Folly Cove Designers

The Folly Cove Designers were a group of 45 designer-craftsmen who worked together between 1938 and 1969 under the leadership of children's book author and illustrator Virginia Lee Burton Demetrios. They produced carefully wrought designs cut into linoleum blocks and printed (primarily) on fabric. Their common interest was in producing solid designs and in good craftsmanship.

Demetrios died in 1968. The Folly Cove Designers closed their doors the following year after filling a record number of orders. They donated their sample books, financial records, prints and remnants to the Cape Ann Museum in 1970.

This resource offers further exploration into the Museum's collection and the world of the Folly Cove Designers.

Using the menu on the right side of this screen you can look at all the Folly Cove designs available in the Museum's collection, watch a video about the Folly Cove Designers or view the designs created by the individual designers by selecting a designer's name from the list.

Ida (Benjamin) Bruno (1882 - 1953)

Ida (Benjamin) Bruno was born in Philadelphia and graduated from Vassar College in 1912. She taught high school in Sewickley, Pennsylvania, until marrying Charles Bruno in 1918. They had a son Charles Jr. and settled in Rockport in the 1930s. Bruno joined the Demetrios design class in 1940.

Alexander Ross Burton (1911 - 1970)

Alexander Ross Burton was born in Newton, Massachusetts, to Alfred and Lena Burton. He was the brother of Virginia Lee Burton Demetrios. Burton attended the Wentworth Institute and the Boston Museum School. He married Folly Cove Designer Hilja (Johnson) Burton. In 1953, he and Hilja opened Burton’s Silver Shop in Rockport.

Hilja S. Burton (1919 - 1993)

Hilja S. Burton was born in Gloucester to Finnish parents Andrew R. and Hanna (Pietila) Johnson. She graduated from Gloucester High School in 1936 after being awarded the Sawyer Medal for academic excellence. She was one of the original members of the Folly Cove Designers. She married A. Ross Burton, Virginia Lee Burton Demetrios? brother, and they had two sons, Richard and Ross.

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Aino Y. Clarke (1914 - 1995)

Aino Clarke was born to Lanesville Finns Oscar and Josephine Yrjola. She graduated from Gloucester High School in 1932. Clarke initiated the Folly Cove Designers when she asked Virginia Lee Burton Demetrios to give her design lessons in exchange for teaching the Demetrios' sons to play the violin. Aino played the violin in the Cape Ann Symphony and worked in the retail store of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

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Ida Corliss (1906 - 1995)

Ida Corliss was born in Gloucester to Anton S. and Ida M. (Easterling) Fredriksen, Norwegian and Swedish immigrants who settled in Rockport. She graduated from Gloucester High School and had two children from her first marriage, Frank and Stephen. In 1943, she married C. Christopher Corliss and they had a daughter Christina. Ida was a member of the Folly Cove Designers in the early 1940s. From 1949 to 1971 she and her husband operated the Oleana Scandinavian Coffee Shop in Rockport.

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(Marie) Eleanor Curtis (1910 - 2008)

Eleanor Curtis was born on Cape Ann to Martin and Eunice O'Hearn. She studied to be a teacher at Salem Normal School. She graduated in 1930 and taught full time in the Gloucester public schools until 1940 when she married Cape Ann artist Howard Curtis (1906-1989). Howard Curtis was the head of the art department in Gloucester's public schools. After her marriage, Eleanor worked as a substitute teacher and private tutor. During the summers of 1951 and 1952, she studied drawing with George Demetrios who recommended that she take Virginia Demetrios? design course. Curtis enrolled in the course in the fall of 1952 and was admitted to the Folly Cove Designers in 1953. She was also a watercolorist and a poet.

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Virginia Lee Burton Demetrios (1909 - 1968)

Virginia Lee Burton Demetrios was born in Newton Center, Massachusetts, the daughter of Alfred and Lena Burton. Her father was the first dean of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and her mother, a poet, was from England. When her father retired, the family moved first to San Diego and then to Carmel-by-the-Sea. She and her sister Christine studied dance, and Virginia took art classes in high school where she was awarded a scholarship to the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco. She attended for one year and then left to join her father who had returned to Boston. She had the opportunity to join her sister's dance troupe in New York, but her father broke his leg and she decided to remain with him instead. She worked as an illustrator for the Boston Transcript. In the fall of 1930 she enrolled in sculptor George Demetrios' drawing class at the Boston Museum School, and the following spring the two were married. They settled in Folly Cove on Cape Ann in 1932 and had two sons, Aristides and Michael. In additional to forming and leading the Folly Cove Designers, Virginia wrote and illustrated children's books under the name Virginia Lee Burton including: Choo Choo (1935), Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel (1939), Calico the Wonder Horse (1941), The Little House (1942), Katy and the Big Snow (1943), The Song of Robin Hood (1947), The Emperor's New Clothes (1949), Mable, the Cable Car (1952) and Life Story (1962). At the time of her death in 1968, she was in the process of writing a book entitled Design and How!

