(Originally published August 3, 2018)
The question was posed recently on our Facebook page: “A mystery…Who is “Aunt Kate”, the artist who painted the lovely picture of Bell School at the top of our Facebook page?”
We knew the painting had been donated to the RHS many years ago, and it currently is displayed in the Bell School, but its origins were lost. The mystery was soon cleared up, as responses were received from both the daughter and granddaughter of the artist, Catherine “Kate” Baton.
Catherine’s granddaughter, Lee-Ann Baton Kozora, informs us: “My grandmother is soon to be 96 years old. She is in a nursing home now. She was born in Montville, CT and lived in Rockville most of her married life. When I was a kid, she drove a school bus for Richmond School. I believe she painted this for the celebration of the restoration of the schoolhouse but I’m not 100% sure. She was married to George “Bob” Baton. He was a business man and Chief of Hopkinton police dept in the 50s and 60s. She painted, made jellies and jams, dolls and lavender sachets. She sang and played guitar. She was a lot of fun when my brother and I were children.”
Catherine “Aunt Kate” Baton with granddaughter Lee-Ann Kozora and her husband
Catherine’s daughter, Catherine Avizinis (Lee-Ann’s aunt), adds: “I am pretty sure she donated it when she painted it – perhaps back in the 80’s… She also drove a special needs mini bus for Richmond School for years, and did every craft and art there is! From quilting and stitching to painting glass lamp shades, from baking and preserving to gardening and herb crafts, she was quite well known on the craft/art fair circuit and MANY folks and family members still have original Aunt Kate pieces!”
Thank you, ladies, for clearing up the mystery and sharing about the talented “Aunt Kate”. We hope she is pleased that she and her painting are in the spotlight so many years after she so kindly donated it! Her painting can now be properly attributed on the wall of Bell School.