Monday, April 20, 2009

History Meets the Arts in Gettysburg

This past weekend, the family and I had a great time at History Meets the Arts in Gettysburg. Dozens of artists and historians gather there every April for a festival of creativity and history. It's one of the town's best kept secrets. Friday night, my brother and I attended a reception with Civil War artist Keith Rocco at the Brafferton Inn. What a nice guy! He was very down to earth and happy to speak with anybody who approached him. I had the pleasure to talk art technique with him, using some of his original paintings to make his points. I then told him I was to be an intern at Gettysburg that summer and we spoke some on that matter as well. He even invited me to lunch sometime over the summer so we could "talk shop." How cool is that? While I was there, I ran into my good friend and fellow Gettysburg buff, Stan O'Donnell. It was a great evening. (By the way, the owner of the inn makes some mean brownies!)

Hanging with Keith Rocco at the Brafferton Inn.

The original painting behind us is "Hell for Glory." I really like this one.

The next morning, we attended the 2nd Annual Mort Kunstler Collectors' Seminar at the MKunstler Gallery and Gettysburg Hotel. Mort was on hand to answer questions and was interviewed by the gallery owner. He even unveiled his newest painting - yes, the original one, to everybody in attendance. Coolest of all, he did a sketch while he has there! The sketch was raffled, but of course I didn't win it! Oh well, there is always next year.

Kunstler is interviewed by gallery owner Cliff Springer. I was surprised to hear that Kunstler thought his most important paintings were not his Civil War ones, but a series he did for NASA of the Shuttle Columbia.

Then he unveiled his newest painting: "Rush to the Summit." It depicts Chamberlain and the 20th Maine racing to the peak of Little Round Top right before the Confederates arrived.

Very nice! This was off to the printer's today to be produced into prints.

Mort then drew us a charcoal sketch of Stonewall Jackson.
I have made it available for your viewing pleasure!

He told us he wasn't used to drawing at a vertical angle...and in front of a big crowd. "Being an artist is a lonely business," he said.

The final product. He did this in like five minutes!
Some lucky dog in attendance got to take this home framed.
..but not us.

Nevertheless, it was a fun and enlightening weekend! Here is Mark and I with the artist. He's a very nice guy and very willing to give some young artists good advice.


  1. Jared .......your post rocks! Thanks for everything and please let me know if I can help- you in any way. Warm regards, Cliff

  2. Thanks Cliff! We always enjoy visiting your gallery and had a great time at the seminar! Hope to see you there again.