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Wallie Spatz

Known as the "queen of silhouettes", her life was as interesting as her art.

Starting at age of 15, Ruth "Wallie" Spatz began cutting incredibly accurate detailed profiles in paper. This talent was put to use during WWII at the famous hollywood canteen, where she would cut portraits of service men before they shipped out. But it didn't stop there- her craft was so in demand that she cut the silhouettes of L.B.J. while he was the president, and pope John Paul II. In the 60s and 70s, she was based out of the Cleveland area, which is where my sisters and I had our portraits cut.

Sorry to say I have no memory of the event (I was 2), but the silhouette itself has fascinated me for as long as I can remember. It's so accurate, so detailed, so delicate, that I was stunned when my mom told me she cut 2 simultaneously and did it in less than 5 minutes. My sister found a fantastic article about Wallie that goes into more detail about her part of the war effort, and continued philanthropy. I feel very fortunate to have had such a wonderful lady capture that moment in my life. It will always be a treasure.

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