1930 Yearbook Art Editors

Edward Christiana and Frederick Hofmann

March 2022

1930 Yearbook School Drawing by Edward Christiana
1930 Yearbook School Drawing by Edward Christiana


The Class of 1930 named two students as the Class Artists for the Mirror 1930: Edward Christiana and Frederick Hofmann. Both students would go on to careers as artists.

 

Edward Christiana

1930 Yearbook Art Editor - Edward Christiana
1930 Edward Christiana

The first page of the 1930 Mirror contained Edward Christiana's sketch of The Ilion High School and is featured as this month's cover story image. His senior yearbook caption reflected his talent as an artist.

Here is a boy whom we call "Ed",
An artist sure as fate.
When he's not drawing pictures,
Then he's out on a date.

Edward Christiana was born the son of Isaiah Christiana and Evelina (MacAndless) Christiana in White Plains, NY. The Christiana's were also parents of three daughters: Anna Leona IHS 1932, Ella Dill IHS 1934, and Virginia Evelyn IHS 1936. The family moved to Ilion when Ed was a young boy. They lived at 21 S. Fourth Ave. Ed's sister, Anna Leona, would later marry Thomas Shepherd, a landscape architect and amateur artist

Page 45 of the 1930 Mirror contains another example of Ed Christiana's art work.
1930 Yearbook Art Editor - Edward Christiana Athletics Sketch

Edward Christiana was the first student from Ilion High School to receive and graduate with an Art Diploma from Ilion. It was art that saved him in high school. "I had a tough time in school with mathematics. I was almost ready to quit. But when I became a freshman at Ilion High School, I got into the art department, and that changed my life." After high school graduation, he attended Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, graduating in 1933.

 

IHS 1930 Edward Christiana Paints Civil War Vet

Civil War Vet Portrait - Alonzo Rivers

The Ilion Sentinel published a story on February 21, 1935, that Edward Christiana was creating a portrait of Ilion's last surviving Civil War veteran. Can anyone confirm if this Civil War portrait is still on display in a local veteran facility? The same article describe how Munger's lady customers could also get a portrait of themselves sketched by Christiana. - Source Illion NY Sentinel 1935-1937 - 0045.pdf

Is Preparing Portrait of Alonzo Rivers, Ilion's remaining Veteran of Civil War.

Edward Christiana, 21 South Fourth avenue, well known local artist, is now engaged in doing a portrait of Alonzo Rivers, Ilion's only surviving Civil War veteran. When completed, it is understood, the picture will be presented to a local patriotic organization.

Mr. Christiana's ability in doing portrait sketches is familiar in Ilion, Today, Friday, and Saturday, he will do sketches in color in the millinery section of H. G. Munger and Company. The company has arranged with Mr. Christiana to sketch a portrait of each lady purchasing a new spring hat. He has already sketched a number of the sales people at Mungers and these sketches are on display in the windows.

 

IHS 1930 Edward Christiana People Worth Knowing
Source Utica NY Observer 1944 - 6648.PDF - People Worth Knowing

Post Pratt Activities

After his graduation in 1933, he engaged in a number of activities. He worked on the construction of the Herkimer Post Office building with his father to earn money to continue his studies. He went back to New York to study at the Art Students' League, and was engaged by a little theater group in the Catskills as a scenic decorator. The pastor of the Presbyterian Church, in Ilion, allowed him the use of the Sunday school room on weekdays for use as his studio, Christiana painted portraits from $5 to $10 apiece. Later he went to work for Zintsmaster photographer in Herkimer. Christiana's photographic study of his father, was judged the best "picture of the month" for this country and Canada, in an American Photographic Society contest, and was exhibited at the World's Fair in New York. "Early in the war [May 1941], he left Utica with a contingent for Albany where he was adjudged 4-F, to his great disappointment." - Source Utica NY Observer 1944 - 6648.PDF - People Worth Knowing

