Saint Clare’s Denville Hospital to Host Exhibit Featuring Paintings
of Boonton’s Russell Conn
September 25, 2017 (Denville, NJ) -- Saint Clare’s Denville Hospital will host an art exhibit highlighting
the work of celebrated local painter, Russell J. Conn (1896-1983), of
Boonton. The exhibit is scheduled for Wednesday, October 18, 2017, from
10 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the Auditorium of the Hospital, located at 25 Pocono
Road, Denville. It will feature a selection of Mr. Conn’s paintings
depicting the Morris County region as well as his travels throughout the
world. A ribbon cutting and brief remarks will be held at 10 a.m., featuring
Rev. Harold Johnson, a friend of Mr. Conn’s and his former pastor
at Boonton’s First Presbyterian Church; Matthew DiLauri, Mayor of
Boonton; and Brian Finestein, CEO of Saint Clare’s Health. The exhibit
is open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. For more information,
please call Saint Clare’s Public Relations Office at 973-983-5531.
“This exhibit will give our community the opportunity to view some
of Russell’s important pieces that reflect his depth of skill and
vast subject matter. The event serves as a showcase for the public for
many of his works that have been on display at the Hospital since there
were donated in 1983,” said Rev. Johnson.
“We are pleased to partner with Saint Clare’s in highlighting
the accomplished works of our former Boonton citizen, culminating the
focus on Mr. Conn’s work that has been an important component of
Boonton’s 150th Celebration,” stated Mayor DiLauri.
“We are honored to highlight Mr. Conn’s work. His paintings
been enjoyed here for many years by Saint Clare’s Denville Hospital
patients, visitors and staff. We appreciate this valuable contribution,”
said Mr. Finestein.
About Russell J. Conn and Saint Clare’s
According to Rev. Johnson, Russell J. Conn (1986-1983) came to Boonton
in early life, graduating from Boonton High School in 1915. After college
and decorated military services in WWI, Conn joined a family business
of inventors making their fortune in supportive automation for Wall Street.
Retiring at 40 years of age, he gave himself to his passion of painting,
travelling the world to paint and teach while amassing some 5,000 pieces
painted. He was noted and commissioned locally for his splendid paintings
of town residences. Many of his subjects were Boonton’s historic
houses and public buildings, the railroad and retail stores along Boonton’s
Main Street. Since 1984, the Russell Conn Award provides a cash prize
to a winning Boonton High school senior who captures the face of Boonton
in visual media.
During the summer of 1983, Mr. Conn added over a dozen paintings to his
series of Main Street businesses, seen often sitting on stool under a
straw hat at his easel across the street from a retailer. On September
21 of that year, as part of Boonton’s first Community Day, he offered
a clothesline exhibit of those matted works outside the Post Office. Several
owners were fortunate to purchase their paintings that day, as Conn died
suddenly two days later on September 23. His daughter Gloria, an only
child charged with relocating her widowed mother and settling estate affairs,
invited Saint Clare’s Hospital Administrative Director, Sister Mary
Urban, to come to Conn’s studio and make a selection of paintings.
Confronted by almost 3,000 paintings, the hospital chose the readily available
Main Street series along with others. Since 1983, the Main Street paintings
have hung with other Conn watercolors on the walls of the Hospital’s
Urban Wing, 1st and 2nd floors in Denville.
About Saint Clare’s Health
Saint Clare’s Health is an award-winning provider of safe, high quality,
compassionate care, serving the communities of Morris and Sussex counties.
Its network of hospitals and healthcare facilities include Denville Hospital,
Dover Hospital, Behavioral Health centers in Boonton, Denville, and Parsippany,
Sussex Community Urgent Care, and an Imaging Center in Parsippany, among
other satellite locations.