Memory Paintings: Mary Kobler, 1893-1975

Wash Day 1910, ca. 1960-75, acrylic on canvas. Courtesy of Isabel Messing and David A. Kobler

Memory Paintings: Mary Kobler, 1893-1975

Nov 3, 2006 - Feb 25, 2007


Memory Paintings: Mary Kobler, 1893-1975 explored the work of local painter Mary Kobler, born in 1893, who grew up on a thriving family farm near Colonial Village, a small hamlet about ten miles from Niagara Falls, New York. When fire partially destroyed the farm in 1918, she moved to Niagara Falls with her family, and taught herself painting a decade later, selling her hand painted pillows, handkerchiefs, and men's ties at Niagara Falls' outdoor City Market.

Kobler’s images are tied very specifically to Niagara County, and document a number of special places, now gone from the regional landscape: like the Ladies Rural Club, North LaSalle School, and Mayley’s Wagon Shop. Picking Grapes and Making Apple Butter document activities perhaps too-familiar in a county known throughout the northeast for its apple and grape crops. Through her memory paintings, Kobler helped document and record the stories, images, and everyday life in rural Niagara County at the turn-of-the-century.

Kate Koperski, Curator of Folk Arts

Click here to access a digital copy of the exhibit catalog.