James Madison Durand and his wife Theodosia Durand were initiated into the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn at its Isis-Urania temple in London on 28 February 1894.They chose mottoes which probably reflected an interest in the Kabbalah: his was ĎJudahí, herís was ĎEn hakkoreí.The Durands were not intending to stay in London: they moved to Paris and became members of the GDís Ahathoor temple there.They were both initiated into the GDís inner, 2nd Order in June 1895.Later, both their GD records were marked Ďawayí.


This is one of my short biographies.Iím sure thereís more information on the Durands out there somewhere, but it will be in France, the United States, possibly even in Mťxico...This is what I have found out about JAMES MADISON DURAND and his wife THEODOSIA DURAND, nťe Moore, without doing all that exciting but expensive foreign travel.


Sally Davis

March 2016




Two other people were initiated in the same ceremony as the Durands - George Rowell and Mary Eliza Haweis.George Rowell was an anaesthetist and I donít suppose the Durands had met him before, but they may have known Mrs Haweis.Mary Eliza Haweis, nťe Joy, had been born into a family of artists.She was not a painter herself, however, so much as a writer about dress, interior design and (good) taste.Magazine articles by her were published regularly in the USA.I imagine the Durands did at least know her name and may even have been introduced to her by 1894.


Once initiated, the Durands began to race through the study programme necessary to be eligible for the GDís inner, 2nd Order.They were not always discreet.When teaching some of their new acquaintances numeralogy, especially its use in the Kabbalah, they said they had got their knowledge by being members of a secret cult - which was strictly against the rules of the Order.They got carried away, I suppose.


Their friend Max Dauthendey said of them that they regarded their trip to Europe as necessary for their spiritual as well as their artistic well-being: you can see their initiation as GD members as a part of that experience.



For the Durands as members of the Ahathoor Temple: R A Gilbert The Golden Dawn Companion p39.

For Mary Eliza Haweis, see ODNB volume 25 p873.The Durands may have known some of her books:

1877††† The Art of Beauty

1879††† The Art of Dress

1881, reprinted 1889††† The Art of Decoration

1882††† Beautiful Houses.

The German author and painter Max Dauthendey learned from the Durands at least that the GD existed - though he may not have known its name:

Max Dauthendey: Poet-Philosopher by Herman George Wendt.Volume 2 part 1 AMS Press 1966 p38 footnote 23.

Thereís a page on Dauthendey in wikipedia: 1867-1918.



They were interested in the Kabbalah, probably from before they joined the GD.They were not members of the Theosophical Society; at least, not in England; and James Madison Durand was not a freemason as far as I can see.



No, not of either of them.




I havenít been able to identify him for certain but I feel he must be a member of the Durand family of Newark New Jersey, skilled artists, engravers and jewellery-makers.Perhaps he was a grandson of James Madison Durand 1813-95 who was a partner in Newarkís silversmithing firm Baldwin and Durand from 1845-52 and also (in 1838) the founder of jewellery-makers Durand and Co.


I found several men named James Madison Durand on Familysearch, but wasnít convinced that any of them were the GD member.The one who looked least unlikely was the son of Elias and Susan Durand, born in 1843.BUT there was a snag about him: in 1865 he married Catharine Kelly.I suppose she could have died and he married Theodosia as a second wife.This James Madison Durand died in May 1899 and is buried in Irvington, Essex New Jersey.He fought in the Civil War.Since I found out about the artistsí colony (see below for that) Iím less convinced by him even than I was before.Perhaps the GD member is someone else altogether, and doesnít appear in Familysearchís records at all.



American Spoons, Souvenir and Historical by Dorothy T Rainwater and Donna H Felger.P386 describes the Durand family of New Jersey as descended from Dr Jean Durand, a Huguenot born in La Rochelle in 1667.

Thereís plenty on the web of the jewellery-making industry of Newark New Jersey and its importance to the local economy.For example see via google Proceedings of the New Jersey Historical Society volume 62 1944.


For Cyrus Durand, engraver of bank-notes, see via archive.org in The Illustrated Magazine of Art volume 3 issue of 1 January 1854: pp267-270.


Some family history information on James Madison Durand 1813-95 at

//freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com~silversmiths.He married Electa Baldwin.Their son Wallace Durand (1846-1921) became manager of Durand and Co.


