Rockland Recollections: Art of Bob Burghardt

Goetschius Farm, Tallman
Goetschius Farm, Tallman
Hedges Mansion, Haverstraw
Hedges Mansion, Haverstraw
Nyack Ferry
Nyack Ferry
May 10, 2017 —November 05, 2017

The Historical Society of Rockland County Presents

Rockland Recollections
The Art of Robert Burghardt

When: May 10November 5, 2017, WednesdaysFridays & Sundays, 124 pm
Where: HSRC History Center, 20 Zukor Road, New City
Admission: $FREE

Born in New York City, Robert P. (Bob) Burghardt moved to North Rockland in 1954. "Quickly and enthusiastically, he soaked up [Rockland's] deep history, using his talent as an artist to document a unique sense of place, even of time," writes Art Gunther, columnist and retired Journal News editor, artist, and keen county observer, in the essay that introduces the new exhibition at the HSRC. "As an artist, particularly of Rockland places rich in history, the Stony Pointer was as fluid as he could be, using authentic but rich coloring to give the viewer a tug at emotion."

Whether he was painting lavish Gilded Age mansions or unassuming rural rail stops, Burghardt created scenes that capture the spirit of Rockland County in indefinable yet unmistakable ways.

More than fifty original artworks are on view in "Rockland Recollections: The Art of Robert Burghardt," the 2017 special exhibition at the Historical Society of Rockland County. The paintings, prints, and objects, some of them rarely seen, form a visual chronicle of the county, particularly during two periods of great economic and social change: the mid-19th century, when railroads brought new industries and populations to Rockland, and the mid-20th century, when the opening of the Tappan Zee Bridge transformed the county into suburbs.

"We're grateful to the children of Bob and Cecilia Burghardt for their generous donation to the HSRC of the original oil paintings and watercolors, photographic prints, objects, and research papers that form the basis of the exhibition," says Executive Director Susan Deeks. Works on loan from the Orangetown Historical Museum & Archives and private collections round out the show, which includes paintings of community structures and scenes—some still standing but many now vanished from the Rockland landscape—in all five of the county's towns. Of particular interest to Burghardt were the architecturally complex Victorian mansions that once overlooked the Hudson, captured for posterity in oils and watercolors, as well as the schools, churches, rail stations, and other structures that formed the basis of community life.

"Rockland Recollections: The Art of Robert Burghardt" was made possible by a generous grant from the Town of Haverstraw, Supervisor Howard T. Phillips and the Haverstraw Town Board. The HSRC receives operating support from the Office of the Rockland County Executive and the Rockland County Legislature. We are grateful for their support.

Special thanks also to Arthur H. Gunther III for the insightful words that introduce the exhibition; the Burghardt family, Nancy Casey, Larry Kigler, and the Orangetown Historical Museum & Archives for additional original and reproduction artworks on loan to the exhibition; HSRC staff members and exhibition curators and volunteers Susan Deeks, Richard Donegan, Christine Kowalski, Bob Carroll, Marianne Leese, Clare Sheridan, Larry Singer, and Caroline Tapley; and the Trustees of the HSRC.

The exhibition runs through November 5 and is open to the public, free of charge, on Wednesdays-Fridays and Sundays, 1-4 pm, and by appointment.

For information, contact Christine Kowalski, Museum Services Assistant, (845) 634-9629 or [email protected].

2017 Rockland Recollections-Catalogue of Artworks on Exhibit


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