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Saint Clare's Denville Hospital to Host Exhibit Featuring Paintings of Boonton's Russell Conn

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.