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Jean Paton as Artist


As many of you know, Jean Paton was a wonderfully creative artist as well as the first adoption reformer.  This rare photo of Jean, age 39, taken in 1947 in Manchester, New Hampshire, is the only one I know of that shows her working at her artistic craft.  When this photo was taken, Jean was employed at the New Hampshire Children’s Aid Society.  In the evenings, she took lessons in sculpture from Maria Kostyshak, “a very interesting young woman of Russian extraction, a painter herself” at the Museum School in Manchester, acting upon a suggestion from her mentor and social work teacher, Jesse Taft, who was responsible for first suggesting that Paton take up artistic endeavors.  Paton ventured for the first time into bas-relief, as well as three-dimensional figures.  Creating art from clay to affect adoption reform became a life-long avocation..