Artists, Writers, and Actors

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  • Click on a name or the link at the end of each person’s information to see a summary of the interview, the time period discussed, and the tags/key words for that interview.
  • For the interviews from SAI, click on the link to be taken to the SAI web page about the artist.
  • On the summary page, click on the player to listen to the interview.
  • Click on a tag in the right-hand column to see the interviews that contain that key word.
  • Use the search box in the right-hand column to search for a key word.

Video Histories

Dana Garber Applestein (MAM)

Dana is the granddaughter of artist Daniel Garber, who was an STHS Honored Citizen in 2009. She is sometimes joined in the presentation by her sister, Tanis Garber Shaw. The Michener Art Museum in Doylestown sponsored, organized, and videotaped this presentation in their grandfather’s studio at Cuttalossa Farm. Video and details.

W. W. Chambers (NCM)

W.W. Chamber’s 1932 silent film of Bucks County and especially Solebury Township includes quick, live scenes of three iconic artists:  William Lathrop (minute 18:30), Edward Redfield (minute 19:24), and Daniel Garber (minute 20:23). For those interested in seeing just the artists and not the entire film, look at the noted minutes. Interestingly we see Garber and Lathrop painting outdoors near their studios. This was probably done to light the film. Redfield is in his garden, which was one of his annual, continuing creations! Video and details.

Joseph Crilley (STHS)

Joseph Crilley was a painter, illustrator, photographer, writer, and teacher. He served as a paratrooper in World War II, and after the war he settled in Bucks County and taught art at New Hope-Solebury High School. After leaving teaching he continued his interest and work in all things artistic. Joe passed away in 2008.  Video and details.

William L. Lathrop (NCM)

Artist William Lathrop was born in Ohio and moved to Phillips Mill in 1898 or 99. He was the “dean” of the New Hope art colony that he helped establish, and he was a dedicated teacher. He was the first president of the Phillips’ Mill Community Association that was established in the old mill across the road from his house. William was an avid sailor who built his own sloop, the Widge, with the help of Henry Snell and William’s son-in-law Rolf Bauhan (an architect who designed many buildings in Princeton, NJ). He often took the boat in the canal from Phillips Mill to Bristol where he set out into the Delaware River. He enjoyed eight summers of sailing along the northeast coast until his tragic death on the boat during a 1938 hurricane off Montauk, Long Island, New York. Video and details.

Mira Nakashima  (SAI)

Mira is the daughter of George Nakashima. She worked with her father in his woodshop and after his death continued his tradition. In addition, she has her own designs outlined in a catalogue named Keisho, which means “continuation” or “succession.” The Nakashima studio is on Aquetong Road in Solebury. Video and details.

Phillip Powell  (SAI)

Phillip was a woodworker who created “furniture with sculptural qualities.” He moved to New Hope in 1947 and remained there for the rest of his life except for periods of travel from which he drew inspiration. Some of his works are on display in the Michener Art Museum in Doylestown. Video and details.

Mark Sfirri  (SAI)

Mark is a woodworker but with a “twist.” He creates works of art from wood using a lathe, and he then manipulates them using multi-centered spindles and a series of crosscuts. His work is meticulous in its detail. Mark is an Associate Professor of Fine Woodworking at Bucks County Community College. Video and details.

Robert Whitley  (SAI)

Robert is a third-generation craftsman who lives in Solebury. He is a studio furniture designer whose works have been presented as state gifts and are on display in museums around the country. Video and details.

Audio Oral Histories

Bye Family  (STHS)

The Quaker ancestors of Ranulph, Gerard, and Margaret Bye settled in Bucks County in 1699 on a land grant from William Penn. Their father Dr. Arthur E. Bye was a curator at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, an art professor, and an art dealer. He painted Bucks County scenery featuring barns and fields. The ancestral family home was located in Holicong and named Byecroft. Recording and details.

Ranulph Bye (NHHS, MAM)

Ranulph Bye’s ancestor was given a Buck’s county land grant by William Penn in 1699. He was a highly and widely recognized American watercolorist. He primarily painted landscapes, seascapes, and buildings, producing over three thousand during his very active career. Recording 1 and details.  Recording 2 and details.  Recording 3 and details.

 Ruth Folinsbee  (NHHS)

Ruth was the widow of John F. (Jack) Folinsbee, a noted artist. Her daughter Beth attended the interview and spoke occasionally. Recording and details.

Charles Hargens, Jr. (NHHS)

Illustrator, painter, photographer, Charles achieved marked success in the magazine and book publishing world. He and his family moved to Carversville in 1940. After listening to this interview, be sure to watch the video Bucks County Documentary with Robert L. Green, (1977) to see and hear Charles in his Carversville studio. The second recording is from the MAM collection.  Recording 1 and details.  Recording 2 and details.

Don Hedges (NHHS, MAM)

Don Hedges was an architect who moved to New Hope in 1930. He and his wife Peggy opened a craft shop in New Hope that she ran for many years. Don was involved in civic activities in New Hope, and in his later years he took up painting. The New Hope Historical Society recording 1 covers his life story and the Michener Art Museum recording 2 deals with his art activities.  Recording 1 and details.  Recording 2 and details.

