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Edith Lake Wilkinson


Packed in a Trunk: The Lost Art of Edith Lake Wilkinson

PACKED IN A TRUNK: The Lost Art of Edith Lake Wilkinson is a 2015 Emmy ®-nominated, award-winning documentary film that celebrates the long-buried talent of a painter who was part of the Provincetown art scene in the early 20th century and produced an astounding body of work. In 1924 Edith was committed to an asylum -- perhaps with the help of the family lawyer who was busily siphoning off her funds. The lawyer had also objected to Edith’s "close and constant contact" with her companion Fannie. Once she was put away, Edith’s work and all her worldly possessions were packed into trunks and shipped off to a relative in West Virginia where they sat in an attic collecting dust for the next 40 years. Edith was never heard from again.

Edith’s great-niece, Jane Anderson (Emmy-winning writer & director) grew up surrounded by Edith’s paintings thanks to her mother who had gone poking through that dusty attic and rescued Edith’s work. Anderson learned to paint and draw under the influence of her great-aunt’s brilliant, light-drenched canvasses. Later, when she moved to New York to pursue her own life as an artist she began a decades-long journey to get Edith’s work back out into the world.

PACKED IN A TRUNK follows Jane in her efforts to find the answers to the mystery of Edith’s buried life, as well as her goal to return Edith’s work back to Provincetown. To quote Anderson: "Edith’s paintings are a witness to my own happy life. I’ve benefited from all those grand social movements that have given women of my proclivities the freedom to live however we damn well please. I’m now in my late 50’s, the age when Edith was put away. I’m still productive and I’m very much loved. I have the life that Edith should have had."

PACKED IN A TRUNK was a celebrated documentary at many film festivals and had its broadcast television premiere on HBO. It can currently be seen on AppleTV and everywhere you buy or rent movies online.

For updates on the film go to: www.packedinatrunk.com

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1 openingcrate
Unpacking Edith's artwork with Larkin Gallery Owner Stephen Briscoe and
Art Historian Stephen Borkowski
2 chrismccarthy PAAM
A wonderful few hours spent with Christine McCarthy-
Director of PAAM (Provincetown Art Association and Museum) and
Edith's Contemporaries Blanche Lazell and Ferol Sibley Warthen
3 hawthornebarn 1
Sharing Edith's story at The Hawthorne Barn
4 hawthornebarn2
Inside the historic Hawthorne Barn with 

Adam Moss and David Cafiero

5 julieheller
Sitting down with Julie Heller at The Julie Heller Gallery
6 jimbakker
 Discussing Edith's place in history with Jim Bakker, Collector and
President of PAAM (Provincetown Art Association and Museum)
7 stephenborkowski
Making new discoveries about Edith with Stephen Borkowski-
Art Historian and Chair, Provincetown Art Commission
11 sallybrophy
Learning more about the history of White Line Wood Block printing
with Artist Sally Brophy
8 billevaul
Exploring the art of White Line Wood Block Print Making with Bill Evaul,
Artist and Gallery Owner
9 openingnight napi
Opening Night of Edith's show at The Larkin Gallery, discussing her work with

Art Collector and Restaurateur Napi Van Dereck

10 openingnight 1
A crowd fills The Larkin Gallery on Edith's opening night
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