Portsmouth NH Soprano, Artist, Sculptor, Instructor: Antoinette (Prien) Schultze 1944-Still Living

The ”Mill Girl” statue was created in 1988 by Antoinette Schultze and commemorates the active role women played in the Amoskeag Mills of Manchester NH. It is located in the Amoskeag Millyard of Manchester next to the Stark Mill. Photograph by Normand Boulanger, 1988. Manchester Historic Association Collection. Used with Permission.

I rarely write articles about living people, but I make an exception for this gifted woman. Her birth date and parentage were already public information (easily found with a google search) so not making the genealogical faux pas of offering that info.

Antoinette (Prien) Schultz came to my attention while researching the locally famed Mill Girl” sculpture, dedicated on 3 September 1988 and located in Manchester New Hampshire’s mill yard. That city is celebrating its 175th anniversary in 2021. Much of Manchester’s growth and success can be credited to the mill workers, many of them female, who toiled to bring food to their tables, and to line the pockets of their employers, who often “gave back” to the city.

It seems that Antoinette was destined, at first, to become a noted opera singer, The 25 May 1968 edition of the Portsmouth Herald newspaper stated: “Antoinette Schultze voice recital of classical songs presented at the North Congregational Church Parish House, Pinney Rd Portsmouth. A soprano, she has studied under Erna Handel MacDonald of Exeter and coached opera with Felix Wolfes of the New England Conservatory of Music. A semi-finalist in the Metropolitan auditions in Boston, the talented singer will appear next year with the Cambridge Opera Company. She resides at 588 Lincoln Avenue.

In 1966 she apparently shifted gears and taught herself to sculpt, mainly with great granite blocks and pieces of glass. She completed numerous large commissions, and has won awards for her granite public art designs. You can find her work in public as well as private collections. She was also a sculptor instructor at the NH Institute of Art in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Photo of Antoinette Schultze from the 25 May 1968 edition of the Portsmouth Herald newspaper.

The last I could find, this talented lady lives in Maine, perhaps on a dairy farm,and if correct, that fact would certainly endear her to me. Among her many talents, does she milk the cows I wonder? Based on her genealogy, if correct she appears to be half German and half Italian–a lively mix of European and Mediterranean genes. Her grandfather Vincenzo “Vincent” Marconi raised roses, while her other grandfather, “Gus” Prien,stated he was a journeyman tailor upon his arrival in the United States.

On her maternal side, the Marconi family were mainly fishermen and lobstermen once they settled on the east coast, USA.  Noteworthy was Annette’s mother, Mary Marconi who according to a June 23 1942 story in the Portsmouth Herald newspaper, she was “formerly Portsmouth’s only girl fisherman.”

To make her history story even more interesting, though dramatically sad, her father Alfred G. Prien was a survivor of the Squalus (SS-192) accident., a machinist’s mate 1c who reportedly at the controls when the sub began to sink. That vessel was commissioned at Portsmouth NH on 1 March 1939, being lost on its test journey.Alfred remained in the US Navy, later serving on the submarine, Triton.  He would later tragically die while still quite young (1957) in a boating accident. Antoinette would have been only 13 years old at the time.

As for the artist’s sculptures, they range from “realistic to abstraction.” I’m not a fan of the abstract, but I have to admit that I easily connect with, and appreciate her work.  The Ogunquit Museum of American Art states: “Her sculptures have evolved from realistic to abstraction, with a philosophical focus and medium of expression remaining constant. Schultze creates forms that are visually beautiful and comfortable in the landscape, exhibiting strength along with the frailty that she sees in existence.”

The artist completed several large commissions, and won awards for her granite public art designs. Her work is in many public as well as private collections, in museums and in public institutions.  Her works are worth a visit, whether they be on public display or within the confines of an art museum.


