Portrait Sitter

Viola Green Porter

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Viola Green Porter

Viola Green Porter (1898-1985) commissioned this portrait to commemorate her graduation from the 8th grade at Charlottesville's segregated Jefferson Graded School.

The white dress and diploma make this photo similar to other Holsinger Studio graduation portraits of young women, both Black and white.

Viola married Horace Porter six months after this portrait was made. They made their home in Gospel Hill, an African American neighborhood that was adjacent to the University of Virginia.

The university bulldozed it in the 1970s and 1980s to make room for the expansion of its hospital and nursing and medical schools.

Viola worked as a housekeeper and, in later years, as a practical nurse. She and Horace had eight children and were married for nearly 70 years.