Lotz House Announces Book Release on the Life of Matilda Lotz

Aug 12, 2019 at 03:09 pm by adminjen



The historic Lotz House has announced the release of Lift My Eyes, an imaginative biography authored by Magdalen Dugan that chronicles the life of renowned artist Matilda Lotz, who grew up in the Lotz House on ground zero of the Battle of Franklin.

Lotz House Executive Director J.T. Thompson says, “About two and a half years ago, Magdalen took my guided tour of the Lotz House and learned about the family. She had particular interest in Matilda’s story and later came back and toured with our historian Thomas Y. Cartwright. Her intrigue led to more research and we’re thrilled to have someone help us preserve this compelling story we tell in order to keep the Lotz family story alive.”

Born to German immigrant parents, Matilda turned six-years-old the day before the November 30,1864 battle. When the Lotz family awakened on the morning of the battle, the Federal Line was established in their front yard. Mr. Lotz, fearing that his family would not survive the battle in their wooden house, they sought refuge in the brick basement of the Carter House. For seventeen hours while the battle raged all around them, the Lotz along with twenty other people remained safe and survived. When they exited the basement the next morning, they were horrified to see the bodies of dead soldiers six feet deep between The Carter House and their home across the street. It is said that Matilda was told to “lift her eyes” so as not to witness this carnage.

Dugan says her experience darkened her perspective of the world. “I do not trust any of them— the heads of state, the princes, the sons of men,” said the author, expressing Matilda’s bitterness toward the Civil War and the misery it wrought. “They have taken nearly everything of value, though they cannot completely take us from each other as long as we can remember.”

The majority of the book focuses on the artist’s life in her childhood home. Other places include the San Francisco School of Design, where Matilda trained after learning art from her brother, as well as different European countries. Her passion for learning and practicing art, as well as other circumstances and historical events, urged her to travel to places such as Algeria, Austria, Egypt, France, Hungary, and Switzerland. Author Magdalen Dugan gives readers a unique perspective into the painter’s life. In each chapter, readers get to experience a specific event in Matilda Lotz’s life through the writer’s words, allowing them to better understand who Matilda was as a daughter, sister, friend, wife and artist.

Lift My Eyes is available at The Lotz House. The Lotz House, which has been on the National Historic Register since 1976, is located in the heart of downtown historic Franklin, at the “epicenter” of the Battle of Franklin, which was a pivotal battle in the Civil War on November 30, 1864. The house is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Admission charged. The Lotz House is located in Franklin at 1111 Columbia Avenue. For more information, visit lotzhouse.com or call 615.790.7190.

Event Photos

Community Calendar