The sitter was born Lillian Grace Carkins on March 16, 1872 in Portsmouth, Rockingham County, New Hampshire. She was the daughter of George Odell Carkin and Grace Ellen Hodgdon. She married first Paul Emile Roy and later Louis DeFeo. She died on 3 June, 1937 (aged 65) in Newington, Rockingham County, New Hampshire where she was buried.
She appears to have been a popular actress, opera singer.
She was described in the New York Herald, October 10, 1903 as ‘the Continental beauty who took Saratoga by storm in August.’ The paper goes on to say she was from ‘an old Florentine family, is quite young, and her beauty is accentuated by a wealth of bronze hair.’ The cutting says that Muller-Ury was working on the second or third portrait of her which he has made during the last three years.
Her brother’s name was apparently George Alexander Carkins, and he was allegedly shot in a duel in Newington, N.H. by her husband on January 2, 1908 (see Syracuse Herald, Tuesday evening, February 25, 1908, reporting the exhumation of the body that day). She had married Paul E. Roy three and a half years before, apparently against the wishes of his French family. Glacia Calla’s aunt was apparently a Baroness Von Orendorff. She was the model for Joubert’s ‘Belle Americaine’ exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1903 (again Syracuse Herald, Tuesday evening, February 25, 1908) but no such picture was listed that year. The New York Times, February 28, 1908 gives a slightly different story…