The Inheritance is a series of portraits about a botched inheritance. The story is from Toebbe’s parents: when her mother Margie was in her 20s in Cincinnati, she met two sisters, Dorothy and Jessie. Dorothy and Jessie, who lived together and never married, became lifelong friends of the Toebbe family. Dorothy and Jessie also owned a small fortune in shares of Proctor & Gamble stock, a portion of which they promised to Toebbe’s parents as an inheritance. Dorothy and Jessie lived into their nineties, and passed away in 2007.
Dorothy and Jessie also left shares of their P&G stock to their handyman and caretaker, Ron; to their church pastor, and to a man from their church named Loreaux. But when Dorothy and Jessie died, Loreaux claimed a greater share and sued the estate. While the lawsuit was pending the stock market crashed; by the time it was all over, the fortune was all but wiped out. Toebbe’s parents had counted on the inheritance for their retirement, but because of Loreaux’s greed, all they inherited was frustration, disappointment, and anger.
For the portraits, Toebbe drew from her mother’s stories and family photographs, as well as her own childhood memories and photographs from a vintage dollhouse museum in Joplin, Missouri. Toebbe composes the portraits as paintings, but she also utilizes cut paper collage along with bits of fabric, yarn, flocking, and other manufactured materials, including recycled painted paper and tracings from previous projects.
Together, the portraits and drawings of The Inheritance explore intersections of expectation and abstraction, memory and materiality – and an unfulfilled desire for vengeance.