Anne Goodell Lathrop (NHHS)

Ann was the wife of Julian Lathrop, who was the son of William Lathrop and Annie Burt Lathrop. She was interviewed with her long-time friend Sally Nimick. Recording and details.

Nora Lathrop Grimison and Jill Lathrop Karhumaa (STHS)

Nora and Jill are the granddaughters of William L. and Annie Burt Lathrop, daughters of his son Julian and Anne Goodell Lathrop. They describe their bucolic youth in Phillips Mill and give insights into the personalities of their family members, the grandfather William, and their neighbors. They deliver funny stories with broad views of life and their Lathrop homestead, which was used for multiple purposes over many years and occupants. Recording 1 and details.  Recording 2 and details.

 Elizabeth Lawrie (NHHS)

Elizabeth was a locally well-known painter. She resided in New Hope. Recording and details.

Emily Leith-Ross (NHHS)

Emily (Slaymaker) Leith-Ross was the wife of the artist Harry Leith-Ross, who was called Tony by family and friends. They met in Chicago, her home town, in 1925, and although he was 15 years older than she, they quickly fell in love and married later that year. The family moved to the New Hope area in 1935 and became active members in the artists’ colony, counting many friends among the Phillips Mill artist’s set and the Jericho Mountain writer’s set. Harry Leith-Ross lived from 1886 to 1973. Recording and details.

James Michener (NHHS)

Jim was adopted into the Quaker Michener family in Doylestown at a very young age and was a graduate of Doylestown High School. He was the author of more than 40 books, most of them fiction and many best sellers. He was known for his meticulous research to make the books authentic. For a time he was one of the owners of WBUX radio station in Bucks County. Recording and details.

George Nakashima (NHHS)

George was a woodworker and furniture maker considered a national treasure by both Japan and the USA. His love of wood with its perfections and imperfections made his designs unique and beautiful. George was born in Spokane, WA, and moved with his wife and daughter to Solebury in 1943. From that time he built his business, home, and many friendships step by creative step with his own hands. After listening to this interview, be sure to watch the video Bucks County Documentary with Robert L. Green, (1977) to see and hear George at his Aquetong Road home and workshop. Recording and details.

Edward W. Redfield (NHHS)

Edward  lived and painted in Centre Bridge, PA. He was one of the central figures (possibly the central figure) in the Pennsylvania Impressionist (New Hope School) movement and became one of our country’s most decorated painters. Recording 1 and details. Recording 2 and detailsRecording 3 and details.

Laurent and Dorothy Redfield (NHHS)

Dorothy, the daughter-in-law of Edward Redfield and wife of his first son Laurent, reflects on the Redfield family life in Centre Bridge where Laurent grew up. This provides background about life in the times and therefore rounds out our understanding of the artist, and as such should be listened to after the recordings done by Edward. Laurent was present at the interview but was unable to speak because of the aftereffects of a stroke. Recording and details.

Margaret Mullen Root (NHHS)

Maggie was a Broadway actress who married set designer John Root in Doylestown and later settled in Wycombe, PA. In 1964 they moved to Solebury and remained there the rest of their lives. Maggie appeared in productions in almost every season at the Bucks County Playhouse from 1947 to 1967.  Recording and details.

Mark Sfirri  (SAI)

Mark is a woodworker but with a “twist.” He creates works of art from wood using a lathe, and he then manipulates them using multi-centered spindles and a series of crosscuts. His work is meticulous in its detail. Mark is an Associate Professor of Fine Woodworking at Bucks County Community College. Video and details.

Joan Stack (NHHS)

Joan was a radio personality on WBUX in Bucks County, but she was also involved in local organizations including the YMCA and the Philadelphia chapter of American Women in Radio and Television. After leaving WBUX she started her own public relations firm. She interviewed people on her radio show and many of these interviews are here on our oral history pages.  Recording and details.

Isaac Wallwork (STHS)

Isaac was a metal blacksmith who worked with Morgan Colt in Phillips Mill and for the Frederick Glass Company in Bethayers, PA. He was interviewed  by New Hope-Solebury students about automobiles, his family, his schooling, and his jobs. The interview tape is missing but was transcribed and printed in book form.  Transcription.

 Michener Art Museum  Collection, Artists (MAM)

Dana Garber Applestein
Marian Jenson Barford
Ranulph Bye
Charles Hargens, Jr.
Erika Oeschler Luitweiler
Paul Matthews
Rae Solowey
Lester Trauch
Charles Wells

Michener Art Museum Donated Archives, Artists (MAM)

Carol Barany
Joan Bitzer
Selma Bortner
Ranulph Bye
Harriet Curtin Ermentrout
Dorothy Grider
Charles J. Gussman
Ned Harrington
Donald A. Hedges
Judith Heep
Joan Kopchik
Eleanor Levy
Denver Lindley, Jr.
Erika Oeschler Luitweiler
Bernard Mangiaracina
Gustav Nilson
Robert Ranieri
Charlotte Schatz
Phoebe Taylor
George Trivellini
Avi Wortis
Joan Wortis