"It's a feather in Christiana'a cap, for instance, that such a distinguished patron of the arts as Thomas J. Watson, president of the International Business Machines Corporation, bought one of his pictures a few years ago at a New York State regional exhibition of paintings in Syracuse. But he gets just as much satisfaction from the fact that Uticans and shoppers from "down the valley" have been saying this fall, as they have stopped to look at pictures by local artists, shown during the annual National Art Week exhibit in downtown store windows: "Look there's one of Christiana best". Throughout the Mohawk Valley no young artist has a higher rating." - Source Utica NY Observer 1944 - 6648.PDF - People Worth Knowing

In 1940, he was awarded a bronze medal for winning the regional and national honors for the best photograph of the month, as judged by the Photographic Society of America. The title of his work was "Brown Study," and his father, Isaiah Christiana, was the model. Edward also worked in various media, including oil portraits and landscape, watercolors, photographic prints and sculpture. He also studied lithography and etching.

He was invited to join the Munson-Williams-Proctor School of Art faculty in 1943 and he was the School of Arts director at Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute School of Art.

Constance 'Connie' Steber IHS 1940, married Edward Christiana, on September 2, 1944. They eventually were parents of four children: Kim, Garry, Thon and Aaron. At first the Christianas lived in Utica but later moved to Holland Patent. Over the years, he spent many evenings giving talks and instructions to various club and schools, while also being employed by the Munson-Williams-Proctor School of Art. He also was featured in several newspaper articles, including an article titled, "A Lifetime in Art and He'd Do It Again", by Ilion's own, Harold Whittemore, IHS 1934. The following excerpts are from the May 15, 1977, Observer Dispatch article.

Sources - Utica NY Utica NY Observer 1977 - 4891.pdf and Utica NY Utica NY Observer 1977 - 4897.pdf May 15, 1977 - A Lifetime in Art and He'd Do It Again - continued - by Harold Whittemore

Art and the high school student prompted these thoughts by Cristiana.

"In many cases, parents are reluctant to have their children devote too much time to art because they consider it unpractical and a risky career economically."

"My father was hesitant about my perusing art as a career even though he was proud of paintings I did as a youth. My mother overruled. But I would encourage the high school student with obvious talent."

Christiana says he has fond memories of his high school art teacher in nearby Ilion. She would remain at school as long as I felt like painting. And this often went into the evening.

 

Watercolor is Awarded Student for Best Critique in Contest - December 12, 1961

IHS 1930 Edward Christiana  - Donates Painting for Utica College Contest
Source Utica NY Observer 1961 a - 4798.pdf

Photo Caption - "Utica College senior Bernard L. Anderson, 128 Dryden Ave., was awarded a water-color painting by Edward Christiana today at the end of an art, criticism contest. Christian offered one of his paintings, "Marshall Point, Maine," as the prize in a contest designed to encourage students to evaluate art."

The student who won the Christiana painting would go on to become an Ilion Faculty English teacher - Bernard Anderson.

"Anderson, a native of Mohawk and Florida, and an English major, was one of a number of students, who entered the competition. The painting, valued at $125, was titled 'Marshall Point Maine,' and was painted in 1949. ...Although he does not do any serious painting himself, Anderson said he does occasional sketches and is very interested in writing. He is a member of the staff of the Tangerine, the college newspaper."

The painting is still a cherished possession of the Anderson family.

IHS 1930 Edward Christiana  - Marshall Point, Maine Painting
2022 Photograph of the "Marshall Point, Maine" painting is courtesy of Lawrence Anderson IHS 1999 -
son of Bernard Anderson and Edwina Anderson.

 

Art Exhibit Honoring Teacher Draws Large Audience In Ilion - 1965

In November 1965, Christiana participated, along with 29 exhibitors, in an Art Show that was held in memory of Ilion Art teacher, Miss Veronica Donnelly. The show was held in the Municipal Auditorium. Miss Donnelly taught art at Ilion High School for over 40 years. The Ilion Teachers Association spearheaded the exhibit plans, aided by Miss Nellie Schmidt, English teacher, and several retired teachers who had been friends of Miss Donnelly. One of the many exhibitors was David Bouck, a former pupil who also taught art in the Ilion schools. Source Herkimer NY Evening Telegram 1965 03444.pdf

A special highlight of the exhibit was a display on the theme "Growth of a Talent" shown by Miss Linda Braybrook, 1 Remington Place, a 1963 graduate. Miss Braybrook exhibited four landscapes to show her education from primary grades through advanced study.

