Images from grandma’s scrapbook

My Grandmother, Mary Lou Russell (1927-2009), was born and raised in Kansas, USA. She raised her own family in Oklahoma from 1957 to 1971.  In 1971 her husband’s employer moved the family to London where they lived for 5 years.  Next they moved to Norway for 12 years.  In 1988 they moved back to the USA, to Indiana.   She made a name for herself over fifty years by cutting silhouettes for people wherever she went. During the 50’s and 60’s she performed her craft at several state and craft  fairs.  For a short time she did silhouettes for customers on Selfridge’s shop floor in London. During her time in London she met with the famous English silhouette artist Hubert Leslie who cut silhouettes on Brighton pier for many years. In Norway she helped to create a large craft fair, which still exists. 

Here are a few images from a silhouette scrapbook that she kept- a visual diary of her career.


About silhouetteart

I perform the traditional art of silhouette portrait cutting at parties and events across England and Europe
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4 Responses to Images from grandma’s scrapbook

  1. This is wonderful – thanks for sharing such wonderful memories with us.

  2. Dereck Hood says:

    Hi Alison,

    I have not met you but my mother married Scott Lang who is the nephew of Mary Lou (I called her Aunt Mary Lou). I have several of Aunt Mary Lou’s silhouettes of myself and my family framed on my wall and I love them dearly. I always found it very difficult to see still and not watch her do her magic. As you know Grandma (Dottie) Lang just passed and I remember seeing a box of Aunt Mary Lou’s work in it. I just stumbled accross this website after Googling Aunt Mary Lou’s name and now I wish now that I would have gotten it to send it to you. Hopefully I will be returning soon and will pick it up if you wish. If my dad or Uncle Rob go up, I will ask that they get it. Please keep in touch.

    • Hi Dereck,

      Thanks for this comment, I would absolutely LOVE to see the silhouettes by my grandma that you spotted in a box at great aunt Dorothy’s! That would be wonderful! Once a person passes the things they leave behind seem to take on extra value as it’s all we physically have left of them.
      I really appreciate your offer to ask your dad or uncle to collect the silhouettes next time they’re over there.
      Thanks for getting in touch!

  3. Lance says:


    I am sorry to learn that your grand mother died back in 09′. She did a silhouette portrait of my wife and I. I am glad to learn that you took over the business…

    I wish you well…

    Indianapolis, Indiana

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