LOUDONVILLE — The Cleo Redd Fisher Museum has announced the fall lineup of its popular Speaker Series, beginning with a look at Ohio’s historic barns through the eyes of Robert Kroeger, an artist.
Kroeger spent the past few years traveling the state and documenting historic barns in all 88 counties — including painting them in his signature palette-knife-in-oil and thick-impasto style.
This summer Kroeger published his book, “Historic Barns of Ohio,” which not only shares stories of Ohio’s unique barns but also includes many of his paintings.
Documenting these historic barns is important to Kroeger.
“From the glacier-flattened northwest to the Appalachian hills and valleys to the east and south, barns dot the Ohio landscape," he wrote in his book. "Built with wooden nails and mortise-and-tenon joints and assembled with beams hand-hewn from nearby trees, some of these magnificent structures have witnessed three centuries.
"Many display the unique carpentry of masterful barn builders, including ‘mystery’ wooden spikes and tongue-and-groove two-inch flooring. Sadly, a number of these barns, neglected for years, risk crumbling any day.”
According to museum curator, Kenny Libben, this program will be a bit different than the usual Speaker Series schedule as it will be held during the day on a Friday — whereas most museum events are Monday nights.
The reasoning behind this was to provide ample time for Kroeger to perform a painting demonstration, but also to accommodate the artists busy schedule of traveling the state and continue documenting Ohio’s barns.
The event kicks off at 10 am on Friday, Sept. 24 with Kroeger’s painting demonstration in which he will paint “Forsaken,” a dilapidated barn in Hancock County that has recently collapsed — showcasing the importance of his work and the collective need to spotlight Ohio’s historic barns.
At noon, Kroeger will share stories of his journeys and the barns he discovered along the way, followed by a book signing. To cap off the day, the finished painting of Forsaken will then be raffled off to benefit the museum.
Each visitor during the event will receive one free raffle ticket, with additional tickets available for purchase (1 for $10 or 3 for $20), and Kroeger’s book, “Historic Barns of Ohio,” will also be available for $25 (cash or check only for tickets and books during the event). Those interested can pre-order raffle tickets or books (credit card only) on the museum’s website at www.crfmuseum.com/store.
After a year of virtual programs, many museum attendees have been excited about the return of in-person programming — including events earlier this summer that drew well over 100 in attendance.
Despite the return to in-person events, the museum encourages everyone take any steps they feel necessary to remain safe and healthy and noted that all upcoming events are held indoors with masks optional at this time.
The museum’s fall lineup continues October 18th with author Mindy McGinnis’ discussion of “Blood, Brains, and Lobotomies” — the medical history of treating mental illness, which she discovered researching her book A Madness so Discreet — and wraps up on Nov. 15 with Alan Fitzpatrick of Fort Henry Days discussing the “History and Material Culture of Native Americans in the Upper Ohio Valley.”
All the Speaker Series events are free and open to the public and held at the CRF Museum located at 203 E. Main Street in Loudonville, Ohio. Those interested in learning about the museum or upcoming events should call the museum at 419 994-4050 or visit www.crfmuseum.com for more information.