Portrait Painting

Portrait painting Mark by Francis Tuban
Portrait painting Mark by Francis Tuban

I was lucky to grow up with my great-grand parents. Their stories of immigration and migration helped shape my views of the world. On my mother’s side I had Mark and Francis Tuban. I never knew their son, my grandfather, Frank Tuban, since he had passed away before I came along. But I had the chance to get to know my grandparents very well. Francis was a gifted artist and many of our homes had her paintings hanging proudly. She painted this small portrait of her husband around the time of their marriage in 1927. Mark was born on September 5, 1895, in Buguslar, Ukraine, Russia. He immigrated in 1912 to Los Angeles, California. Francis was born on November 27, 1906, in Benson Harbor, Michigan, USA. Her parents ran an orphanage in India. When her mother learned she was pregnant she traveled home to Benson Harbor, Michigan, to have her. But they soon returned to India where they would remain for the next 8 years. The two would eventually meet in Los Angeles where Francis was studying art. They married just before they moved to Panama’s Canal Zone in 1927. Mark was the Manager of International Parts & Services for Ford Motor Company. They lived there for 8 years and had both of their sons during their time there. They had lifetimes of adventures. But my favorite to hear about was their grand world tour on board a steamship in the early 1950s. 
My childhood memories of their homes are filled with visions of the cultural objects they gathered on that trip. It's no wonder I came to love art history. 

Place(s): Russia, India, Panama, Michigan, Los Angeles, Cairo
Year: 1912

– Julie Bly DeVere

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more