Arthur Gardner ( July 28, 1912 – October 13, 2003)
Arthur Gardner was born the youngest of seven children on July 28, 1912 to Walter and Clara (Ball) Gardner in Ozone Park, New York. Arthur had never traveled west of New Jersey until he was 90 when he made the move to Colorado.
Arthur tried his hand at many jobs as a young boy, from delivering papers and groceries, and walking dogs to polishing brass locks, building cabinets and housepainting. But his passion always remained in his painting – oils, pastels and watercolors - as well as dabbling in sculpture and music.
Arthur moved from Ozone Park into New York City sometime in the 1930’s. Once in the city, he found jobs at the many clubs where art was a prominent program - The National Arts Club, Salamagundi Club, etc. While working at the clubs, Arthur often attending the art classes given by the masters that would come to teach. He also studied at the Fine Arts League, and attended classes wherever he could find them. He was befriended by many artists such as Ludwig Bemelmans who was the creator of Madelaine. E. Stanley Turnbull who was a reknowned portrait painter, Cliff Young, Richard L. Seyffert, John Johansen and Joseph Cummings Chase.
As well as studying art, Arthur also studied voice at the old Met and had a beautiful tenor voice.
Before moving to Denver, Arthur still attended art classes in the Village and in the Gramercy Park area - his favorite classes were the nude art classes as he enjoyed drawing the female figure in many shapes and sizes.
He was always able to figure out how to fix anything, and keeping up with even the most modern technology seemed to fascinate him. He even started taking the computer classes at Porter Place, the Assisted Living Center where he had a room with a beautiful view of the Colorado Rockies.
To the Porter Place staff, Arthur became quickly known as the activity guy. He wanted to try everything. His favorites were Tai Chi, fitness games, dog visits, bingo and we can’t forget – the pool table. The pool table had been his one big requirement in finding a new home. He hadn’t played much in years, but really wanted to improve his game. He was easy to find when he wasn’t in his room!
Playing Parcheesi with Arthur was a lesson in world peace. He refused to knock anyone back home, saying “That just wouldn’t be nice”. Arthur often quietly trounced us all as we were knocking each other off while leaving Arthur’s men alone.
Information provided by Fabricio Carballo