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Zoe Eleftherio (b. 1930)

Zoe Eleftherio was born in Boston to Cyrus and Dorothy Comninos. Her father was a close friend of George Demetrios, and she took drawing and sculpting lessons from him during the summer of 1948 and 1949. In 1948, she graduated from Concord Academy and enrolled in the Garland School of Art in Boston. She was a member of the Folly Cove Designers from 1950 to 1952 and commuted to their meetings from her home in Groton, Massachusetts. She married John Eleftherio in 1955 and they had three children, Melissa, Pamela and Peter.

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Mabel Greer (1881 - 1971)

Mabel Greer was born in Chelsea, Massachusetts, the daughter of George and Adelia Brown. She was an artist for 70 years and a member of the New York Watercolor Society, the North Shore Arts Association and the Society of Independent Artists of Boston.

No designs available.

Mary M. Greer (1895 - 1980)

Mary M. Greer was born in Cheyenne, Wyoming. She studied art at the Boston Museum School, at Connah’s New School of Design and in Paris. She later moved to Gloucester where she worked as an artist and became a friend of the Demetrios family.

No designs available.

Gertrude Griffin (1907 - 1997)

Gertrude Griffin was born in Gloucester to James and Carrie Griffin. She worked with the Folly Cove Designers in the late 1940s. She also worked as a clerk at the Building Center in Gloucester for many years.

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Faith Harvey (1921 - 2008)

Faith Harvey was born in Napier, New Zealand, to Herbert and Ruby Hughes. She graduated from Auckland University in 1939, Auckland Teachers? College in 1940 and the Royal Melbourne Technical College in 1944. Faith met and married Gilman Harvey, then stationed overseas during World War II, and at war's end, Gil brought her to live in Annisquam on Cape Ann. They had four children, Dale, Glen, Lea and Heath. She was a member of the Folly Cove Designers in the late 1940s. Harvey was an elementary school teacher and later worked as an x-ray technician.

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Ruth Hendy (1926 - 1998)

Ruth Hendy was born in Hull, Texas, to Bolie and Elizabeth Davis. She received her bachelor's degree in psychology from Southwestern University in 1947. In 1948 she married Kenneth Hendy and moved to Rockport. They had three children, Laurence, Karlan and Marcia. Hendy completed Demetrios? design course in 1954 and was a member of the Folly Cove Designers until they disbanded. In 1957, she ran a private kindergarten together with fellow designer Barbara Hoffmann. After the Folly Cove Designers ceased operations, Hendy pursued a career in elementary education. In 1976, she earned a master's degree in special education from Leslie College, and in 1977 she received her master's degree (also in special education) from Boston College.

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Mahlon Hoagland (1921 - 2009)

Mahlon Hoagland was born in Boston to Hudson and Anna Hoagland. He graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1948 and for a time lived with designer Louise Kenyon and her family. Kenyon introduced Hoagland to the Folly Cove Designers and he worked with them for several years while commuting to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Hoagland later became director of the Worcester Foundation for Biomedical Research.

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Barbara Bisbee Souza Hoffmann (1923 - 2010)

Barbara Bisbee Souza Hoffmann was born in Biddeford, Maine, to Warren and Mabel Libby. She graduated from Gorham Teacher's College in 1943 and taught school in Maine and in Gloucester. She had two children, Warren Bisbee and Charles Bisbee. Barbara joined the Folly Cove Designers in 1954. In 1957, she opened a private kindergarten with fellow designer, Ruth Hendy. Her designs were first signed as Barbara Souza and later as Barbara Hoffmann.

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Robert T. Holloran (1919 - 2008)

Robert T. Holloran was born in Gloucester to Timothy and Eleanor Holloran. He attended Wentworth Institute of Technology, the Boston Architectural Center, Tufts University and served in the Navy during World War II. As a trained architect, he practiced with his father here in Gloucester. Holloran became involved in the Folly Cove Designers through his wife Sarah Elizabeth Holloran.

