Jane Allen Boyer, an illustrator for several charming WWI era books aimed at girls, lived in Riverton.
Her 1940 obituary gives a fuller explanation of her life in Riverton where “…she was most active in its church, club, and social life.”
Her considerable accomplishments as a member of Christ Church, the Porch Club, the Red Cross, the Cinnaminson Home Board of Managers, and the Welfare Association of Riverton and Cinnaminson certainly helped improve the well-being of the Borough’s citizens.
While abebooks.com has a used hardcover copy of The Mary Frances Sewing Book for sale for $225, at least three of Boyer’s books (Cook Book, Knitting & Crocheting, and Sewing) now live on as 100th-year anniversary paperback editions for sale on Amazon for $19.99-$21.95 each.
This image from the auction site invaluable.com depicts a sold oil on canvas work by Jane Allen Boyer.
By the way… our historical society does not have any of the items pictured here. Even the New Era obit is a screen capture from our digital newspaper archive.
If a reader can fill in a bit more about the life and work of this Riverton artist, or favor us with a donated item, please contact us. -JMc, Editor
Casey Foedisch kindly gave us permission to use this piece about the Hartmanns that she wrote for the 2018 July 4th Program.
Contributed by Casey L. Foedisch
Imagine a painting. A scene by the Delaware River, lush and green, shaded by gorgeous trees. You can almost hear the tide coming in if you stare long enough. Anyone from Riverton could look at this painting and know exactly where the artist stood to see that slice of our town, and many have seen him out painting.
Over the years, Edward Hartmann has painted hundreds of scenes of Riverton, many of which hang in homes around town, and he has never grown tired of the beautiful place he calls home.
Ed was born in Northeast Philadelphia on March 28, 1925, several years before the start of the Great Depression, to Edward Hartmann Sr. and Anna Cecelia Kunkel. He grew up in the shadow of St. Edwards Catholic Church, playing games like “halfies” and building makeshift cars out of boxes and skates with his friends. Ed attended Northeast Public High School, where a teacher noticed his interest in art and helped him to develop that skill.
Because of the Depression, his family didn’t have money for him to attend postsecondary school, so with the help of his teacher, Ed applied for scholarships. There were only two scholarships for art in Philadelphia: one at Temple University and one at the Philadelphia Museum School of Arts (now University of the Arts). For his application, Ed reproduced a painting by Fredric Remington called The Emigrants, and the Philadelphia Museum School of Arts was so impressed they gave him the scholarship!
However, at the time of his graduation from high school, World War II was in full swing. Ed was only able to complete one year of art school before he was drafted into the Navy. He became a radioman based out of Pennsylvania, sending and receiving coded messages at the rate of eighteen words per minute.
During this assignment, he saw a posting on their bulletin board for Officer Candidate School and jumped at the opportunity to try something new. Ed was a little afraid they wouldn’t accept him, since the first interview question was an algebra problem he couldn’t solve! Despite that small mistake, Ed started in 1945 at Buclo1ell University, a school he loved. After a year, however, the program split into two cohorts and left Bucknell. One group went to the University of Pennsylvania, and the other, Ed’s cohort, was sent to Harvard University. In 1947, he graduated from Harvard with a Bachelor’s Degree in War Service Science. Now, he just had to wait for an officer’s assignment.
A soon as his first service with the Navy was complete, Ed went right back to the Philadelphia Museum School of Arts to finish his diploma in Illustration. Unfortunately, the school told him he’d have to start all over again, but a beloved painting professor pled his case and changed their decision so that Ed could begin his second year. Lucky he did, because without that change, Ed never would have met Joan Marr Bailey in his second-level classes.
Joan was from Palmyra, NJ, and the two became friends immediately. They had a lot in common and one day, while out dancing the jitterbug (a favorite of theirs), Ed told Joan “I love you and I want to marry you.” Joan said, “Really?” Her response wasn’t quite what he expected, but the outcome was what he’d hoped for. The two were married in 1951, but it wasn’t long before the Navy came knocking with Ed’s next assignment.
A month after getting married and enjoying their honeymoon in Bermuda, Ed was assigned to the USS Duel APA 160, a member of the amphibious ship group in the Korean Conflict. There, he served as the Lieutenant and Ships Navigator for another tour. After returning home, Ed began working as an Art Director and Graphic Designer, creating brochure layouts, graphics, and company logos for more than thirty years before going into business for himself.
In the early years of their marriage, Ed and Joan lived in Northeast Philadelphia. Joan, though, was set on moving back to New Jersey, and Ed had no problem obliging. The Hartmanns ended up a few blocks from Joan’s family on Linden Avenue, where Ed still lives today. His parents thought they’d moved to the Country, but Ed loved Riverton immediately. It was the perfect place to raise a family, and they had their only child, a son named John, in 1957. Ed’s love of art rubbed off on John, who attended Bucknell University and went on to earn a Masters in Art Conservation from the State University of New York at Cooperstown. He now has his own painting conservation business in Pennsylvania.
