The Luther Family Coat of Arms
Paine probably designed this coat of arms for ‘Daisy’ Luther during the 1930s. Her full name was Daisy Kathe Else Nadi (Nadia) Luther, born in 1896 in Estonia. However, she was generally known as Anna and it was as Anna Luther that Paine first met her in Santa Barbara, where she attended his art classes, though it is possible that she may have known him previously in England. She was very short, four foot something, and sat in the front row and admired her inspiring teacher. She was very artistic and played the violin. In October 1945 Paine drew a likeness of the violinist Max Rostal, Professor of Music at the Guildhall School of Music and well-known soloist at the Albert Hall and in BBC concerts, which he inscribed: ‘To my friend Mrs. Anna Paine with best wishes’.
On 1st November 1922 Anna, aged 26, left Southampton on the White Star liner Homeric bound for New York. She was a teacher and Estonian citizen living at 65 Oakley Street, Chelsea. The date when she reached California is unknown and it seems she did not meet Teuila. When in 1936 Paine sent her a portrait of Anna, Teuila refers in her reply to Anna’s ‘rare and lovely face’ and says she wants to get to know her.
It is difficult to untangle the events in Paine’s personal life at this time. Anna had a friend, a ballerina called Katherine but known as ‘Jim’ or ‘Jimmie’, who Paine knew in England before going to California. It seems that she was the love of his life. The exact sequence of events is very unclear but the story is that ‘Jim’ chased him to Santa Barbara. He got a telegram announcing her arrival while he was lecturing and said he ‘fainted’. Teuila entertained them at Serena on at least one occasion, remembering in a letter ‘the long day [they] came and spent in the garden’. In 1930 Paine returned to England. It may be that he wanted to remain in California but was induced to return to England by Katherine. Teuila certainly thought so. In a letter to Anna dated 24 January 1937 Teuila wrote, ‘… though Jim loved him madly she wanted to get him back to England where she wanted to live. . . . on all sides I still hear regrets that the greatest artist that ever came to California was allowed to leave . . .’ He resigned on the same day as Morley Fletcher, the end of the second semester, the 17 May. This was to be the end of their very successful association (Box 668, Archives of the SBSA) He arrived at Southampton on the White Star Liner Majestic on 5 September, listed as ‘Professor aged 34’. Katherine may have been with him but does not appear on the same passenger list. It is probable that Anna returned to England at the same time. Paine was very highly thought of in California and there is a clear implication in another letter that he could have been appointed Director of the School of Arts in San Francisco.
Following his return to England Paine worked in partnership with Anna who was skilled in the making of stained glass. They called themselves ‘the firm’. He lived with Jim at Studio House, (South View Road), Pinner Hill, Middlesex. In August 1933, writing to Anna while on holiday with Jim in Norfolk, after referring to Jim affectionately as ‘my little lilybums’, he concludes, ‘Yours as ever X a wet one’ His third wife wrote of him, ‘… he was a great boy for the women!’
Although life seems to have gone smoothly for a time, by 1936 Paine was in trouble both personally and professionally. In a letter to Teuila he speaks of ‘tragedy and hell’. She refers to his ‘many troubles’. He was suffering from depression and had lost interest in his work. Teuila wrote, ‘I am so glad that you are beginning to ‘want to draw’ – with a home and peace and love you should be able to spit on your hands and go to work with enthusiasm.’ (13 December 1936) It is clear that he was very deeply attached to Katherine but for some reason they parted. It may be because he was unable to obtain a divorce from Maria. In December 1936 Teuila wrote, ‘As I understand it you could not get a divorce . . . have you and Jim parted for ever? Is your home with Anna? Thank God for her care of you. I listened to the King’s abdication speech – and the tears rolled down my cheeks. How well you can sympathise with him. You too are denied what was denied him. Surely all this publicity should have some effect on the obsolete divorce laws of England’. Paine lived with Anna, after the parting with Jim, and they stayed together until her death in 1960. In August 1937 Teuila wrote, ‘Give Anna a kiss from me and tell her to take the best care of my dear Charles.’
At this time, in the mid-thirties, Paine and Anna were both in poor health. In August or September 1937 Anna was in hospital and Paine was ‘getting well enough to walk again’. A submission to the Royal Academy was rejected. Ever supportive, Teuila wrote, ‘Damn the Royal Academy – Don’t they know a good thing when they see it?’ (25 May 1937) It seems likely that he hoped to escape from his unhappy situation by returning to the Community Arts Association and cabled Teuila for advice. She replied in January 1937 saying, ‘… I’m so sorry to tell you there isn’t a chance. The poor old Community Arts is all shot to pieces.’ With the coming of the Depression in 1929 and the ending of the Carnegie grant, the SBSA had fallen into serious financial difficulties. It managed to continue for a few years and was finally dissolved in the mid to late 1930’s.
In September 1942 Anna married Paine at Marylebone saying ‘it would help with the rations’. She refused to change her name. It is not known if Paine had eventually obtained a divorce or if Maria was dead. They continued to live at Welwyn Garden City. Anna had, for reasons unknown, been ‘thrown out’ by her family which is perhaps why she went to America and may have something to do with her having an illegitimate child by her Cossack lover in Estonia. The child died and she was to have no other children. Eventually she was forgiven and returned to London and received her share of the family fortune. This was considerable, certainly enough for her and Paine to live on after they moved to Jersey in 1948. Anna belonged to an aristocratic landed family in Tallinn that claimed descent from Martin Luther. Her mother, Margareta, (or possibly her grandmother) was an opera singer at the Palace of the Tsar. When the Russians invaded the Baltic States in 1940 her brother Martin told his relatives to come back home and collect their share of the family wealth. They escaped from Tallinn all together in a car and were escorted across Europe to the Hook of Holland by the Nazis – so the story goes.*
Anna died of pancreatic cancer at the West London Hospital, Hammersmith, on 5 September 1960 aged 64. Paine was distraught but that is another story.
* The background to these events is described in The Devil’s Alliance: Hitler’s Pact with Stalin 1939 – 1941 by Roger Moorhouse 2014 p.79 ff