The Durand familyís house at Maplewood: www.durandhedden.org,


Thereís an exhaustive book of Durand genealogy by Dr Alvy Ray Smith, founder of Pixar Animation Studies, a descendant of John Durand of Derby Connecticut.Itís at: //alvyray.com/Durand/Final_Fall_Newsletter_Durand_Hedden.pdf which is the issue November/December 2003 volume 22 number 1 of the Durand-Hedden House and Garden Association.BUT I couldnít find a likely James Madison Durand in it.


At eragem.com information on an exhibition of Newarkís jewellery, with a reference to Tiffany and Co setting up a branch of their silver department in Newark in 1896.


See the gravestone of the James Madison Durand who died in 1899 via www.findagrave.com: Thereís no mention on it that he had been married but at Familysearch thereís a record of his marriage to Catharine Kelly.



Iíve found even less about Theodosia than about her husband, and virtually nothing about her background except the sparse (and conflicting) details on various US census forms.The censuses do seem to agree that Theodosia Moore was born in November 1863 in Quincy, a small town in northern California.Her parents had clearly come to California from elsewhere but different censuses gave different details for where they had been born: her father (whose forename I donít know) was born in either Illinois or Ohio; her mother Anna was from the deep south, born either in Alabama or in Mississippi.


Sources such as they are:

NARA Census returns 1920 and 1930 seen at Familysearch (more details below).

California Deaths Index 1940-97 seen at Familysearch: gives full date of birth and her original surname.




Unknown, especially as Iím not even sure who the right man is.



Unknown until we get to her training as an artist: one source says she was a graduate of the Government Fine Arts School in Paris.


Source for Theodosia Moore Durand:

Website www.askart.comís database of artists.



James Madison Durand and Theodosia Moore had got married by the time they joined the GD.Perhaps the trip to Europe was their wedding trip.I havenít found any information as to when and where the ceremony took place.I wonder how they met?



Iíve said above that the Durands saw their trip to Europe as essential for their spiritual and creative growth as artists.Surely, though, they canít have expected that the growth should take the form it eventually did.Out of discussions they had with the people they met in England and France arose the idea that a group of them should find some land and set up a kind-of purpose-built community on it, growing their own food but having plenty of time to work as painters, sculptors, poets - anything creative.All members of the community were going to be equal - except for the servants that the creative men and women were going to bring with them to do their housework and childcare for them while they worked on the land and at their art.Originally the group was going to settle in Switzerland; later on, South Carolina was put forward as a possibility; but in the end, the idea of going to Mťxico was the suggestion that was acted on.


Sources for this artistsí colony are few and far between and I havenít found any evidence for who was in the group apart from the Durands and Max Dauthendey.However, the groupís plan did get as far as an article-cum-manifesto which appeared in art magazines in the USA and France, early in 1897.James Madison Durand was named in the articles as the person those wanting to join the colony were to contact; and he probably wrote the version of the manifesto that was sent to the magazines.


The Durands did go to Mťxico, probably early in 1897.Max Dauthendey and his wife left Europe a few months later, intending to join them.However, on the journey from Vera Cruz to Mťxico City Dauthendey decided that he was never going to write great German poetry in a tropical climate.He sought out the Durands, to tell them he no longer wanted to join the colony; but had trouble finding them as they had not sent him their address.Perhaps other artists wanting to join the colony had the same trouble Dauthendey had, in actually making contact with the Durands once they had gone to Mťxico.I think itís more likely, though, that when it came down to it, those people who had got so excited about the idea, got cold feet when it came to moving to Mťxico and living on the land in a group.Dauthendeyís biographer couldnít find any evidence that the colony had ever become a reality; and I havenít found any mention of such a colony (though Iíve only looked on the web and not, of course, in Mťxico or even the USA).


The Dauthendeys went home.The Durands, however, may have stayed in Mťxico.If they were living in Mťxico it would explain why they seem to disappear from the historical record in the USA and the UK, from 1897 until Theodosia reappears (as a widow) in Washington State in 1919.



Max Dauthendey: Poet-Philosopher by Herman George Wendt.New York: Columbia University Press 1936.Particularly p24, p30, p38-39 footnote 32.

The appeal-cum-manifesto:

French-language version in La Plume volume IX pp10-15.

English-language version in The Arena volume 17 December 1896-June 1897.Editor: John Clarke Ridpath: pp642-51 The Foundation of a Colony of Self-Supporting Artists: Appeal.On p651, a short letter James Madison Durand was reproduced; written November 1896 from Boulevard Raspail, Paris - the same address the GD had for the Durands when they were members of the Ahathoor temple.