Another was an exhibit by Alan Lowe, who displayed a brochure on the Ilion Elks youth program using art techniques he learned as a student of Miss Donnelly. Along with the exhibit were the national Elks plaque and trophy that the local Elks recently won for the youth program.

Among participating artists were Robert VanSteinburg, art director in Mohawk Central School; Richard Comins, Bennington, VT, serigraph artist; Edward Christiana of the Munson - Williams - Proctor Institute, Utica, and E. Steber Kerr, of Delmar, architect.

 

IHS 1930 Edward Christiana  - MWP Rental Program
Source Utica NY Observer 1969 - 1146.PDF

Munson-Williams-Proctor Rental Program

In the 1970s, Christiana had some 200 paintings in commercial establishments throughout the area. "It's kind of a permanent one man show," he said. He also sold a painting, of a Genesee Street fire, twenty-five years later, to the Utica Fire Insurance Co. which was redecorating its new headquarters in the Oneida County Airport Industrial Park. The Utica Fire Insurance had the policy on the burning buildings Christiana painted, which they hung in the president's office. Some of the places where his work was exhibited included the Mohawk Valley State Bank, Marine Midland Banks, Oneida National Banks, the Upstate Computer Center and others. It was part of the Munson-Williams-Proctor rental system. Edward Christiana was at the top of the list in the number of works on display. - Source Utica NY Utica NY Daily Press 1975 - 5093.pdf January 23, 1974 - "On Culture and Things by Jonas Kover"

 

Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute celebrated the 100th birthday

Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute celebrated the 100th birthday of IHS 1930 Alumnus, Edward 'Chris' Christiana, in August 2012. To honor what would have been his 100th year, Christiana's family put together a gallery of his work showcasing his career. The exhibit was held at the Utica Public Library. The family decided to display the artwork not only as a tribute to their father, but to the community, said his daughter Kim Domenico. "I feel like he really belongs to us all of us," she said. "An artist gives their art to the community."

Edward Christiana died in 1992. He is buried in the Holland Patent Cemetery. His wife, Constance, died in 2003 and is buried next to her husband.

 

Frederick Hofmann

1930 Yearbook Art Editor - Frederick Hofmann
1930 Frederick Hofmann

 

Frederick E. Hofmann was the son of Ernest and Lillian (Tuttle) Hofmann, 146 South Fourth Avenue, Ilion. He had one brother, Theodore Hofmann, who would go on to a career in insurance and real-estate in Ilion.

 

The 1930 Mirror contained a number of drawings by Frederick Hofmann. His senior yearbook caption showed how highly esteemed he was for his artistic talent.

Fred, our very best artist,
Ranks very high in the state;
Some day we'll see him a Rembrandt
If he keeps at his present rate.

Below are two samples of the Hofmann sketches that appeared in the 1930 Yearbook.

1930 Yearbook School Drawing by Drawing by Frederick Hofmann
Minerva Yearbook Drawing by Frederick Hofmann

1930 Yearbook School Drawing by Drawing by Frederick Hofmann
Activities Yearbook Drawing by Frederick Hofmann

 

Enters Artistic Competitions

Frederick Hofmann won various art contests when he was a student at Ilion. The Utica NY Daily Observer in its October 18, 1928 edition, headlined an article with "Ilionite's Drawing, Is Illustrated by National Magazine". Note - his last name was misspelled Hofman in the newspaper article.

The October naming of Sportsmanship carries a full page display of "The Spirit of Fall Play," a four-color poster drawn by Frederick Hofman of 146 South Fourth Avenue, a student in the Ilion High School, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ernest T. Hofman.

