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An example of work by Hazel Jacoby Harbauer
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|This biography from the Archives of AskART:|
|The following, submitted by Sande Cross, is from the Monroe News of
Monroe, County, Michigan, December 22, 2005. The article is by
Suzanne Nolan Wisler. |
LABOR OF LOVE
New homeowner’s discovery becomes her passion
TEMPERANCE — Sande Cross’ W. Erie Rd. dream house had it all: history, handcrafted details, a large yard.
It even had art.
Fifty years ago, it was the home and art studio of Hazel (Jacoby)
Harbauer and her husband, Charles. Mrs. Harbauer, a Toledo native,
specialized in Toledo landscapes and the city’s early industry, but
painted a few Monroe County subjects, like St. Anthony Cemetery.
Although she painted for decades, Mrs. Harbauer achieved limited fame,
and, after she died, more than 100 of her works were thrown out.
But Ms. Cross retrieved them, beginning a years-long preoccupation with Mrs. Harbauer’s home and her art.
For years, Ms. Cross, a Toledo real estate agent, was so enamored of
the Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired home that she’d send annual registered
letters to the owners, stating her interest in buying it. She
hadn’t even been inside.
That changed in 1989, when she befriended Mr. Harbauer. The aged
widower — once an apprentice to Frank Lloyd Wright — not only gave her
a tour, but told her much about the 2,000-square-foot home he designed
and built with his wife.
Mrs. Harbauer, he told her, was an artist and one of Toledo Edison
Co.’s first female lighting technicians. They married late in
life and had no children. She died in 1987.
Mr. Harbauer died in 1991 and, a few years later, Ms. Cross finally
bought the home. Immediately, she planned some renovations, but, even
before moving in, her project list grew.
When a friend saw a bunch of paintings by the road, Ms. Cross drove
right over to find nearly 100 watercolors, charcoals, sketchbooks and
more, mainly from the 1920s and ’30s. There was Toledo before
industrialization, refineries on the city’s east side and the
High-Level Bridge, circa 1930. All had been discarded by Harbauer heirs.
"I was in shock," recalled Ms. Cross recently. "How could someone throw
this away? Her watercolors (alone) are so fabulous."
After moving in, the treasure hunt continued.
Tucked in unlikely places — like the garage rafters — were more pieces
by Mrs. Harbauer and other Toledo painters of her era. In her
office, Ms. Cross even found Mrs. Harbauer’s journals and notebooks,
newspaper clippings and an assortment of scrap paper notes going back
to the 1920s. Detailed and extremely thorough, records listed
artists with whom Mrs. Harbauer painted in her 6½-acre yard and
newspaper stories about her subjects.
"She was a real history buff," said Ms. Cross.
Immediately, Ms. Cross wanted to know more about Mrs. Harbauer, but, besides a few mentions of her in The Blade and at the Toledo Museum of Art, little had been written.
"No one knew her. Her work (was practically) all here," explained Ms. Cross.
So, for the next four years, Ms. Cross, while also restoring the
Harbauers’ home, set out to learn all she could about her home’s former
Quickly, she exhausted what was already written and turned to Mrs.
Harbauer’s journals. One artist mentioned — Walter Chapman — was
still alive and, according to an art friend, was a big name in the
Toledo art world.
Ms. Cross phoned him, starting a longtime correspondence. But it only left her wanting more.
She wanted recognition for Mrs. Harbauer and, when she lost her job two years ago, that became her quest.
"I would not leave this house. This became an obsession for me,"
recalled Ms. Cross, who displays portraits of the Harbauers above her
She called Jacobys and Harbauers.
She combed antique stores.
She sent countless letters and e-mails.
Art experts came to her home.
While she got a few contacts and tips, she made no real progress.
Several times she tried to hold public exhibits of Mrs. Harbauer’s
work, but details could never be worked out.
So, she rented a climate-controlled storage unit for the pieces and
pressed on. All the while, she was compiling Mrs. Harbauer’s biography
and learning much about the painter’s life and personality.
"She was just a real mild (person). She loved her house, her husband.
She liked everything. I think she was a powerhouse," said Ms. Cross.
Finally, several months ago, her luck began to change.
After visiting many area cemeteries, Ms. Cross found the graves of the
Harbauers at Toledo Memorial Park, Sylvania, Ohio. At the same time,
because of a story in another publication, she heard from some of Mrs.
And, this summer, Ms. Cross’ biography of Mrs. Harbauer — which
includes lists of gallery exhibits, memberships and more — was accepted
into AskART, a Web-based directory of more than 42,000 artists.
Now, she’s working with Bedford Township historian Trudy Urbani, who
plans to include Mrs. Harbauer in her upcoming book "Women of Northwest
Ohio Volume 1."
"It has taken me four years to get her work recognized," said Ms. Cross.
Soon, Ms. Cross is reluctantly moving to Florida, where the real estate
market is better. While she’s taking a few of her favorite Hazel
Harbauer pieces with her, she can’t move them all. The rest will be
exhibited and sold at Toledo’s Erie Street Market.
