Nannie Huddle - Protegėe and Friend

Born in Mobile, Alabama, to Leonora and Benjamin Franklin Carver, Nannie Zenobia Carver Huddle (1860-1951) moved to Austin at a young age with her family.

Nannie attended St. Mary’s Academy, where she began taking art classes. One of her instructors arranged for William Henry Huddle, a well-known painter and portrait artist, to see Nannie’s work when she was only sixteen. The two would be married ten years later, when Nannie was no longer pursuing art, and the couple had a daughter in 1891. Shortly after, in 1892, William Huddle unexpectedly passed away, leaving Nannie and their young daughter behind.

During this time, Nannie Huddle withdrew from public life and resumed painting in private. In the early 1900s, she moved to New York City temporarily and studied at the Art Students League, which her late husband had helped to establish. After returning to Austin, Huddle received an appointment from Governor Sayers to teach at the Texas School for the Deaf. She would hold this position until she retired during the 1940s. It was also during this time that Huddle became close with Elisabet Ney.

Nannie was Ney’s only student and studied alongside the renowned sculptor from 1903 until Ney’s death in 1907. While Huddle did produce some noteworthy sculpture under Ney’s tutelage, she ultimately returned to painting and established her reputation as a Texas wildflower painter. She exhibited her work through multiple women’s organizations in Texas and continued painting until her death in 1951.

Works by Nannie Huddle in the Collections

The two items in the Elisabet Ney Museum's collections that were either created by or contributed to by Nannie Huddle include a bas-relief profile portrait commemorating Ney’s friend and neighbor Jacob Bickler, as well as a painted vase. 

The vase, which features a Sensitive Plant motif (a plant which can be found on the grounds of the Elisabet Ney Museum), is said to have been designed by Ney and painted by Huddle in 1904.