The poster won first prize in a contest held by the state, high school chapters of the Sportsmanship Brotherhood. The award, a silver cup, donated by the National Child Welfare Association was presented at the annual conference held at Troy this year.

Competitions sometimes involved competing against his classmates. The March 27, 1930, edition of the Utica NY Daily Observer named the co-competitors.

The winner of the second New York State Diphtheria Prevention Poster contest, judged last night at the Ilion High School, was Frederic Hofmann.

Second prize went to Edward Christiana and third to Robert Eckler. Honorable mention was accorded to Dorothea Wilkins and Richard Comins. The local prize awarded were: First, $10 offered by the Ilion Board of Health; second, health statuette, offered by the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, and third, a year's subscription to the Poster Magazine.

Ilion High School students participated. The contest draws competitors from all the high schools in New York State, with the exception of the metropolitan district.

The posters showed remarkable talent among the pupils, Hofmann's poster was a splendid illustration of the idea of the contest, the prevention of diphtheria. The first three prize winners will enter the state contest to compete for the following prizes:

First, $320 scholarship; second, $75 in gold; third, $30 in gold. In addition a special prize, a $1,020 scholarship is offered by the Syracuse College of Fine Arts to any high school boy who shows promise of successful completion of a college course in fine arts.

Judges of the contest hero were: Mrs. B. A. Russell Jr., Dr. H. J. Hunter, Principal J. G. Prindle, A. K. 'Cy'' Seymour and Louis Z. LaForest.

 

Post Graduate Work

Frederick graduated early from Pratt Institute. He completed his studies in Commercial Art by March 1933. Most student usually graduated in June. Fred graduated with honors and began working with the Muirson Label & Package Company of America as an art designer.

Teaching Career and Advertising Agency

In 1943, Frederick Hofmann was a drawing instructor at the Waterloo schools. In 1945, he accepted a position at Syracuse University, resigning his position at Waterloo at the end of the school year. He conducted jewelry-making classes at the Syracuse Museum of Fine Art for adult education programs in 1948.

He eventually owned of an advertising and lettering agency. There is no mention of Frederick, in his brother Ted's 1987 obituary, so it is assumed that Frederick Hofmann died sometime before 1987.

 


Edward Christiana - Resource links

The Utica Observer Dispatch featured him in a newspaper article on October 4, 2019 - Art exhibition and sale celebrates late local artist Edward Christiana.

The Utica Observer Dispatch published an article about his work in a newspaper article in May 2012 - Art show celebrates late local artist Christiana.

Ask/Art, known as The Artists Bluebook contains Edward Christiana many links about him and his art work, including Museums that featured his work.

Painter Hall Groat II, has a web site where you can also find his paintings for sale on the site. (updated July 20, 2014)

Edward Christiana Stream and Bridge, Frankfort Gorge, 1980
Edward Christiana - Mt. Rainer National Park, Washington, 1972

Fultonhistory.com Newspaper Archive References:

