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 Jessie Fisher (JFW) Walburg  (1902 - 1982)

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Lived/Active: New York/California      Known for: landscape, still life, portrait, animal and structure paintings

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Jessie F. Walburg
An example of work by Jessie Fisher (JFW) Walburg
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
Biography from Meibohm Fine Arts, Inc.:
Jessie F. Walburg (American, 1902-1982) artist and instructor is primarily known for her watercolor paintings and oils of landscapes, farmscapes, florals, homes & churches, animals and portraits, that she painted throughout the Western New York and the Niagara frontier regions, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maine and Florida.

Jessie Bedford (née Fisher) Walburg was born September 17, 1902 in Los Angeles, CA and came to Orchard Park as a young girl. She studied art and portrait drawing at the Albright Art School in Buffalo, NY, and at the Chautauqua Institute under Professor Frank von der Lancken (American, 1872-1950), Chautauqua, NY.  Jessie resided and maintained her studio at 80 Hodson Road in Orchard Park, NY, along with her dog “Ruffles”, and where her daughter Jane (Cudney, b. 1930-), still lives to this day.

“She always had a sketchbook and pencils with her,” said her daughter, Jane Cudney, “She sketched things all the time — trees, ducks, barns, houses.”[1]

“If she saw an interesting old barn or house, she would stop and either sketch it right there or bring her easel out in the summertime and paint,” said her niece, Beverly Walsh. “Ninety-nine percent of her work is rural Western New York. She was very much in love with this area.”[2]

“For Walburg,…rural Western New York was her inspiration — her love, even — and she captured it again and again with her paint brushes and canvases.”[3]

She exhibited regularly throughout Western New York during the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s, and was a frequent exhibitor at the Quaker Arts Festival and the Niagara Frontier Art Show held at the Chestnut Ridge Casino, and at Strawberry Hill Guild art shows, all in Orchard Park, NY, as well as the Erie County Fair (highest award the Tri Color Ribbon for 1951, 1952 and 1956), Hamburg, NY, after which she retired from the fair from further competition.

Her niece, Beverly Walsh, still a resident of Orchard Park and former owner of Strawberry Hill, would welcome her aunt to her art shows at 6745 Powers Rd., where she would create ‘quickies’ to the delight of potential customers. Jessie was also represented and sold her paintings through the long standing W.G. Arthurs Company, Inc. (better known as Arthur’s True Value Hardware) also located in Orchard Park, where her sister Florence (Willard) was a long-time employee.

She also supplemented her income by teaching classes out of her studio at her home and also by doing special commissioned paintings of people’s houses. She typically signed her paintings with her monogrammed initials ‘JFW’ (‘J & F’ combined with ‘W’ as shown below), and there are a few earlier examples of her signature monogram also known to exist. Over the years, her last name has often been misspelled as ‘Jessie Walberg’, ‘Jessie Wahlburg’ or ‘Jessie Wahlberg’.

Chronology:

1902- Born, September 17, to parents Frank J. Fisher (1877-1949) and Mother Clara (née Milks) Fisher (1875-1963), Los Angeles, California; had sister Florence H. (Willard, 1908-1993); had two daughters, Shirley Lyford (1926-1992), and Jane Cudney (1930-).

1905- The family was still residing in Los Angeles, CA.

By 1910- Her family resided in Lackawanna, NY.

1918- Quit high school.

Circa 1918-20- Jessie studied art at the Albright Art School in Buffalo, NY.

By 1920- She was residing in Hamburg, NY.

Circa the early 1920’s- Studied at the Chautauqua Institute under Professor Frank von der Lancken (American, 1872-1950), Chautauqua, NY.

1924- June 7, Jessie married Richard Walburg, and they lived in the city of Buffalo.

1926- Daughter Shirley (Lyford) was born.

1930- Daughter Jane (Cudney) is born.

1945- Exhibited, group show (First Prize), “Hobby Show”, St. Petersburg Shuffleboard Club, St. Petersburg, FL.

1949- Jessie’s father Frank died.

1951- May, exhibited, group show, Buffalo Society of Artists, of a watercolor scene of Waddling Ducks Heeding a Storm Warning, Buffalo, NY. August, exhibited, group show, won the highest award Tri Color Ribbon “Household & Fine Arts Best in Show” and also First Place (tied with herself), Erie County Fair, Hamburg, NY. Exhibited, group show (Award, 2nd Amateur Animal), Award, 2nd Amateur Animal, Elizabeth Warner Marvin Community House, Inc., Jamestown, NY.

