Thomas Evans and Mary Clark Brittingham were one of Madison’s most recognizable couples in the early 1900s. A combination of wealth, social status, and affiliations enabled them to exert influence on the policies and landscape of their city. The Brittingham name remains scattered throughout Madison as a testament to that influence.
The Brittinghams seem to have taken very seriously the notion that those with privilege had a duty to improve the world around them. In keeping with this tradition, both of the Brittinghams promoted and sponsored civic improvement, particularly as regards public health, children’s welfare, and city beautification.
The Brittinghams had three children: Margaret in 1892, Harold Hixon in 1894, and Thomas Evans, Jr. in 1899. As adults, the three Brittingham children steered the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Brittingham Fund, established by the wills of their parents. To this day, the Brittingham Fund provides significant support for UW‘s community of artists, writers, and researchers.
Fifteen years after the Brittinghams donated their family home to UW-Madison, a collection of lantern slides was found in the attic. This collection consists of family and travel photographs taken during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. All of the images in this online exhibit were taken from that collection.
The Brittingham Family