A Tribute to Historic Barns of Ohio
12PM – 2 PM
Free for Members/$5 Non-Member
The book “Historic Barns of Ohio” preserves Ohio’s history through oil paintings & essays. The presentation by author Dr. Robert Kroeger will tell his story of traveling Ohio to preserve these historic barn history. Dr. Kroeger will also be doing a book signing and painting demonstration while at the Wood County Museum. There will also be a raffle for various oil paintings by Dr. Kroeger as a fundraiser for the Wood County Historical Society.
THE BOOK: HISTORIC BARNS OF OHIO. Dr. Kroeger met the owners and heard their stories, learned about early Ohio history, and put almost all of his barn paintings into fundraisers for nonprofits. And, in the summer of 2019, the Arcadia Publishing, an American company also known as The History Press, contacted him about writing a book. It features paintings and essays about an old barn in each of Ohio’s 88 counties. Over 60 paintings are in color. After nearly two years of preparation, the book was released in March, 2021.
About the Author: Dr. Robert Kroeger
“Barns represent the heart of America, and the old ones are bleeding. So many barns, so little time.” – RF Kroeger, artist and writer
Robert Kroeger is a second generation artist, though, unlike his father Francis, his professional art career blossomed later in life. A hint of what was to come began at the age of four when young Robert, fascinated by his dad’s oils, mischievously opened the tubes one day and started painting on his palette while dad was away at work. After finishing the masterpiece, Robert neatly placed the tubes, still opened, and the beautiful sable-haired brushes wet with oil paint, together with the palette, back into his father’s treasured wooden art box, shut tight. A few days later, Francis, who earned his BFA from the University of Notre Dame in 1938, discovered his son’s “work.”
Though he did not immediately follow in his father’s footsteps, Robert’s career as a dentist allowed him to study color values and facial esthetic principles in smile design. Then, in the early 2000s while staying in a rural bed and breakfast in Licking County, Ohio, a lonely deteriorating barn, “Granville Gray,” called out to him. With roof sagging, boards missing, corners slightly tilted, and in obvious disrepair it captivated his eye. Suddenly a voice whispered, “Paint it and write about it.” The message was like a lightning bolt that hit him between the eyes. Almost immediately, it ignited his Ohio Barn Project, which has taken Robert to about two dozen Ohio counties – from north to south and east to west – where he’s painted barns, talked with owners, and written stories about each structure. The stories can be found at www.barnart.weebly.com. Hundreds of his paintings have raised funds for the local 4-H, historical societies, or other non-profits in the county where he works.