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Sarah Elizabeth Holloran (1917 - 2009)

Sarah Elizabeth Holloran was born in Gloucester to John A. and Cora (Ferguson) Johnson. She studied fashion design and illustration at the Vesper George School of Art in Boston and graduated in 1940. In 1942, she married Robert Holloran and they had two children, Elizabeth and Timothy. From 1942 through 1945, Holloran worked as the children's librarian at the Sawyer Free Library in Gloucester. She joined the Folly Cove Designers after seeing a blockprinted skirt in a Cape Ann store window with an advertisement for Demetrios' design classes. She opened her own blockprinting shop in 1974 in Rockport. After her death, the shop was kept in operation by Isabel Natti, the niece of Folly Cove Designer Eino Natti. In the shop Eino Natti's Acorn press is used - the same press which was used by the Designers in their barn in Folly Cove. Since the death of Isabel Natti in December 2011, Julia Garrison, living on Cape Ann, has taken over the Sarah Elizabeth Shop, printing her own designs on the Acorn press and keeping the spirit of the Folly Cove Designers and block printing alive.

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Anthony A. Iarrobino (1913 - 2006)

Anthony A. Iarrobino was born in Boston to Charles and Constance Iarrobino. He received his bachelor's degree in fine arts from Massachusetts College of Art in 1936. In 1941, he married Elizabeth Droney and the couple settled in Marblehead. After serving in the Army during World War II, he pursued a career as a portrait artist, printmaker and art teacher. He was a member of the Folly Cove Designers from 1950 to 1960.

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Elizabeth Iarrobino (1915 - 2009)

Elizabeth Iarrobino was born in Milford, Massachusetts, to Frank and Viola Droney. She received her bachelor's degree in fine arts from Massachusetts College of Art in 1936. In 1941, she married Anthony Iarrobino; the couple had two children, Anthony and Paul. Elizabeth Iarrobino was a member of the Folly Cove Designers from 1948 to 1960. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in education from Massachusetts College of Art in 1961 and was an associate professor of art at Lasell College from 1962 to 1983.

 

 

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Hilda S. Kaihlanen (b. 1919)

Hilda S. Kaihlanen was one of the original Folly Cove Designers. Her father, Henry Ross, immigrated from Finland to Cape Ann, where he met and married Lydia Runsula, a Lanesville Finn. In 1940, Hilda married Lauri Kaihlanen. They made their home— and a sauna—in Lanesville. Their two children are Donna and Lauri. Hilda learned Folly Cove Design with Virginia Lee Demetrios and was a member of the group for a few years before withdrawing to pursue her career in watercolors, which are well-known. She was a member of the North Shore Arts Association and the Copley Society of Boston. For many years she has had a shop on Bearskin Neck in Rockport.

No designs available.

Louise T. Kenyon (1906 - 2000)

Louise T. Kenyon was born in Newton, Massachusetts, to William and Mabel Tomlinson. After attending Skidmore College for one year, she left to study art and design at Vesper George School of Art in Boston. During the early 1930s, she married Paul Kenyon, a reporter for the Boston Transcript. The couple moved to Cape Ann and had two sons, Paul, Jr. and Peter. Paul Kenyon found work at the Gloucester Times as a writer and soon became its editor. He knew Virginia Lee Burton Demetrios when she worked as an illustrator at the Boston Transcript. When the Kenyons visited the first exhibition of the Folly Cove Designers in 1940, Virginia persuaded Louise to join the design class.

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Denise Konus (b. )

[no bio]

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Mary Ann Lash (b. 1931)

Mary Ann Lash was born in New York to Peter and Rose Smith. She graduated from Wellesley College in 1952. She married W. S. Mallory Lash in 1951, and they had two children, Stephanie and Cynthia. She was a member of the Folly Cove Designers from 1967 to 1969. She is also a writer and illustrator and was president of Peter Smith Publishers, Inc. in Magnolia, Massachusetts.

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Euthymia Maletskos (1912 - 2003)

Euthymia Maletskos was the niece of George Demetrios. Her brother, Constantine, was married to artist and Folly Cove Designer Mary Magna Maletskos.

No designs available.