Antoinette (Prien) Schultze: Her official artist’s web site

Artist Talk (Video): Antoinette (Prien) Schultze


=====PARTIAL GENEALOGY OF Antoinette Prien Schultze=====

Gustave Alfred “Gus” Prien was b abt 1884 in Hamburg, Deutschland (Germany); died 22 Feb 1959. Buried Hills Ferry Cemetery, Newman, Stanislaus Co. California.
He arrived in the United States in October of 1906 aboard the ship Amerika, aged 22, occupation: journeyman tailor He married  abt 1911 to Katharina Gölz aka Catherine/Katherine “Katie” Goelz, daughter of Christian David Gölz and Anna Maria Graner. She was born 16 Jan 1872 in Oberlenningen, Württemberg, Germany; d 21 June 1953 in Napa California. Buried Hills Ferry Cemetery. She had married 1st) 5 March 1891 in Stanislaus California to Andrew Russ, He was b. 16 June 1858 in Wurtemburg Germany. He died on 3 October 1897. He is buried in Hills Ferry Cemetery, Newman California
1910 US Census > California > Stanislaus, Newman
Gustave Puen 27 Head
Katie Puen 38 Wife
Edward Puen 17 Step Son [Russ]
Howard Puen 13 Step Son [Russ]
1930 US Census > California > Sonoma > Analy
Gus A Prien 46 Head
Katharine Prien 51 Wife
Katharine Prien 19 Daughter
Alfred G Prien 17 Son
Helen K Prien 15 Daughter
Children of Andrew & Katherine (Goelz) Russ:
1. Edward Herman Russ aka Rust, b abt 1892, d. 3 Oct 1962 Contra Costa California. He m. Bernice Fern George.
2. Howard Julius Russ, b 4 Jan 1897 in California, d. 24 May 1983 in Stanislaus California. He m abt 1923 to Louisa E. Pedro
Children of Gustave & Catherine (Goelz) Prien:
3. Frieda Amalia Prien, b 11 Oct 1910 Newman California, d. 12 Nov 1997 Santa Clara California. She m. 1 Dec 1945 in San Francisco CA to Kurt Ross. He was b 15 June 1907 in Sporken Germany and d. 10 May 1988 in Mountain View California. Had children.
4. +Alfred G. Prien, b 2 July 1912 in California
5. Helen K. Prien, b 19 Nov 1914 in California, d. Feb 1978. She m. in 1936 to Giovanni “John” Lucchetti. He was b 2 Dec 1913 and d 13 July 1979. Lived Loa Altoa California. Had two children.

