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 George L. Hollrock  (1882 - 1968)

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Lived/Active: New York      Known for: freelance commercial art, greeting cards, etchings, photography

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George L. Hollrock
An example of work by George L. Hollrock
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Portions of the following biography of George L. Hollrock are taken from an interview with his son Richard H. Hollrock and was printed in the Farmington Valley Herald, May 18, 1989:
George L. Hollrock was born on September 16, 1882 and he studied art in his native Brooklyn, and also in New York City and Chicago.  To broaden his technique and avoid a single pattern, he completed his education under the guidance of several artists well-known in their fields.

He married Mattie Torborg in November 1912 and they had 3 children.  They lived in Crestwood, New York in a house he built at 87 Pennsylvania Ave and worked from his home.     
Hollrock was a successful freelance commercial artist all his life. His work ranged from greeting cards to illustrations for businesses, and encompassed all aspects of commercial art.  He did a series of etchings for a fire insurance company showing old time fire-fighting scenes with hand-pumpers and horse-drawn apparatus.  His finely executed and detailed etchings were often published so they could be removed for framing.

As an avocation, Hollrock enjoyed photographing, sketching and painting New England covered bridges, barns and scenery – including the ancient oak tree on Dewy Hill, Day Street, Granby CT.  His son, Richard, moved to Granby in the early 1950s and during a visit, they drove around town sightseeing.  Hollrock saw the huge old tree with limbs reaching out to touch the earth, and the artist in the man responded to the artistry of nature.

He drew a snow scene of the tree, which was sold commercially as a Christmas card.  His daughter-in-law requested several boxes of the tree card to send to Granby friends. The Christmas cards eventually led to a commission for an oil painting for South Church in Granby CT, and also a pen and ink drawing of the “Great Old Oak” as a gift to be used in the future Granby history book.

The original pen and ink drawing is now owned by the Salmon Brook Historical Society in Granby CT.  On January 4, 1959 the ink drawing was printed in the Hartford Courant Magazine with an article by Gail W. Johnson.  She described the breadth and beauty of the tree and the ceremony dedicating the oil painting.  “It was dedicated as a memorial to the great women who built church history there (South Congregational Church) to liken the memory of them to the enduring oak, deep rooted, wide spreading, a benediction to the lives around them.”

Hollrock “retired” around 1960, but continued to do part-time freelance work out of his home in Crestwood, N.Y.  He then had more time for his oil paintings of rural New England. 

George L. Hollrock died June 8, 1968 at the age of 86.

Submitted by Gary Bamberger

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