Mary Magna Maletskos (1912 - 2003)

Mary Magna Maletskos was born in Oak Park, Illinois, to Joseph N. and Ethel (Updike) Magna. She studied art during the summers at the Art Students League in New York and with Kimon Nicolaides at his studio in Lyme, Connecticut. She attended Smith College and spent her junior year in Italy where she studied at the University of Perugia, the Univeristy of Florence and the Academie de Belle Arte. After graduating from Smith in 1940, she enrolled in the Hartford Art School and graduated in 1942. She first came to Cape Ann in 1945 to visit fellow Smith College alumna and Folly Cove Designer Lee Kingman Natti. During one of her visits, Maletskos met Virginia and George Demetrios? nephew Constantine Maletskos. They were married in 1947 and had three children, John, George and Ethel. Mary Maletskos joined the Folly Cove Designers in 1947 and worked with the group until they disbanded. She continued to draw and paint and took drawing lessons from George Demetrios.

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Eleanor Cavander Malmi (1914 - 1998)

Eleanor Cavander Malmi was born in Lanesville, the daughter of Finnish immigrants. She lived near the Demetrios family and took care of their sons when they were young. Virginia painted Malmi's portrait when she was 17. Malmi was married in 1934 and had two daughters, Elaine and Darlene. She was one of the original members of the Folly Cove Designers. In the late 1940s, she withdrew from the group to become a nurse. After her retirement in 1980, she began taking art lessons and worked in oils and watercolors.

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Mary Ann Mangan (1932 - 1991)

Mary Ann Mangan was born in Brighton, Massachusetts, to Edward and Anna Natti Stephanio. She graduated from Gloucester High School in 1950 where she was awarded the Sawyer Medal for academic excellence. She studied graphic design at the University of California at Los Angeles in 1952 and married John Mangan in the mid-1950s. She became a member of the Folly Cove Designers in the late 1950s. Her mother Anna Stephanio and her uncle, Eino Natti, were also Folly Cove Designers.

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Eino A. Natti (1909 - 1975)

Eino A. Natti was born in Gloucester to Finnish immigrants Erkki and Matilda (Sironen) Natti. As a young man, Eino Natti worked for a time in the quarries and as a brakeman on Polyphemus, a locomotive owned by the Rockport Granite Company. He enlisted in the United States Army in 1941 and then attended Boston Museum School and Northeastern University. Natti became a member of Folly Cove Designers after he left the service. His sister Anna Stephanio and his sister-in-law Lee Kingman Natti were also members of the group.

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Lee Kingman Natti (b. 1919)

Lee Kingman Natti was born in Reading, Massachusetts, the daughter of Leland and Genevieve Kingman. After graduating from Smith College in 1940, she worked as an editor of children's books at Houghton Mifflin Publishing Company from 1942 to 1946. She first came to Cape Ann when Houghton Mifflin sent her to take life drawing classes from George Demetrios. The model for a bust Demetrios was working on was Robert Natti, home on leave from the Army. Natti was a native of Lanesville and the son of Finnish immigrants. Lee and Robert Natti married in 1945 and settled in Lanesville. They had two children, Susanna and Peter. Lee Kingman Natti joined the Folly Cove Designers in the late 1940s and worked with the group until it disbanded. In addition to her work as a Folly Cove Designer, Natti has authored 27 published children's books as Lee Kingman.

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Margaret Nelson (1901 - 1981)

Margaret Nelson was born in Keene, New Hampshire, the daughter of Don and Margaret Petts. She graduated from the Boston Museum School where she specialized in sculpture. She began spending summers in Gloucester in the early 1940s and quickly became involved in the Folly Cove Designers.

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Bettina Nichols (b. )

No biography or designs available.

Dorothy Norton (1900 - 1989)

Dorothy Norton was born in Manchester, Massachusetts, to Charles L. and Frances Norton. She graduated from Pierce Secretarial School in Boston in 1920, studied design and interior decorating at the Amy A. Sacker School and microscopic anatomy at the Harvard Medical School. She worked as a secretary for her father at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1918 to 1919 and at the Amy A. Sacker School in 1924. She taught at the school from 1925 to 1926. From 1930 to 1932, Dorothy worked as a volunteer medical illustrator at Massachusetts General Hospital and as an interior decorator from 1932 to 1942. She also worked as an assistant to Clarence Birdseye at his laboratory in Gloucester in 1943. She took drawing lessons from George Demetrios for two years. In 1944, Dorothy was hired as the Folly Cove Designers? executive secretary. She was also a designer and remained with the group until it disbanded.

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Margaret (Peggy) Norton (1905 - 2000)

Margaret (Peggy) Norton was born in Manchester, Massachusetts, to Charles L. and Frances Norton. She graduated from Wheaton College in 1925 where she majored in physics. In 1928, she graduated from the Amy A. Sacker School of Design. She worked as an interior decorator from 1928 to 1930. She studied art at the Charles Woodbury School in Boston from 1931 to 1932. In 1932, she took the first of five summer drawing and sculpture courses with George Demetrios at Folly Cove. From 1937 to 1943, Peggy ran a mail order herb business from her home in Annisquam. She was a member of the Folly Cove Designers from 1944 to 1966.

