‘40s Forbidden? Valentine

Valentines Day note on back

I found this object at an estate sale for $1. I loved it immediately as it seemed to be a dear, sweet craft project from a past era. I stared at the picture for a long time and imagined how carefully the crafter chose tiny objects to affix to the picture to give it a second dimension. At some point I turned it over and found the inscription on the back: “Joy from Myrtle Knuypers. February 14, 1947.” Then my imagination went to the friendship of Joy and Myrtle, strangers to me, likely long dead, exchanging a gift on Valentine’s Day. I wondered if it was a forbidden affair between women or just a sweet friendship, teenage BFFs or middle-aged companions. I felt protective of the women, imagining the persecutions of gays in bygone eras, hoping they didn’t suffer.

No matter the true story, it’s a sweetly gifted object which stirs my imagination and makes me smile every time I see it.

Contributed by: Robin LaBrunerie
Created by: Myrtle Kuypers
Origin: Estate sale