In addition to his work as a designer, Ed began helping his in-laws with their flower growing business in Palmyra. Eventually, that grew into a bigger operation on Route 130 in Cinnaminson, and Ed worked there for thirty years raising thousands of azaleas before it closed. He also attended Calvary Presbyterian Church in Riverton with Joan and has been a member there for over 53 years.
All along, Ed never lost his love of art. One Christmas night, soon after they moved to Riverton, Ed announced that he was going out. It was cold and snowing, and Joan was reasonably surprised by this, but that didn’t stop him. In the silence, Ed took his tools and set up his easel, painting the winter around him. One Riverton police officer kept circling back to check on him; Ed was pretty sure the officer thought he was crazy! But of course, he wasn’t, he was just a man rediscovering his lifelong love.
After that, Ed was a fixture in Riverton. Many people can remember him at various places, brush in hand, capturing a tree or the river or another part of the town.
He has hundreds of paintings in his studio, and even more hang in the homes of his neighbors, family, and friends. He would be the first to say that his style varies, influenced by his favorite artists and changing to show familiar places in new ways.
It is undeniably beautiful though, and many professionals over the years have agreed. Ed Hartmann’s work has been featured in at least twenty-seven Fine Arts Exhibitions in Pennsylvania, New York, and New jersey over his lifetime.
His work is a picture into the quiet way of life and charming natural surroundings of a small town in America. “Riverton is the best town in the whole world,” Ed said, and looking through his eyes at the town, captured in his beautiful paintings, it is easy to agree. – Casey Foedisch
From The Courier-Post on Nov. 4, 2010: HARTMANN, Joan Bailey Of Riverton, passed away Monday, November 1, 2010. She was 83. Joan was born in Palmyra. She attended Friends Meeting House grade school, graduated from Palmyra High School, and went onto graduate from the Philadelphia Museum School of Art.
Joan also was an elder of Calvary Presbyterian Church in Riverton, where she was a life member. She was a member of DAR, an honorary member of the Philadelphia Water Color Society, a member of Riverton Historical Society, and a dedicated genealogist. Joan had a lifelong career as a watercolor artist.
The real tribute to the incredible virtuosity of the Hartmanns is hung on walls throughout the area. We welcome more information and examples of their art. – JMc, Editor
Added 7/9/2021: In a rare example of the positive power of social media, local photographer Meredith Perkins Salmon recently posted this photo on a Facebook group page that she shot around 1993-1994 and asked if anyone knew who it might be.
In short order, a number of people correctly guessed that it was Ed Hartmann in the photo. Merideth’s post received a long string of several dozen comments, questions, replies, and shares from other Facebook users.
Around comment #50 I commented that the Historical Society of Riverton has a tribute page to local artists on its website and provided the link to this page for the Hartmanns. If anyone lands on this page who can provide anecdotal information or more photos of their artwork we would very much like to share them with our readers.
Added 8/12/2021: It looks like at least three different eBay sellers have started to auction off a number of Mr. Hartmann’s paintings that they acquired at the estate sale earlier in the summer. I contacted each one and they gave permission for us to display these photos of Ed Hartmann’s artwork.
Before you ask, the styles and signing of the works vary. Do you have an explanation? Also, if you recognize a subject, please let us know.
Added 8/13/2021: Thank you to Dorothy Robbins Talavera who writes: Here are two drawings Ed did of his/our church – Calvary Presbyterian Church of Riverton. We used one as the cover of our directory and printed the other on notepaper.
Thank you to these visitors who commented:
August 16, 2021, from Iris Gaughan: The above yellow house is across the street from my home. It is 400 Main Street…on the corner of 4th and Main.
August 13, 2021, from Bill Moore: The portrait is undoubtedly Joan as a young woman. It’s a very good likeness.
A graduate from Penn with a BA in History and Princeton Theological Seminary where he received his Masters of Divinity, Richard C. Moore served as a Navy chaplain, and later served 27 years as minister at Calvary Presbyterian Church.
His tenure in Riverton proved to develop Richard into a serious artist whose forte was ship and maritime compositions. If your home displays one of Mr. Moore’s canvases depicting a Riverton landmark not seen here, please send a photo.
HSR Board member Mrs. Pat Brunker remembers an incident that speaks to Richard’s talent and generous spirit. “I found him out front doing this one day and he gave it to us.”
Richard and his wife Toshii moved to Virginia after he retired in 1994. The couple enjoyed traveling, and Richard found himself awarded many art commissions for marine subjects from navy ship associations and museums.
See more of Richard C. Moore’s remarkable paintings that he did on his travels around the world here.
Originally from Riverton and a Holy Cross grad, artist and children’s book author Donna Malloy received her Bachelor of Fine Arts and Interior Design degree at the International Academy of Design and Technology. She now lives in Clearwater Beach.
Donna also authored a children’s book called Criss Crow in 2010.
A January 1983 Burlington County Times article explains how she crafted a “Society of Friends” from reclaimed cast iron bathtub claw feet and gave them as presents.