1952- August, exhibited, group show, again won the highest award (two years in a row), Tri Color Ribbon “Household & Fine Arts Best in Show”, and also won three first place prizes for a Grand Island Harbor Scene near Bedell House, ‘Some chickens in the yard of the home of the late J.S. Newton, Hamburg’, and a Winter Scene, Erie County Fair, Hamburg, NY. By this time she was residing at 49 Woodhaven Rd., Orchard Park, NY. Exhibited, group show (First Prize) among 6,000 exhibitors, “Hobby Show”, St. Petersburg Shuffleboard Club, St. Petersburg, FL.

1955- December-January, exhibited, group show, “48th Annual Exhibition of Small Paintings”, for the oil painting “Market Place”, Buffalo Society of Artists, Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY.

1956- August, exhibited, group show, won highest award again, Tri Color Ribbon “Household & Fine Arts Best in Show”, Erie County Fair, Hamburg, NY. Gave watercolor painting demonstration at the Niagara Frontier Art Show, by the Niagara Frontier Art Society, Chestnut Ridge Park Casino, Orchard Park, NY. Exhibited, group show, Sir George Williams Art Gallery, YMCA downtown branch, 3rd Floor, 45 West Mohawk Street, Buffalo, NY.

1957- Exhibited, group show (Award), Aurora Arts Club, East Aurora, NY. Jessie’s husband Richard died, and he is buried in Hillcrest Cemetery, Hamburg, NY. Exhibited, group show, Sir George Williams Art Gallery, YMCA downtown branch, 3rd Floor, 45 West Mohawk Street, Buffalo, NY.

1960- Exhibited, Erie County Fair, “Animal Study” in oil shown, Hamburg, NY.

1961- March, exhibited, group show (Award), Women’s Club, East Aurora, NY. Exhibited, group show (2nd Prize for Landscape), East Aurora Art Society Outdoors Summer Art Show, East Aurora, NY.

1962- July, exhibited, group show (prize for landscape), East Aurora Annual Outdoor Art Show, East Aurora, NY. November 1, gave watercolor demonstration for the Buffalo Association of Kappa Delta Sorority, at the home of Mrs. William C. VanDyke Jr., Orchard Park, NY.

1963- Jessie’s mother Clara died.

1964- Three watercolors were submitted & accepted by Ideals magazine to be published in a subsequent issue (unknown monthly issue). Sunday, August 23, gave a watercolor painting demonstration in the Woman’s Building at the Erie County Fair, Hamburg, NY.

1965- Exhibited, group show (award $10), East Aurora Outdoor Art Show, East Aurora, NY. Exhibited, group show, The Williamsville Art Society’s 12th Annual Outdoor Show “Midsummer”, Garrison Park, Williamsville, NY.

1966- Exhibited, group show, East Aurora Art Society’s Annual Outdoor Exhibit, East Aurora High School (now the middle school), East Aurora, NY.

1967- Exhibited, fall group show (1st Place Award), Quaker Arts Festival, Orchard Park, NY.

1968- September, exhibited, group show (Award, Honorable Mention), for watercolor, Quaker Arts Festival, Orchard Park, NY. September, exhibited, group show, “1968 Naples Grape Festival Art Exhibit”, Naples, NY.

1970- She donated a few of her paintings Pink Flowers and Yellow Flowers to the Buffalo Philharmonic Maintenance Fund at their cocktail party held Friday, March 13, at the Knights of Columbus Clubhouse, and the two paintings were purchased by Mr. & Mrs. Robert Allen and Mr. & Mrs. John Finnegan respectively, Hamburg, NY.

1971- April, exhibited, group show, watercolors & an oil shown, Strawberry Hill Guild, 6745 Powers Rd., Orchard Park, NY. August 22, Gave watercolor painting demonstration at the Erie County Fair, Hamburg, NY.

1982- December 21, died at the age of 80, after a series of strokes, Orchard Park, NY, and is buried in Hillcrest Cemetery in an unmarked grave, Hamburg, NY.

1992- Jessie’s sister Shirley Lyford died.

2011- March, exhibited, group show, “Sam Haney Collection 21st Annual Art Show and Sale”, two paintings shown untitled-‘Creek in Spring’, oil on board 12 x 16” (#58), and untitled-‘Little Red House’ watercolor 4 x 6.5” (#59), Meibohm Fine Arts, East Aurora, NY. May, exhibited, solo show, Orchard Park Historical Society, Jolls House Museum, 60 plus watercolors & acrylics shown, 4287 South Buffalo Street, first floor, Orchard Park, NY.

