The Case Family: A Legacy of Arkansas Art

5/3/2007

The Case Family:
A Legacy of Arkansas Art


 

As painters and photographers, members of the Case family over three generations have served the cause of art in Arkansas. This legacy began with Victoria Elizabeth Roberts (Vickie) and her sister Emalina who owned and operated a photographic studio in Carrolton, Arkansas, after they moved to the Ozarks in 1882. Vickie Roberts married Amsley Case in 1887 and they established Case Studio in Batavia in 1888. The Case photographic tent wagon would travel a circuit among Harrison, Rally Hill, Bear Creek Springs, Carrollton and Osage. The family moved to Berryville in the early 1900s.

Garland Roberts Case, the youngest son of Vickie and Amsley, joined the family business and then, with his wife, Nolia Mae McFerrin Case, established his studio in Harrison in 1924. As a team they recorded the special moments of the families in the area, and they also used their skills to create fine art. The 1961 flood in Harrison destroyed the Case Studio, their Kodak dealership and lab, and the family’s priceless collection of negatives.

Garland and Mae’s daughter Betty Jewell Case studied under her parents and other artists including William Appell and Elsie and Louise Freund. As Betty Young she photographs and paints, continuing the family tradition.

Soap Maker, Photograph by Garland Case, 1930; Garland Case captured this image of country life at a farm near Octavia, Arkansas.