Vincenzo “James Vincent” Marconi, son of Joseph & Mary (?) Marconi, b 12 July 1864 in Italy d 11 Oct 1947 in Portsmouth NH. He married Annette “Anna” Ghiezi/Yateze/Yates, daughter of Peter & Maria (?) Ghiezi. She was born 1 Nov 1878 in Italy; d 19 March 1954 in Portsmouth NH, buried in family plot, Calvary Cemetery, Portsmouth NH. Had been living at 101 Marcy Street, Portsmouth NH. (Puddle Dock area of Portsmouth). Occupation on death cert: raising of roses.
1930 US Census > NH > Rockingham > Portsmouth > 74 Marcy StreetJames Marconey 64 Head
Anna Marconey 48 Wife
Hugo Marconey 25 Son
Frindo Marconey 19 Son
Colombus Marconey 16 Son
Rose Marconey 13 Daughter
William Marconey 11 Son
Mary Marconey 10 Daughter
Eugene Marconey 7 Son
Joseph Marconey 4 Son
Children of Vincenzo & Annette “Anna” (Ghiezi) Marconi:
1. Hugo Marconi, b. 10 Aug 1905 in Italy, d. Oct 1980 Kittery Maine. In 1937 occupation fisherman.
2. Florindo “Frindo” Marconi, b 16 July 1909, d. Nov 1975 New Hampshire; m. 1 May 1943 in Kittery Maine to Evelyn Robichaud, daughter of Anthony Robichaud. In 1961 living at 84 Jefferson St. Portsmouth NH, occupation lobster fisherman. His marriage notice states he was a diver and former motorcycle champion of New Hampshire and roller skating champion of Maine (both titles held in 1930)
3. Colombus John “Babe” Marconi, b 9 April 1914 in Portsmouth NH, died September 1985; m. 2 Aug 1941 in Portsmouth NH to Elise Eleanore Lorraine E. Lavallee, daughter of Andre & Frances Eleanor (Waterman) Lavallee.
4. Rose Mary Marconi, b. 4 July 1916 in Portsmouth NH; she m. 15 Oct 1937 in Portsmouth NH to Dorsey L. Bowen, son of Taylor C. & Mable (Collier) Bowen. He was b 5 July 1912 in Toukawa, Oklahoma, and d. Feb 1965 in New Hampshire. She m2) — Yuhas.
5. William Joseph Marconi, b 21 Jan 1919 in Portsmouth NH; d. 9 July 2005. He m. 12 Dec 1942 in Portsmouth NH to Eva Pauline Semprini, dau of Augustino & Theresa (Alessi) Semprini. In 1947 Occupation fisherman living at 5 Marcy St. Portsmouth NH. Children: Patricia (Don Lane); Ann (George Mavrikis)l Vincent (Patricia); William T. (Michelle).
6. +Mary Marconi, b 6 May 1920 in Portsmouth NH; m. Alfred Gustave Prien (SEE)
7. Eugene Joseph Marconi, b 21 Jan 1923, d. 11 June 1985; served in the US Army during WW2 (1943-1946). He married 30 July 1949 in Portsmouth NH to Evelyn E. Ladrie.
8. Joseph Francis Marconi, b 8 June 1925 Portsmouth NH; d. 6 Sep 2000 Portsmouth NH.

——-Next Generation———–

1939 Photograph of Alfred G. Prien from the Daily Independent newspaper of Murphy’sboro, IL U.S. Navy Photo.

Alfred Gustave Prien, b 2 July 1912 in California, son of Gustave “Gus” & Catherine (Goelz) Prien. He died 16June 1957 in Portsmouth NH. His death certificate states he died of a boating accident, caught up in propeller of outboard motor boat. He was in the US Navy at the time of his death. He is buried in Cavalry City Cemetery, Portsmouth NH. According to the Ports,mouth Herald newspaper of 13 June 1945, had been commended by Fleet Admiral Chester W. Mimitz, USN, commander-in-chief of the Pacific fleet “for distinguishing himself by meritorious conduct in action in the performance of his duties as a member of the crew of a U.S. submarine.”  Alfred was a survivor of the USS Squalas, MM1c, US Navy.  He married 22 June 1942 in Portsmouth NH to Mary Marconi, daughter of Vincenzo & Anna (Gölz) Marconi. She was born 6 May 1920 in Portsmouth NH.
In the 13 January 1962 Portsmouth Herald, a notice stated that “Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Schultze were feted at a reception in honor of their recent marriage. Seventy-five guests attended. Mrs. Schultze the former Antoinette Prien, daughter of Mrs. Mary Prien of 100 Btoad St., was a senior at Portsmouth High School where she was a member of the Glee Club and Choir. Her husband the son of Mr. & Mrs. Carl Schultze of 233 Rockland St., is a member of the 1963 Class at Columbia where he is a member of the Varsity Crew Team. The couple will make their home in New York. (They lived in Eliot Maine).
Children of Alfred G. & Mary (Marconi) Prien:
1. +Antoinette Prien, born 1 June 1944 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire; She m. 1962 to Frederick Schultze. Resided Elliot Maine.  This story is about her, SEE above.
2. Vincent Alfred “Vin” Prien, b. abt 1948 Portsmouth NH: m. 12 Dec 1970 in Portsmouth NH to Barbara Lynn Childress.  Agent/Manager of Isles of Shoals Mariculture, LLC.  Resides Rye NH.

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