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This paper could not have been written without the help of many wonderful people. First, the greatest of thanks is due to my mother, Jennifer Sims, whose endless assistance helped bring my discoveries to life. She helped identify works of art and told me stories about her mother. She also accompanied me on genealogical field trips to the New York City archives and Greenwood Cemetery where we located our long lost relatives.  She has always been my foundation of support with her unconditional love. My dear aunt Penny brought me to tears of laughter as she recounted stories of her mother and father. Sean Murphy, was a wonderful wealth of information regarding Audrey and his mother Cecil.

I would also like to thank the genealogical and historical angels that I have met during this journey. My incredible teachers from the University of Washington Sarah Little and James Rigali, who guided me on my path of research. Marjory O’ Toole from the Little Compton Historical Society, linking me with archival photos of my grandparents’ home and connecting me to oral and written histories of Little Compton.  Rachel Brooks of the Smithsonian American Art Museum who sent me 27 images of Audrey Buller’s paintings and a letter Audrey had sent to her teacher Henry Ernest Schnakenberg. Stephanie Cassidy who sent me the registration documents for my grandparents at the Art Students League. Jhon Usmanov from the Green-Wood Cemetery who provided me with a fascinating package of Brien family documents. Mark Cervenka from the O’Kane Gallery who sent me treasures from his research of Audrey Buller. Jill Meyers, editor extraordinaire, who returned her edits with kindness and enthusiasm.

Most of all I want to thank my family. My children who have listened to every detail I have learned for the past nine months. Knowing your past helps define you, I hope that you will find your family history inspiring. My husband Peter, my technological and writing advisor, my patient partner, who has forsaken many an evening only to share company as lap top partners at the dining room table. Thank you for your love and endless support.

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