Margaritha Hodge

Date of Birth1899
Born inSt. Martin
  • Bio

    Margaritha "Miss Lee" Hodge (1899 St. Maarten - †1998 Curaçao)

    Margarita Eliza Hodge - better known as Miss Lee Hodge - had wanted to settle down with her sweetheart in St. Maarten but instead, her parents sent her off to her two brothers and sister in Brooklyn, New York. After 10 years of hard work she returned to St. Maarten. Not with a life companion, but with a large American car, a piano and a Singer sewing machine. She sold donuts, washed and ironed clothes, repaired pianos and her own sewing machine. In 1937 she left St. Maarten as a single mothter, looking for work in Aruba. Instead, she found work as a teacher in Curaçao. She became a piano teacher and a Sunday school teacher, lived in a small house behind the Protestant church and became mother and grandmother of the neighborhood. Being a Methodist, she was very disciplined and strict with herself.


    She was a musician and a handyman and in addition, she started painting. She started with paintings of her memories of New York and St. Maarten. Later on, she made the nature and architecture of her surroundings come to life in her work, such as little boats in the islands' surrounding waters, people getting in and out of their cars. If the color faded, she gave the painting a new coating. She used all kinds of material - card board, linen, chairs, serving trays.

    Miss Lee's first exposition was held in Curacao in in 1998. She was 99 years old at that time. A local newspaper wrote: "She interpreted her world in her own style, not polluted by leading artistic rules. The exposition is a party, a real homage to a remarkable naïve artist". A few weeks later Miss Lee passed away. She left behind more then 70 unnamed paintings.