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Camilla Kopmeier

c. late 18th century

Oil on canvas. Young woman holding flowers depicted in a white shroud.

Camilla was born into a prominent Milwaukee family in the 1880’s. Her father, John Henry Kopmeier, was born in Milwaukee in 1854 to a German immigrant name John Theodore Kopmeier, Camilla’s grandfather. He is considered a pioneer of the Milwaukee area, arriving in the area in 1848, and was a prominent businessman in the WI Ice & Coal Co. Camilla’s father later became involved in this business, and was quite successful. As well as business, he became involved in politics, serving as an alderman. In 1878, John married Miss Dora Germershonsen, Camilla’s mother, and they had four children of which Camilla was the third, and only girl among them. The two older boys lived to adulthood, the youngest son died as an infant and the subject of this painting, Camilla, passed away at 19 years of age. This portrait may have been commissioned by her family following her death as a way of commemorating their late daughter.