The magazine The Arena was founded by Benjamin Orange Flower and was published between 1889 and 1909 by the The Arena Publishing Company of Boston.All its issues can be reached via its wikipedia page so you can read the full Appeal for yourself - an interesting document though some members of the colony were clearly going to be more equal than others and it all seems rather impractical to me!

Another sceptical assessment of the colonyís chances, from 1897, via www.newspapers.com to The Courier of Lincoln Nebraska; Saturday 24 April 1897 p5.The report states that the Appeal had appeared in The Arenaís issue of March 1897.

A modern mention of the Durands and the colony, probably in connection with Dauthendey though I couldnít see the context from the snippet:

The Image of Mexico in Germanic Imaginative Literature by Karl W Obrath.PhD Thesis, University of Cincinatti 1975 p178, seen online.I would have liked to read more about this than the snippet I could see using google; but there isnít a copy of the full text online or in any English library.




Assuming him to be an artist I found the same problem with him as with Theodosia Durand.Perhaps - given his probable family background - he was not so much an artist as a designer.



I found several references to Theodosia as an artist, specifically as a painter and teacher of painting.In this, she seems to have wanted to emphasise her French art training - the few reports there are of her, in newspapers and magazines, always call her ďMadameĒ Durand.However, as with her husband, so with her, I havenít found any images or references to specific art works they did, on the web, not even on the many Ďart auctioní websites.Where has their work gone?If James Madison Durand was a designer rather than an artist, his work wouldnít necessarily appear on the web or even be acknowledged as his, of course.


Theodosia Durand is in askart.comís artistsí database, with some details of which exhibitions had works by her in them, though the website has nothing at all shown by Theodosia - at least, not in the USA - before 1918.Several sources mention her as teaching art at the University of Washington, but she doesnít appear on any of its staff lists before 1919, when she was Assistant Professor in the fine arts department.She might have been teaching there before as a freelance staff member, I suppose.


In 1918 she exhibited, for what seems to be the first time, at the annual show of the San Francisco Arts Association - paintings done on cement.Perhaps this encouraged her to cut loose from teaching.By the day of the 1920 census, she had left the University of Washington and moved to San Francisco, where she was living with her mother Anna Moore.


From May 1921 thereís a mention of sketches Theodosia had done of traditional pottery making in Mexico.They were on display when a landmark exhibition of modern Aztec and Maya crafts opened on the campus at Stanford University.


A newspaper report from October 1921 shows Theodosia leading a revolt against the hanging committee of the San Francisco Art Association.This year she had been one of quite a few artists who had been invited to submit her work for the annual show; but then had it all rejected.Theodosia accused the committee of favouring a small group of San Francisco-based artists; and announced that she and other artists who had been rejected were looking for a gallery in the city, in which to hold a rival exhibition to the official show.The head of the hanging committee denied favouritism; of course!Later, Theodosia was allowed to join the SFAA, exhibiting paintings in oils in 1925.She was a member of the San Francisco women artistsí group - perhaps there was a feeling, in 1921, that the SFAA committee also had a bias against art by women - and as late as 1939 she had work shown at the Golden Gate Exposition, though she was no longer living in San Francisco by that time.


By 1930, Theodosiaís mother had died, and she herself had moved to Santa Rosa.In 1926, she had exhibited at the California Industries Expo, held at San Diego.She became a member of the San Diego Fine Arts Society, and it was as a member of that group that she exhibited at the Golden Gate Expo.Though Iím not sure she ever lived there permanently, the 1940 census shows Theodosia as one of the guests at a hotel in San Diego so she made regular trips there.The 1940 trip was probably in connection with her work The Picnic, which was one of the runners-up in that yearís Uzzell Award.


Theodosiaís The Picnic was the latest work that I could find mention of.There are very long gaps in her career when she didnít show any works at all; and she never seems to have been very prolific.



About the importance of the Durandsí trip to Europe:

Max Dauthendey: Poet-Philosopher by Herman George Wendt.Volume 2 part 1 AMS Press 1966 p38 footnote 23.

Theodosia Durand is in www.askart.comís database of artists, with the best details of her career.http://www.artprice.com:

Artists in California 1786-1940 by Edan Milton Hughes is probably where askart.com got its information from.Published San Francisco: Hughes Publishing Co 1986 p139.


At stanforddailyarchive.com The Stanford Daily volume 59 number 46 4 May 1921 short report on the opening of the Maya-Aztec Applied Arts Exhibition.


