Hi! I hope you enjoy looking at these old barns, reading their stories, and viewing my paintings of them.
"Preserving American history ... one old barn at a time."
Welcome to the wonderful world of barns and my Ohio barn project, a humble attempt to preserve Ohio history by painting pictures of old barns and writing essays about them. Proceeds from most of the paintings raise funds for the 4H, historical society, or another worthy charity in the counties where the barns are located. In fact, I’ll come to your county if you can find someone familiar with your old barns, someone who is passionate enough about barns to do some leg work ahead of my visit. Use the contact form to get in touch with me regarding this.
THIS VIDEO, FEATURED IN DECEMBER, 2019, ON SPECTRUM NEWS explains my project and the plight of our vanishing landscape of old barns, not only in Ohio but other states as well. Click on the blue text to watch it.
MONTHLY NEWSLETTER. Each month I publish a newsletter, which chronicles my travels to find old barns. Occasionally I throw in a tip for artists. To subscribe, go to: https://robertkroeger.com/email-newsletter
ARE THE PAINTINGS FOR SALE? Yes, though most of them on this site have been or will be featured in fundraisers, which are found on the events page of my fine art site, https://robertkroeger.com/events Other paintings - barns, marine, Gethsemani, and the doors of Santa Fe - can be purchased on that site. Commissions are welcome if time allows. Use the contact form to inquire.
Why and how? This crazy old barn, pictured above and also in the first part of the Spectrum video, in Ohio’s Licking County started it. “Granville Gray” as I call him, planted the idea – quite by accident. When, on our annual "surprise" wedding anniversary weekend in 2012, my wife Laura and I turned down the road to our bed and breakfast, we passed this gentle gray giant. Its roof sagging, its side boards warped and tilted and a few missing here and there, the barn grabbed me. Disheveled, it begged for attention. I don’t know how or why, but the barn sent me a strong message: preserve my memory in a painting and an essay. I had to find out more.
So, the next day I met the owner in the small old (1830) farmhouse next to the barn and learned about its story. I told Mr. Hall that I’d eventually start this project and, sure enough, in late 2015, I presented him with a small study painting of his barn. Isn’t it funny how ideas mushroom?
THE OHIO BARN BOOK. As time passed, I visited many barns, met the owners and heard their stories, learned about early Ohio history, and put almost all of my barn paintings into fundraisers for nonprofits. And, in the summer of 2019, the Arcadia Press, a divison of the History Press, contacted me about a book. Once I complete paintings and essays in all 88 Ohio counties, I'll put one barn from each county – its painting and essay - into a book: a look at early Ohio history, a time when farm work took the place of smartphones and computers. The book should be released by early 2021.
THE ALL-OHIO EXHIBIT. On April 30 and May 1, 2021, an exhibit of barn paintings, one from each Ohio county, will be displayed in the famous 1881 Muhlhauser barn and will be auctioned for local nonprofits in West Chester, a township in Butler County. Located only minutes off I-75, just north of Cincinnati's I-275 beltway, the event will be open to the public. Details will be posted when available.
MY PAINTINGS. I use the thick impasto oil technique on Masonite panels and I prefer to use original barn wood – from the barn I paint – to frame the painting. You can find out more about this impasto on my bio page.
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