowbackThursday: Owenites and Swedenborgians

As we explored last Sunday, Swedenborgians in Southwestern Ohio were interested in utopian ideals and were associated with the Owenite community which attempted to form in Yellow, Springs, OH. As you will see in the documents below, the Owenite society was involved in human rights and women’s rights. Thanks to Mary Ann Fischer and Scott Sanders from Antioch College.

#FBF: Cincinnatian Eliza Lovell Tibbets & her Orange Utopia

California’s citrus industry owes a huge debt to the introduction of the navel orange tree—in fact, to two trees in particular, the parent trees of the vast groves of navel oranges that exist in California today. Those trees were planted by a woman named Eliza Lovell Tibbets.

Born in Cincinnati in1823, Eliza’s Swedenborgian faith informed her ideals. Surrounded by artists and free thinkers, her personal journey took her first to New York City, then south to create a better environment for newly freed slaves in racially divided Virginia, and onward to Washington, DC, where she campaigned for women’s rights. But it was in California where she left her true mark, launching an agricultural boom that changed the course of California’s history.

Eliza’s story of faith and idealism will appeal to anyone who is curious about US history, women’s rights, abolitionism, Spiritualism, and California’s early pioneer days. Follow Eliza through loves and fortunes lost and found until she finally finds her paradise in a little town called Riverside.

Via www.swedenborg.org

Creating an Orange Utopia

Relatively Presidential

Are you interested in Presidential History? Check out this article by Francesca McCrossan, Ph.D. And Rev. Dr. James F. Lawrence, about the great grand-uncle of George HW Bush, the first George Bush, and his connections to the New Church.


#FridayFeeling @NewportAquarium: Many Fish, One Ocean

Via Swedenborg.org:


Religious Plurality

Swedenborg saw and conversed with persons of many faiths and so urged acceptance of other religions long before ecumenism came into vogue. Chicago lawyer Charles Bonney, a Swedenborgian Church member, initiates and manages the 1893 Parliament of the World’s Religions, held in conjunction with the Columbian Exposition. Bonney’s vision brings representatives from all the world’s great religions to the Parliament, an event that later historians term the dawn of religious plurality in America.

#FBF #CincinnatiHistory @GlendaleNewChu

Regarding the Glendale New Church’s construction in 1861 and subsequent dedication:


On October 6, 1861, the Rev. Chauncey Giles preached the dedicatory sermon on the text, “Behold I make all things new.” *8


“A fundamental characteristic of the New Church, and one which distinguishes her from all other churches, and shows conclusively that a new order of things took their rise with her, is that her doctrines and philosophy are not a faith…but a settlement of the laws of man’s life, and of Divine life, and their relations to each other, as they actually exist.  They are a spiritual science, in the same sense that Chemistry and Geometry are natural or mathematical sciences.”   Chauncey Giles   * 9
*8 Gladdish, pg 18.

* 9 Ohio History, The Scholarly Journal of the Ohio Historical Society, by Ophia D. Smith, volume 62, page 46.

Courtesy of church historical records of The Glendale New Church,from Mary Ann Fischer