11/16/2022 – “Forting Up”
Held at University of Richmond
Due to unforeseen events, there was a last-minute change in the evenings’ program speaker. Again, another ARRT-Richmond member was called on, at the last minute, as speaker for the evening’s program presentation. Dr. Bruce M. Venter is CEO of America’s History, LLC , an experienced tour leader, and has written for Blue & Gray, Civil War and the Washington Times. He has previously led tours entitled Rogers Rangers and the French and Indian War and Defending the Highlands: The Revolutionary War in the Hudson River Valley.
After general announcements, Bruce spoke on “Forting Up: Defending the Mohawk Valley through the Artwork of Rufus Grider.” Rufus Grider’s artistic endeavors relating to New York State history began in 1886. At that time, he came up with the idea of making a “collection of pictures of old” buildings of the Mohawk Valley. He decided he could draw these buildings that “formerly existed” if he could find individuals who could describe them and recognize them when drawn. Initially he drew views of buildings and landscapes then Indian relics and finally ”any object suited for illustration,“ including documents, which he copied by tracing the original. From 1886 to about 1900, Grider traveled up and down the Mohawk Valley, with occasional excursions to the Cherry and Schohoarie valleys and Lake George and Lake Champlain, in search of historic buildings, battlefields, the sites of forts the relics of Indians. All of which he drew or copied with explanatory notes. Bruce presented images of Grider’s works and provided architectural details about the buildings’ construction, function and Revolutionary War historical significance.
The New York State Library holds a large collection of Grider’s works
At meeting’s end, Bill Welsch offered the Board’s recommendations for leadership positions of ARRT-Richmond for the next two years and changes to the by-laws. A vote was taken and the Board’s recommendations were unanimously accepted.