Wilfrid and Jane de Glehn's wedding, 1904
In May of 1904, Wilfrid von Glehn married the painter Jane Erin Emmet at New Rochelle, New York. She was the youngest of the three talented Emmet sisters and her sisters Rosina Sherwood and Lydia Field Emmet both became well-known and celebrated as artists in the United States. Their cousin, Ellen Emmet Rand, known as ‘Bay’, was also much in demand as a society portrait painter. Rosina, the eldest, was a student at William Merritt Chase’s famous Tenth Street studio in New York while Jane, Lydia and Bay all attended the Art Students’ League.
All four of the Emmet girls had some training in France. Rosina and Lydia attended the Académie Julian in 1884-5 and Jane and Bay studied with the sculptor Frederick MacMonnies. Jane returned to America in July 1897 after a brief visit to England during which she stayed with Bay’s cousin, the novelist Henry James, at Lamb House in Rye. It was probably through Bay that Jane met Wilfrid in 1903. The Emmets were distantly related by marriage to Stanford White-- the influential architect who, along with McKim, had worked on the designs for the new Boston Public Library. He had introduced Bay to Sargent as a student and Henry James had promoted the contact in London. When Wilfrid arrived in New York, Bay was already following in Rosina and Lydia’s successful footsteps as a portraitist. Such was the commercial success of Lydia’s child portraits by 1905 that she had become a millionaire and was able to build Strawberry Hill—a traditional New England clapboard house in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.