Lycoming County Historical Society to host program on Severin Roesen

The Thomas T. Taber Museum of the Lycoming County Historical Society will host its Society Program at 2 p.m. Sept. 15, featuring Roger B. Shipley, emeritus professor of art at Lycoming College. His lecture, “Severin Roesen Revisited,” is free and open to the public. The lecture is sponsored by a grant awarded to the museum by the Woodcock Foundation for the Appreciation of the Arts Inc.

Severin Roesen immigrated from Germany to the United States in the mid-19th century. He was a still-life painter of fruit and flowers. He spent his most productive years in Williamsport during the lumber boom.

His works were “rediscovered” during the Kennedy administration when Jacqueline Kennedy chose two of Rosen’s paintings to decorate the walls of the White House. Today, the paintings are highly sought by art collectors worldwide and are represented in the collections of the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Shelburne Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Texas, the State Department, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the White House, and the Lycoming County Historical Society.

Eminently qualified to present the lecture, Shipley coordinated the ten-year project which resulted in a Catalogue Raisonne of Roesen’s work and a major exhibition of his paintings, most of which came from private collections. This project, in conjunction with the Williamsport Lycoming Arts Council (of which Roger was serving as President at the time) and B&S Picture Frames Inc., did much to popularize Roesen’s work. Roger Shipley received a bachelor’s degree in art from Otterbein College in 1964, and did a special study in painting and printmaking at the American School of Music and Fine Art, Fontainbleau, France. After graduation, he continued special study at the Cleveland Institute of Art before going on the Cranbrook Academy of Art to complete an master’s of fine art degree in painting in 1967. He arrived in Williamsport in 1967 to teach art at Lycoming College and recently retired after 43 years of teaching.

In addition, Shipley introduced the concept of the Fine and Decorative Arts Gallery to the Taber Museum and was instrumental in acquiring the Park Home Art Collection on extended loan for the museum. Also, he served as the co-curator of the exhibition of John Sloan and related artists of the Ashcan School at the museum. He has supervised the conservation of these two important collections.

The lecture is free and open to the public.

The museum will be open for touring with no admission charged. Parking is available behind the museum and on the street. For further information, visit or call 326-3326.