Van Wert, Ohio is an impressive town, some of the best architecture you'll see in 21 Country. A historic little city apparently loved by the folks who live here.
Van Wert's Wassenburg Art Center is hosting a love letter to the town it calls home. Two dozen images of places and things painted by local artists, some of them very long ago. Pat Victor is the most accomplished painter here. Victor was one of the founders of the Wassenburg Art Center, she was a master water colorist creating spectacular images of some of Van Wert's most historic places.
“She would do very representational things and very abstract expressionist type paintings,” comments art center director Hope Wallace, “really had a strong command of the medium.”
This is Pat Victor's portrait of the George Marsh house, Marsh started Van Wert's Marsh Foundation for orphan children. This is the Clark mansion, current home to the Van Wert County Historical Society. And this is Victor's painting of perhaps Van Wert's most famous building, the Brumback Library. The Brumback was the first county library in the United States, so successful it became the model for county libraries around the nation including our own Allen County Public Library. This is Winifred Ford's painting of the Charles Wassenburg home. Wassenburg created the Wassenburg Art Center in 1954. He was also an avid gardener who specialized in peonies, you can see some of them in Ford's painting. By the 1940's Van Wert was known as the peony capital of the world through Wassenburg's efforts. This is an expressionist view of his peony farm on US30 outside Van Wert. There are other local gems here, the fabulous Collins Fine Foods grocery, still going strong today. And various scenes of downtown, the county courthouse and other spots. All lovingly crafted by some of this towns most creative people, all of whom with a very warm spot in their hearts for the place they call home.