Indeed, the medium of choice for her artistic expression was often local clay, found objects, and recycled materials such as salvaged wood, and second-hand furniture.
Known to her friends as “Bay” Ruff, at age 81, she authored a book of stories about growing up in Riverton that grew out of the weekly gatherings of the Friday Ladies, a group she was invited to join.
Her 256-page paperbound book captures bygone days of Riverton, her home for over 80 years. One need not be from Riverton in order to be amused and entertained by this collection of brief essays organized by stages in her life.
Told against the backdrop of life in our unique borough, her insightful musings on friends, acquaintances, relatives, and a lifelong love of swimming, made as she dealt with hearing impairment and household upkeep both informs the mind and touches the spirit.
William Probsting wrote a marvelous profile of Anne Knight Ruffthat appeared in the 2002 Riverton July Fourth Program when the town honored her as the Parade Marshal.
When she passed in 2013, many attended her Memorial Service at Westfield Friends Meeting. Friends and family who have been the recipients of many of Ms. Ruff’s works of art over the years brought them to display during the service.
Helene Lilholt is a Riverton resident who lives an artful life. Watercolor is her passion; she also plays piano, loves doing needlepoint, and prides herself as being a splendid cook. She gardens and takes care of fish in a backyard pond. Helene’s magnificent garden was to be on the Porch Club’s Garden Tour, which was canceled—another casualty of COVID-19.
We welcome Helene’s friends and family who have been recipients of her art to add their comments and photos to this tribute page. -JMc, Editor
Linda Stern, whose striking photograph below of the Yacht Club inspired this tribute to local artists page, describes herself as an author (L.C.Bennett Stern), blogger, and backyard birder. She prefers taking photos of subjects in nature and architecture.
Her virtual storefront on FineArtAmerica.com, an online marketplace for buying and selling art, showcases almost 600 photographs organized into 25 categories. You must, of course, see the Riverton section, but you will also love her adorable tack sharp close-ups of wildlife. -JMc, Editor
Bill Moore, son of Richard C. Moore profiled on another Local Artists page, brought us the name Ben Collins. Bill writes:
He was kind of a mentor to my dad and was well-known for these kinds of stylized New England and beach scenes. Once you get a sense of his style, you can easily recognize his work.
He may have been the one to introduce my dad to Newman Galleries in Philadelphia. His work was reproduced quite a bit and I think hung in a lot of homes all over the East Coast… Sadly, he’s not well represented online.
Sleuthing for more clues about this prominent American artist, Bill Moore found some information on collectorsweekly.com.
A comment by JWolfschmidt six years ago on collectorsweekly.com helped identify a painting bought at an estate auction:
Hi there – I am Ben Collins’ great granddaughter. This painting was of Newfane, Vermont. Every fall during the foliage season he and his wife would travel to New England to look for scenes for him to paint. He lived in Riverton, New Jersey and later in Medford, New Jersey. He enjoyed scene painting, but also did portraits as well. Most of their summers were spent in Ocean City where he did dune paintings, although the Barnegat Lighthouse on Long Beach Island was one of his favorite subjects. He studied art at the Museum School in Philadelphia, and soon after began working at Beck Engraving. He became the art director there and designed book covers and did illustrations.
Askart.com provided another snippet: Born in 1895 in Philadephia, Pennsylvania, Ben Collins studied at the Pennsylvania Museum School of Industrial Art and became the art director at The Beck Engraving Co. in New York, New York. He was a member of the Philadelphia Artists Alliance and the Art Directors Club. Collins is known for beach scenes (dunes) as well as other landscapes and painting of buildings.
I assembled the following gallery by getting images from eBay, Facebook, and various auction websites. We do not actually own any of these items, but we can wish. -JMc, Editor
Riverton resident and watercolorist Kathy Kellagher was a student of Rosemary A. Hutchins, mentioned on another Local Artist page. Kathy enjoys painting landscapes, boats, and figures. She especially finds joy in creating many of her paintings “pleine air”, or outdoors, in Riverton, Cape May, and along the Rancocas Creek. -JMc, Editor
No, that image above is not a photo of my kitchen sink. It is an astonishingly realistic oil painting on canvas by Lisa Matera, a former Riverton resident and student at Riverton Public School.
Inspired by the beauty in scenes of everyday objects, she captures them in stunning still-life oil paintings.
Lisa was raised at 509 Main; her parents’ real estate office was in the front and their home was in the back. Many of us warmly remember Joe Matera Real Estate on Main near Broad.
Lisa attended the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and received her BFA from the University of Pennsylvania. She taught Fine Art at The Burlington County Institute of Technology and is a NJ certified K-12 art teacher who teaches privately as well as at the Perkins Center of the Arts in Moorestown, NJ.
Her website displays her portfolio to great advantage and includes these categories: Commissions, Still Life, Landscapes, and Women’s History Portraits.
Lisa shared what inspires her art and drives her to create with Stephen Finn for an article in the May 3, 2019, Moorestown News. -JMc, Editor