EXHIBITED ALSO
Hotel Statler, Buffalo, NY; Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY;

Orchard Park Central High School, watercolors & oils shown in foyer, Orchard Park, NY;

Creative Art Guild of West Seneca 3rd Annual Art Show, Library Lawn, July 24-25 (unknown year), West Seneca, NY;

The Niagara Frontier Art Society’s 3rd Outdoor Show (summer, prize), Chestnut Ridge Park Casino, Orchard Park, NY, (unknown year);

Group show (evening exhibition), Women’s Division of the Orchard Park Country Club, Orchard Park, NY, (October 13, unknown year).

COLLECTIONS
Two paintings on permanent display at the Jolls House Museum (watercolor and an oil), Orchard Park Historical Society, 4287 South Buffalo Street, Orchard Park, NY.

AWARDS
Exhibited, group show (First Prize), “Hobby Show”, St. Petersburg Shuffleboard Club, St. Petersburg, FL, 1945;

Award, 2nd Amateur Animal, Elizabeth Warner Marvin Community House, Inc., Jamestown, NY, 1951;

Tri Color Ribbon “Household & Fine Arts Best in Show” (highest award) & also First Place at the Erie County Fair, Hamburg, NY, 1951;

Tri Color Ribbon “Household & Fine Arts Best in Show”, for landscape of “John Luno’s Place on Burton Rd.”, as well as 3 other First Place Prizes that year for a ‘Grand Island Harbor Scene near Bedell House’, ‘Some chickens in the yard of the home of the late J.S. Newton, Hamburg’, and a ‘Winter Scene’;  Tri Color Ribbon “Household & Fine Arts Best in Show”, Erie County Fair, Hamburg, NY, 1956;
Award, Aurora Arts Club, East Aurora, NY;

Award, Women’s Club, East Aurora, NY, 1961;

2nd Prize for Landscape, East Aurora Art Society Outdoor Summer Art Show, East Aurora, NY, 1961;

Prize for Landscape, East Aurora Annual Outdoor Art Show, East Aurora, NY;

Award $10, for floral painting, East Aurora Art Society Outdoor Summer Art Show, East Aurora, NY, 1965;

1st Place Award, Quaker Arts Festival, Orchard Park, NY, 1967;

3 Awards (unknown type), East Aurora Art Society Outdoor Summer Art Show, (unknown dates), and 3rd Prize Award for landscape, Junior Women’s Club, (unknown date), and First Prize for still life in watercolor, Davison’s Antiques, (unknown date), and 3rd Prize for still life in oil, Vidlers, (unknown date), East Aurora, NY;

Award, Honorable Mention, for watercolor Quaker Arts Festival, Orchard Park, NY, 1968;

Award, 1st Popular Choice & Honorable Mention, Women’s Club of East Aurora, East Aurora, NY, (unknown dates);

Award, 1st Prize & 2nd Place Prize, unknown locations & dates; Prize, The Niagara Frontier Art Society’s 3rd Outdoor Show (summer), Chestnut Ridge Park Casino, Orchard Park, NY, (unknown year).
 
MEMBERSHIPS/ASSOCIATIONS
East Aurora Art Society, East Aurora, NY;
Buffalo Society of Artists, Buffalo, NY;
Niagara Frontier Art Society, Buffalo, NY.

MURALS
Orchard Park Bowling Alley, mural featuring the four corners of an early Orchard Park scene with a flagpole, trolley, the historic Orchard Downs, and the building that currently houses Mangia’s restaurant, Orchard Park, NY.

PUBLISHED WORKS
Ideals
magazine, two watercolors, unknown issue number, month or day, 1964; Color inside front & back floral decoration illustrations for Ideals sympathy booklets, Ideals Publishing Co., Milwaukee, WI, 1964;
Color inside floral illustration for Ideals “Anniversary Wishes” booklet, Ideals Publishing Corporation, Milwaukee, WI, 1978.

OTHER WORKS
Illustrations of early community life for a commemorative ceramic tile for the Bicentennial, Orchard Park Historical Society, Orchard Park, NY, 1976.

(Compiled chronologically by Mark Strong of Meibohm Fine Arts, Inc., East Aurora, NY, 06/2012, meibohmfinearts.com, from sources: Too long to list here and are furnished upon request. A special thank you to Jessie’s daughter Jane Cudney, her niece Beverly Walsh and Howy & Dorothy Holmes for supplying & correcting biographical information, as well as supplying scrapbook clippings, photos, newspapers & article clippings etc.)


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