WILLIAMSPORT — The Thomas T. Taber Museum of the Lycoming County Historical Society has announced the acquisition of a Severin Roesen still-life painting.
Through the generosity of Ray and Eileen Secrist, formerly of Lewisburg, the painting has been accepted on long-term loan. The painting, measuring 25-1/8” x 30”, depicts an abundance of grapes overflowing in a wicker basket.
The most distinctive feature is a pilsner, or a wine glass, sparkling with the effervescence of champagne, bubbles rising to the top of the glass. A white dessert plate and its contents form “a charming still life within a still life…” as Judith O’Toole notes in her seminal work Severin Roesen.
While this particular painting is not included in O’Toole’s book, she remarks in a statement attached to the painting, “many of the hallmarks of Roesen’s style are evident in the painting. Some of these include: the dark marble ledge; the large central, wicker basket of mixed fruits, the pewter, open work bowl with an alternating patterns of circles and diamonds; the white dessert plate with pilsner; the framing of the composition with grape leaves and tendrils; and the coloration and highlighting throughout… Similar compositions can be seen in ‘Fruit Still Life with Pineapple and Pomegranate’… in the collection of the National Museum of American Art; and ‘Ecstatic Fruit’… in the collection of the Shelburne Museum.”
“We are so thrilled to receive this painting on long-term loan. It has been returned home, so to speak-where Severin Roesen flourished as a still-life painter,” said museum Executive Director Gary Parks, “I’ve known the Secrists since my time as director at Slifer House Museum in Lewisburg, and was not aware that they had this painting. We had only recently received the wonderful Roesen painting from Bobby Maguire when they visited the museum. Over the ensuing months, they made up their minds to put it on loan at the Taber and I couldn’t be more pleased. They are so generous and public-spirited in sharing their treasure with us.”
Parks served as director of the Slifer House Museum from 1992 to 2010.
The Taber museum has two other Roesen paintings. One donated in 1985 by the children of George R. and Margaret Hays Lamade. A second still life was donated in 2022 by Bobby Maguire in honor of his parents, Jim and Shirley Maguire.
The newly acquired Roesen will soon be on exhibit in the museum’s Fine and Decorative Arts Gallery. The museum is open for touring 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. Sunday hours will begin in May.
The museum interprets the history of Lycoming County from Native American occupation through the logging and lumbering era and to the present day, in a series of exhibits and galleries
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