Afterward, Ms. Cross’ years-long look into Mrs. Harbauer’s life and art will conclude.
"I’m done with her; (there’s) not much (more) I can do," explained Ms.
Cross. "It was an undertaking for me. I really devoted a lot of time to
it, (and) I really learned to appreciate art. Her labor of love turned
|This biography from the Archives of AskART:|
|The following, submitted June 2005, is from Sande Cross, whose sources are Toledo Blade
newspaper archives (See below). In January 2006, an
exhibition of work by Harbauer was held at the Erie Street Market,
Civic Center Promenade in Toledo. The exhibition title is Rediscovered: Paintings, watercolors and sketches by Hazel Jacoby Harbauer (1905-1987).|
Harbauer, a painter, graphic artist, craftsperson and lecturer, was a
prominent 20th-century female artist in Toledo, Ohio, but like so many
women of her era, has been undervalued and overlooked for her
accomplishments both by the public and her family.
for art is found in her diligent journals, dairies and supporting
newspaper clippings documenting her dedication, achievements and her
importance in Art to the Toledo Area starting as early as 1923.
from Scott High School in 1923, she had this life quote in the high
school annual. "Wisdom is the Wealth of the Wise".
Harbauer began her art studies in November 1923 at The Museum School of
Design-Toledo, Ohio. Her notes reflect studies of different
styles of Art such as Greek, Italy Egypt, and Roman Life etc. Her
teacher list is as follows:
Educators- Advanced Design-Miss Harris
Lettering- Miss Clark
Painting- Mrs. Dean
Taylor in this class Harbauer's notes go back to the teaching that the
Greeks began to know perception in the 15th Century BC but know nothing
about the Mathematic.
In January 1925, she enrolled at The Art
Institute of Chicago under Raymond P. Ensign. She also studied
at the Cleveland School of Art.
Returning to Toledo, Hazel
Harbauer joined the Toledo Independent Artist Club, organized in 1932
by Israel Ambramfsky and active until 1936. The fifty-seven
active members met on Sunday mornings and Friday evenings. The
first studio was held at the Meredith Building Summit and Cherry Market
Building. All members joined the Army Camouflage Corps in order
to be able to use Colonial Baker's office in the Federal Building.
was also active in The Palette Club of Toledo, organized spring of 1938
for education and exhibition purposes. Charlotte Ruegger and a
musician posed as their first models. Until 1944, club members
met at the studio of Edmund Osthaus, 2564 Maplewood Avenue (later 825
Islington Avenue) when they moved to the Denison Building.
15th Toledo Museum: 4-1-to 4-30th 1933 Toledo Federation of Art
17th Downtown Art Exhibit (The National Bank of Ohio)
23rd Ohio Watercolor Society (Columbus Gallery of Fine Arts)
26th Ohio Watercolor Society (Columbus Gallery of Fine Arts),10-24-1950
29th Toledo Museum (Honorable Mention)- winter on the Quarry Rd
30th The work of Toledo Artist- February 1 thru29-1943
30th Toledo Museum, Toledo Federation
31st Toledo Artist February 6 thru 27 1949
33rd Toledo Museum of Art April 1-29-1951
33rd Toledo Federation of Art March 31- 1941
50 Years of Toledo Art October- 1951
Nov 22-53 Toledo Blade Newman Gallery
March 4-57 Toledo Blade "Who's Who"
Ohio Watercolor Society, Columbus Gallery of Fine Arts, Springfield Art Association, Illinois
Wm Rockhill Nelson Gallery Kanas City, Missouri
Rockford Art Association
Cleveland Museum of Art
Kalamazoo Institute of Art
Cincinnati Museum of Art
The Palette Club of Toledo 3-1- The Steak House, 4308 Monroe St., Toledo Ohio
Butler Art Institute, Youngstown
New York Independents
Parkersburg, West Virginia
Athens Ohio University
One-man show in Gallery 21 Toledo Museum of Art, Jan. 1941-Oct. 1944
Toledo Museum of Art (Certificate of Merit), Oil Landscape, 1936
Honorable Mention Watercolor, 1940,1941, 1942
Toledo Independent Artist Club - Treasurer- 1932 ( Israel Ambramsfsky)
Toledo Artist Club
Toledo Women Artist- President (retired June 26-1947)
The Palette Club- President-1943-44, Vice President-1941-42, Treasurer- 1938-39
Toledo Federation of Art Society (Chairman)
Women's Art League
Toledo Blade May 4- 1947
Awards Announced for Artist
Toledo Blade Dec 7- 1947
Honored (Winter on the Quarry Road)
Toledo Blade May 4-1948
(Lithograph in congress Congressional Library, Washington DC)
Toledo Blade Jan 2-1949
Interesting People (Dr Reams)
Interesting People (Kathy & Herman) Jan 9th -1949
Toledo Blade August 5- 1951 section 5
Models with meaning
Toledo Blade March 4 -1957 PG 16
Toledo Blade Nov 21 - 1948
(Who's Who in American Art The Whitney Museum)
Toledo Blade Nov 11-1956
7th annual Downtown Art Exhibit.
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