Archive for the ‘Gilmore City’ Category

Gilmore City, Iowa — Rich Watercolor, Rich Heritage

June 24, 2009

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"Railway Station and Grain Elevator" at Gilmore City, Iowa, painted in 1951. 17.25" W x 13.25" H limited edition prints are available, $35. For those who wish to display the watercolors of the Rolfe, Gilmore City, and Pocahontas I grain elevators in a grouping, we have chosen this standard size for all three. Also, if matted, a standard sized frame may be used instead of a custom frame.

"Railway Station and Grain Elevator" at Gilmore City, Iowa, painted in 1951. 17.25" W x 13.25" H limited edition prints are available, $35. For those who wish to display the watercolors of the Rolfe, Gilmore City, and Pocahontas I grain elevators in a grouping, we have chosen this standard size for all three. Also, if matted, a standard sized frame may be used instead of a custom frame. Click photo to enlarge.

On my monitor, this digital image is not nearly as rich-colored and vivid as the actual painting/print.  I love that Mother (Marion Gunderson) included three landmarks in this Gilmore City, Iowa, watercolor.

Gilmore City, Iowa, June 22, 2009.  Click photo to enlarge.

Gilmore City, Iowa, June 22, 2009. Click photo to enlarge.

Last night I took photos from approximately the same vantage point I believe Mother had for this Gilmore City painting.  I’m including a day-old photo to compare with Mother’s 1951 watercolor of Gilmore City.

According to the Pocahontas County, Iowa, History compiled in 1981, “Misfortune struck in the spring of 1947 when a fire of undetermined origin destroyed the main wooden elevator in Gilmore City.  That fall the Board voted to replace the destroyed structure with a new cement elevator.  This was to be the first elevator made entirely out of cement in this part of the country.  The Board of Directors and the managers spent many long hours of study on the plans of this new 125,000 bushel capacity elevator.  The cost of this new facility was approximately 60 cents per bushel capacity or $75,000.”* more…

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Cathrine Barr’s Influence, Mother (Marion), and Barr Art

June 8, 2009

(Aside from the photos and caption text, this post is taken from page 114 of the Pocahontas County, Iowa, History, compiled in 1981 by the Pocahontas County Historical Society Members and Friends, copyright 1982 by the Pocahontas County Historical Society, Rolfe, Iowa.  If you have anything–including photos–regarding Barr Art and/or Cathrine that you’d be willing to share, please comment at the post at the top of this page and/or email me at mariongundersonart@gmail.com.  Thank you.)

“Throw away your fear and timidity. Polish up your gambling spirit, and pick up your brush, ready for the dare.”

Mother (Marion) and Daddy (Deane) Gunderson with their first four children, (L to R) Clara, Martha (born October 1948), Charles and Helen.  The future Barr Art Association began meeting just months before this photograph was taken, while Mother was pregnant with Martha.  (Click photo to enlarge.)

Mother (Marion) and Daddy (Deane) Gunderson with their first four children, (L to R) Clara, Martha (born October 1948), Charles and Helen. The future Barr Art Association began meeting just months before, during the summer of 1948, while Mother was pregnant with Martha. (Click photo to enlarge.)

That’s exactly what happened when, in the summer of 1948, Cathrine Barr, a commercial artist and illustrator from Weston, Connecticut, came to Rolfe to visit her mother, Myrtle Anderson, and her grandmother, Addie Beam. This was the first of several summers from 1948 to 1952 when Cathrine organized classes and taught watercolor painting. Her emphasis was on basic techniques, originality, creativity and working directly from subject matter rather than copying other works. The classes proved popular, and each summer enthusiasm for the art of watercolor grew until the students numbered about 76 persons from Humboldt to Spencer, with a large nucleus in Pocahontas County.

On October 25, 1949, a group of these students met in the Shaw and Shaw Law Offices in Pocahontas to organize an Art Association. Marion Gunderson, Rolfe, was the first president, and Maude Herrick, Gilmore City, was the first secretary.

The name "Barr Art Association" was adopted in the fall of 1951, the same fall that my sister, Peggy, was born.  Here Mother (Marion) is pictured with (L to R) Clara, Martha, Peggy, Charles and Helen.  I (Louise) was born in the fall of 1955.  The artwork on the wall was painted by Charles.

The name "Barr Art Association" was adopted in the fall of 1951, the same fall that my sister, Peggy, was born. Here Mother (Marion) is pictured with (L to R) Clara, Martha, Peggy, Charles and Helen. I (Louise) was born in the fall of 1955. The artwork on the wall was painted by Charles. (Click photo to enlarge.)

It was not until the fall of 1951 that the group adopted the name of Barr Art Association, giving recognition to the person who had been their teacher and motivation.

The purpose of Barr Art was “to promote and stimulate interest in art.” This they accomplished in two ways. First and foremost was meeting regularly in each other’s home or else on location to pursue what they had learned from Cathrine. Secondly, they exhibited together annually at such places as the Blanden Gallery and the KVFD “Little Art Gallery” in Fort Dodge, sidewalk art shows, various women’s clubs and churches, and at Regional Amateur Art Shows sponsored by the Iowa Arts Council.

The Association thrived through the ’50s and ’60s, but in the late 1970s interest dwindled and the group disbanded.

Barr Art Association was “open to anyone interested in the various arts.” Its members painted together and enjoyed the satisfactions of artistic endeavor that only a group of working artists can enjoy in an atmosphere of relaxation and creativity.

To view names of many of the people who attended Barr Art, and also the communities they represented, click here.

If It Weren’t for Ruth Simonson and Reigelsbergers . . .

June 8, 2009

(For background information to this post, please scroll down to the first post in this blog, “Watercolors to John Deere.”)

Last September, my father’s (Deane Gunderson) former farming neighbors, Joe and Norine Reigelsberger, returned to my father three of Mother’s (Marion Gunderson) watercolors. (Mother passed away in 2004 at the age of eighty-five.)  Each painting was of an Iowa grain elevator including one at Gilmore City, one at Pocahontas, and one at Rolfe, painted in 1951, 1949, and circa 1950, respectively.  I am fortunate to now display these paintings in my home.

Last spring after I left the three paintings at Wild Faces Gallery (aka “Mona’s”) in Rolfe for Mona Majorowicz to frame, Ruth Simonson from Rolfe was in the gallery.  Ruth noticed Mother’s paintings and took a more…