Williamsport- The Thomas T. Taber Museum of the Lycoming County Historical Society is pleased to announce the acquisition of a Severin Roesen painting. The painting has been loaned by Bobby Maguire in honor of his parents Jim & Shirley Maguire. It is Mr. Maguire’s intention to turn the loan into a permanent gift within the year.
“We are so thrilled to receive this loan from Mr. Maguire. His generosity and kindness is beyond measure- thanks to him all of our visitors will be able to view the beauty of Roesen’s work,” remarked Gary Parks, Museum Director, “Many folks within Lycoming County appreciated his work but it was not until Jacqueline Kennedy outfitted the White House with two Roesens that his talent was more fully appreciated by our country.” A number of major museums throughout the country have Roesen still lifes in their collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the National Museum of Art (Smithsonian Institution), the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Chrysler Museum, St. Louis Art Museum, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Severin Roesen, known for his monumental depictions of fruit and flower still lifes was active in Williamsport during the heyday of logging and lumbering in the County, nicknaming the City “the lumber capital of the world”. It is said that at one time more millionaires lived in Williamsport than anywhere else on earth. Unfortunately, Roesen never achieved financial success during his lifetime but it is to his credit that First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy chose two Roesens to appear in her refurbishment of the White House in the early 1960s. “I was so excited when this offer came,” Parks continues, “How often does an offer such as this come?” He further remarked, “I’ve always thought Roesen was under-represented in the collection, after all, so many of them were painted here! We have a Roesen still life donated by the Lamade family and we are so thrilled to have it in our collection, but now a second one to admire and love.”
The painting will join the Taber Museum’s other still life, a permanent gift of the children of George R. and Margaret Hays Lamade. Both feature the luscious fruits so emblematic of Roesen’s work. “In the still life loaned by Mr. Maguire, the grapes glisten with drops of dew, the slice of watermelon is brimming with juice, and the champagne flute has bubbles rising to the top! His signature “S. Roesen” is cleverly disguised as a grape tendril at the central bottom of the still-life. This will be such an asset to our collection.” Parks notes, “ You know, for a County Historical Society, we are incredibly blessed to have generous folks such as the Maguire and Lamade families, who are willing to share their treasures.”
Both paintings are featured in the Fine and Decorative Arts Gallery of the Museum. A second loan from Mr. Maguire is a Federal-style looking glass. It will be displayed within the Greek Revival Parlor of the Museum.