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Margaret (Peggy) Roewer (1914 - 1972)

Margaret (Peggy) Roewer was born in Boston to Clifford and Margaret Hudson. She graduated from Cambridge High and Latin School and studied art at the Boston Museum School. In 1937, she married George Roewer and moved to Cape Ann. They had three children, John, Karol and Michael. Roewer joined the Folly Cove Designers in the late 1940s.

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Irja J. Sheppard (1921 - 2001)

Irja J. Sheppard was a daughter of Fred and Hannah Jacobson (both born in Finland) and grew up on High Street in Lanesville, Massachusetts. Irja attended Gloucester public schools and took design lessons from Virginia Lee Demetrios.

Anna Stephanio (1902 - 1976)

Anna Stephanio was born in Gloucester to Finnish immigrants Erik and Matilda Natti. She graduated from Gloucester High School where she was awarded the Sawyer Medal for academic excellence. In 1924, she graduated from the nursing school at the Addison Gilbert Hospital in Gloucester and worked as a nurse throughout her life. She married Edward Stephanio and they had five children, Mary Ann, Laura, Eleanor, Carol and Diana. She was a member of the Folly Cove Designers in the late 1940s. Her brother Eino Natti and her sister-in-law Lee Kingman Natti were also members of the group.

No designs available.

(Muriel) Lee Steele (b. 1925)

(Muriel) Lee Steele was born in New York to Samuel and Jeannette Hamilton. She received her bachelor's degree from Smith College in 1946 and married Robert Steele the same year. In 1948, she earned her master's degree in social work from Smith College. In 1951, the Steeles moved to Folly Cove. They had three children, Jeffry, Jonathan and Nancy. Lee Steele worked with the Folly Cove Designers in the mid-1950s. She has pursued a career in social work since 1948.

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Irina (Poroshina) Tolford (1905 - 1965)

Irina (Poroshina) Tolford was a Russian immigrant who became the wife of Joshua Tolford. She was an artist and a member of the Rockport Art Association and joined the Folly Cove Designers in 1942. She and her husband operated the Tolford Gallery and the Home Industries shop in Rockport which began carrying Folly Cove Designer products in 1943. The shop also carried works by other Cape Ann craftsmen including pewter by Lewis Whitney, ceramics by June York and Hester F. Saville, and weavings by Mabel Olson and Mollie Brown.

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Joshua Tolford (1910 - 1985)

Joshua Tolford was born in Thorp, Wisconsin. He studied art at the Layton Art School in Milwaukee and the Boston Museum School. He studied landscape painting with Anthony Thieme in Rockport and was a member of the Rockport Art Association. Tolford was a technical artist and worked for the research firm of Arthur D. Little in Cambridge until retiring in 1972. He also did illustrations for children’s books. He married Irina Poroshina, a Russian immigrant and a fellow member of the Folly Cove Designers.

No designs available.

Alma Tompkins (1894 - 1986)

Alma Tompkins was born in Pennsylvania to Horace and Clara Tompkins. Her father was a tea importer. Alma lived in Cambridge with her family before moving to Pigeon Cove in Rockport during the early 1920s. She was involved in the Folly Cove Designers in the 1940s and 1950s.

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Ellen G. Tufts (1893 - 1993)

Ellen G. Tufts was born in Rockport to Hosea C. and Grace Tufts. She was one of the first women to graduate from the Essex Agricultural Institute. She operated a greenhouse and florist shop in Rockport for many years.

No designs available.

Mary Wallenius (1914 - 1992)

Mary Wallenius was born in West Medford, Massachusetts, to Philip and Joanne Foster. She studied art at the Vesper George School of Art in Boston. Married to Finn Wesley Wallenius, she lived and raised their son, Jon, in the Bay View part of Gloucester.

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Hetty Beatty Whitney (1906 - 1971)

Hetty Beatty Whitney was born in New Canaan, Connecticut. She studied art at the Boston Museum School. On Cape Ann she took art lessons from sculptors Charles Grafly and George Demetrios. She also wrote and illustrated children's books under the name Hetty Burlingame Beatty. Hetty married Lewis F. Whitney who owned the Pewter Shop on Bearskin Neck in Rockport.

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Lili Wilson (b. )

No biography or designs available.