Via www.newspapers.com to San Francisco Chronicle issue of 22 October 1921 p3:

Catalog of Copyright Entries 1926 Part 4: Works of Art New Series: p108 has one work by her. On p385 catalogue number 6361, probably the same work as that on p108.


At history.sdvag.net a history of the Arts Guild of San Diego: chapter 3 covers what are considered its golden years - 1929-39.The members who exhibited at the Golden Gate Exposition, 1929, include Theodosia.


Arts Magazine volume 15 issues 1-6 1940, p17 1940 Uzzell Prize.


And as a teacher of art.

Washington Educational Directory issued by the State of Washington 1919 p72 Madame (sic) Durand is listed as ďAssistant Professor of Fine ArtsĒ.

At www.mocavo.uk there are several University of Washington Seattle Handbooks from the early 1900s.I searched for her at mocavo but there was only one response: 1919, the same entry as appears in the Washington Educational Directory.

I suppose that she might have been working at the University for much longer before 1919, but employed as a freelance teacher.


Seen 19 July 2013 at www.bbc.co.uk/yourpaintings - 212,055 paintings now in public collections, though not necessarily on display.Thereís nothing in that database by either of the Durands; but I hadnít really expected there to be.


For where they were living:

Familysearch didnít have any census entries after the middle of the 19th century for the James Madison Durand who died in 1899.Nor for Theodosia Moore Durand until 1920.


1920 via Familysearch to NARA census information for District ED225 Sheet 6b: San Francisco Assembly, District 30: Anna E Moore 78 and widowed; and her daughter Theodosia Durand, also a widow.Both women described themselves as white; and able to read and write.The address was rented.


1930 via Familysearch to NARA census information for District ED49 Santa Rosa, Sonoma County: Theodosia Durand is head and only member of household.I presume Anna Moore has died by now.


1940 via Familysearch to NARA for a hotel in central San Diego, where Theodosia Durand was one of the guests.



No, and no articles in art magazines on any work by either of them, as far as I can see.


ANY PUBLIC LIFE/EVIDENCE FOR LEISURE TIME?Bearing in mind, of course, that most leisure activities leave no trace behind them.


Again, no.



Apart from people Iíve already mentioned, no.I donít think that James Madison and Theodosia Durand had any children.




If I have picked the right man with that name, he died in 1899.


Source: the gravestone of the James Madison Durand who died in 1899 via www.findagrave.com: Thereís no mention on it that he had been married, just a reference to his part in the Civil War.



Theodosia died in hospital at Modesto California on 15 March 1949.



Via Familysearch to the California Deaths Index 1940-97: it also gives her exact date of birth and her surname before marriage.





BASIC SOURCES I USED for all Golden Dawn members.


Membership of the Golden Dawn: The Golden Dawn Companion by R A Gilbert.Northampton: The Aquarian Press 1986.Between pages 125 and 175, Gilbert lists the names, initiation dates and addresses of all those people who became members of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn or its many daughter Orders between 1888 and 1914.The list is based on the Golden Dawnís administrative records and its Membersí Roll - the large piece of parchment on which all new members signed their name at their initiation.All this information had been inherited by Gilbert but itís now in the Freemasonsí Library at the United Grand Lodge of England building on Great Queen Street Covent Garden.Please note, though, that the records of the Amen-Ra Temple in Edinburgh were destroyed in 1900/01.I have recently (July 2014) discovered that some records of the Horus Temple at Bradford have survived, though most have not; however those that have survived are not yet accessible to the public.


For the history of the GD during the 1890s I usually use Ellic Howeís The Magicians of the Golden Dawn: A Documentary History of a Magical Order 1887-1923.Published Routledge and Kegan Paul 1972.Foreword by Gerald Yorke.Howe is a historian of printing rather than of magic; he also makes no claims to be a magician himself, or even an occultist.He has no axe to grind.


Family history: freebmd; ancestry.co.uk (census and probate); findmypast.co.uk; familysearch; Burkeís Peerage and Baronetage; Burkeís Landed Gentry; Armorial Families; thepeerage.com; and a wide variety of family trees on the web.


Famous-people sources: mostly about men, of course, but very useful even for the female members of GD.Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.Who Was Who. Times Digital Archive.


Useful source for business and legal information: London Gazette and its Scottish counterpart Edinburgh Gazette.Now easy to find (with the right search information) on the web.


Catalogues: British Library; Freemasonsí Library.


Wikipedia; Google; Google Books - my three best resources.I also used other web pages, but with some caution, as - from the historianís point of view - they vary in quality a great deal.





26 February 2016


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