Utica NY Observer 1930 - 2486.pdf March 27, 1930 - Art Enriches Life, Says Ilion Painter-Photographer
Illion NY Sentinel 1935-1937 - 0045.pdf February 21, 1935 - Edward Christiana Sketches War Vet
Utica NY Observer 1940 - 3453.pdf April 28, 1940 - Art Enriches Life, Says Ilion Painter-Photographer
Utica NY Observer 1941 - 3310.pdf May 7, 1941 - Artist Trainee Will Mix Craft with Soldiering
Illion NY Sentinel 1941-1943 - 0226.pdf July 24, 1941 - Ilion Artist Awarded Syracuse Art Scholarship
Illion NY Sentinel 1944-1946 (1) - 0235.pdf September 7, 1944 - Christiana - Steber wedding
Utica NY Observer 1944 - 6648.PDF/a> November 26, 1944 - People Worth Knowing -
Herkimer NY Evening Telegram 1946 00809.pdf July 29, 1946 - Herkimer, Ilion Artists To Enter Area Exhibit
Herkimer NY Evening Telegram 1952 01829.pdf August 5, 1952 - Christiana First in Oils
Herkimer NY Evening Telegram 1953 02022.pdf February 5, 1955 - Former Ilion Artist Wins Honors at Show
Illion NY Sentinel 1953 - 0064.pdf February 5, 1953 - Mr. and Mrs. Edward Christiana are parents of a son
Herkimer NY Evening Telegram 1957 00517.pdf March 2, 1957 - Ilion Artist Gives Exhibit at Utica
Utica NY Observer 1961 a - 4798.pdf December 12, 1961 - Water Color is Awarded Student for Best Critique in Contest
Herkimer NY Evening Telegram 1965 03444.pdf November 15, 1965 - Art Exhibit Honoring Teacher Draws Large Audience In Ilion
Herkimer Utica NY Observer 1969 - 1146.PDF February 9, 1969 - 'Art Available At All Prices; Just Look for It'
Utica NY Utica NY Daily Press 1975 - 5093.pdf January 23, 1974 - "On Culture and Things by Jonas Kover"
Utica NY Utica NY Observer 1977 - 4891.pdf May 15, 1977 - A Lifetime in Art and He'd Do It Again - by Harold Whittemore
Utica NY Utica NY Observer 1977 - 4897.pdf May 15, 1977 - A Lifetime in Art and He'd Do It Again - continued - by Harold Whittemore
Utica NY Daily Press 1978 - 1440.pdf February 5, 1978 - 51 Christiana Works on Display
Utica NY Daily Press 1978 - 1440.pdf February 27, 1978 - Christiana Exhibits at Munson Williams
Utica NY Observer 1988 - 5811.pdf June 12, 1988 - Christiana exhibits the work he loves

Findagrave.com References:

Edward Christiana Holland Patent Cemetery - findagrave.com
Isaiah O. "Bob" Christiana his father - Armory Hill Cemetery - findagrave.com
Evelina Elizabeth MacAndless Christiana his mother - Armory Hill Cemetery - findagrave.com
A. "Anna" Leona Shepherd his sister - Armory Hill Cemetery - findagrave.com
Ella Dill Christiana Thierfelder his sister - Armory Hill Cemetery - findagrave.com

 

Frederick Hofmann - Resource links

Fultonhistory.com Newspaper Archive References:

Utica NY Observer 1928 - 8637.pdf October 18, 1928 - Ilionite's Drawing, Is Illustrated by National Magazine
Utica NY Observer 1930 - 2486.pdf March 27, 1930 - Boys Winners of Ilion High Poster Event
Utica NY Daily Press 1928 - 1908.pdf March 29, 1930 - Poster Prize Awarded to Frederick Hofmann
Utica NY Observer 1933 - 2583.pdf March 20, 1933 - Ilion Art Student Graduates at Pratt, Gets Designing Job
Waterloo NY Observer 1941-1944 - 0851.pdf June 25, 1943 - Frederick Hoffman [Hofmann] art teacher in Waterloo
Geneva NY Daily Times 1944 Dec-Apr 1945 Grayscale - 1227.pdf February 8, 1948 - Waterloo Briefs - Hofmann Resigns
Syracuse NY Post Standard 1948 - 0932.pdf February 27, 1945 - Museum Classes Have Vacancies
Herkimer NY Evening Telegram 1956 00125.pdf April 14, 1956 - Ilion Art Teacher Recalls Many Former Students, Now Prominent
Herkimer NY Evening Telegram 1969 00062.pdf January 7, 1969 - Hofmann Sells Agency To Day
Utica NY Daily Press 1987 - 0643.pdf February 5, 1987 - Theodore C. Hofmann Obituary

Findagrave.com References:

Ernest T. Hofmann his father - Armory Hill Cemetery - findagrave.com
Lillian T Hofmann his mother - Armory Hill Cemetery - findagrave.com
Theodore Hofmann his brother - Armory Hill Cemetery - findagrave.com

 


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