Arts in the Trapp Family

Art in the von Trapp Family? Yes, in fact most of the members of the Trapp Family Singers were not only endowed with the gift of music but were also talented in the arts. The family's creativity runs the gamut from sculpting, painting, weaving, illuminating manuscripts and photography to a sophisticated form of finger painting. Little or nothing has been made public about the fact that visual arts have been an important part in the life of the von Trapp family.

Art in The Trapp Family is written by Agathe von Trapp, age 95, whose memoir "Before And After The Sound of Music" is available at our on-line Catalogue Shop.

Martina, youngest child of the first seven children of Georg von Trapp and Agathe Whitehead von Trapp, was fascinated with the colorful decorations of Austrian peasant art. She decorated a whole set of furniture that her father, Captain von Trapp, made during the summer when the family had no concert tours. Another talent that Martina possessed was calligraphic writing on parchment. Martina also decorated wooden plates, bowls and boxes. One of these boxes appeared on Ebay in 2004 and was bought by a family friend, Bill Anderson, who gave it to Agathe.

The wonders of nature were captured by Johanna in her watercolors of birds, butterflies and flowers. In addition to her watercolors, Johanna made ceramic creations using religious motifs.

Hedwig enjoyed decorating trays and other items with wood burnt designs. She also took many lovely photographs.

Rosmarie, the first child of Georg von Trapp and Maria Augusta von Trapp, turned to the graphic arts and made calligraphy her specialty. She copied the whole book of Tobias from the Old Testament using this artistic form and enhanced it with corresponding pen and ink sketches. Another of Rosmarie's creations is a birthday calendar which again shows her skill in calligraphy.

Rupert, the oldest son of Georg von Trapp, became a medical doctor, but photography was one of his hobbies and he took beautiful photos on his travels.

Werner von Trapp was a true craftsman. The art of weaving fascinated him. He wove carpets with the wool from his own sheep. Werner sheared the sheep, spun the wool, and then wove it into carpets using his original designs. He wove other carpets from scraps of colorful fabrics. Werner had another gift - he knew how to make beautiful silver jewelry. Most of these pieces were given away for Christmas and birthday presents.

Maria, The second daughter of Captain von Trapp, was not drawn to the conventional Fine Arts, but had a special gift - an artistic imagination. Using finger paints, she created a sophisticated form of colorful monoprints. Some of these are available as unusual greeting cards at the Trapp Family Gift Shop.

During her lifetime, Agathe, the oldest daughter of Captain Georg von Trapp, has produced many lovely watercolors and crayon etchings. She decorated wooden bowls and plates with her colorful designs. At one time Agathe printed original greeting cards from linoleum blocks. She also illustrated "The Trapp Family Book of Christmas Songs" written by Father Franz Wasner, the musical director of the Trapp Family Singers. Few people know about another one of Agathe's talents - carpentry - which enabled her to build small pieces of furniture for her own home.

A collection of arts and crafts by most members of the von Trapp family can be found at a gallery in Bellevue, WA called "European Art". Signed prints by Agathe and Johanna are available at this gallery, euroarthelene@msn.com or call 425-454-1419. Maria's monoprint greeting cards and several watercolor prints by Agathe are available at the our Gift Shop or at the on-line catalogue or by calling 800.826.7000.

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