Memorial exhibit honors artist Richard Neubauer

Memorial exhibit honors artist Richard Neubauer
Carroll Community College is hosting an exhibit of Richard Neubauer's work, "All He Had to Say: The Paintings of Richard Neubauer, A Memorial Exhibit." (SUBMITTED PHOTO, Carroll County Times)

Though Richard Neubauer was not a household name, Maggie Ball, gallery director at Carroll Community College, said the artist, of Felton, Pa., was a great regional talent. Now, after his death last September, Neubauer's art is taking on a second life.

Opening today, Carroll Community College is hosting an exhibit of Neubauer's work, "All He Had to Say: The Paintings of Richard Neubauer, A Memorial Exhibit."

Neubauer's daughter Jenn Lanocha said he first began painting in the 1940s, while taking night classes at the Maryland Institute College of Art. When he entered the Korean War, his painting took a back seat to his military career. He didn't return to the hobby until he retired from Allied Signal, where he worked as a draftsman. At that point, the company requested he begin painting portraits of the company's retirees. Soon, he began painting purely for pleasure again. Lanocha estimates he painted more than 400 portraits for the company.

In addition to the portraits of retirees, Lanocha said Neubauer was a prolific painter, producing landscapes, still lifes and more. Much of his inspiration was taken from literature, she said. Neubauer's paintings depict scenes from diverse works such as "Hamlet," Dante's "Inferno" and Agatha Christie novels.

Lanocha said Richard never publicized his work while he was living. Though his paintings were hung around York Pa., he rarely worked to have them sold or entered into galleries.

"He never thought he could make an impact, even though everyone who ever saw his work was floored by it," Lanocha said. "It's such a shame people didn't really get the chance to see his art then. He would be so happy knowing people are seeing and enjoying his art now."

Ball said it's an honor to bring Neubauer's paintings to the public.

"I feel as though I can be the distributor and the person who opens up the work to the world for people," Ball said. "He was really very accomplished. I'm looking forward to the community's response. I've had so many people stop me as I'm hanging these pieces and say, 'Who is this? These are amazing.'"

Neubauer's work, Ball said, reflects his influence by the 17th century Dutch masters.

"He paints in the classical Dutch style and plays with dramatic light. He's so skilled with nuanced drapery," Ball said. "It's the kind of artwork that people will love."

Despite his Dutch influences - known for their controlled realistic style - Ball said Neubauer's paintings also incorporate the style of many other schools of art.

"He truly has a nice variety of styles," Ball said. "I think it's typical of artists who get older. They get kind of a looser brush, with a little bit of an impressionistic play on his surfaces."

Lanocha said helping Ball prepare the exhibit brought her closer to her father.

"The whole time I was getting the paintings ready for show, I actually put one of his self-portraits in front of me in the room," Lanocha said. "The whole time I worked, I could see him smile at me. He'd be thrilled at the opportunity."