Sunday, October 1, 2017

Artist Claire Rohrbough

Below is the cover of the 1984 Greater Covington Chamber of Commerce magazine, featuring a painting by talented watercolor artist Claire Rohrbough.

Click below to read an article about the artist in 1984

In 2015, she was honored for her lifetime of work by the 
Louisiana Watercolor Society. 

Here is her obituary reprinted from the E.J. Fielding Funeral Home website.

Claire Rohrbough passed away at the age of 102, Tuesday, November 21, 2017, in Covington, Louisiana. She was best known as an artist, and beloved wife of Leonard M. Rohrbough, retired Colonel US Air Force, and mother of Stephen, Frank, and Leonard. Claire also leaves behind 6 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren.

She was born in 1915 in Shreveport, LA, and raised in San Antonio, TX by her parents Adolf and Camille Francis Hartman. A sickly child, she weighed just 10 pounds at her first birthday. She went on to recover from polio and study business at Incarnate Word University in San Antonio, despite early ambitions to study art. Her father had advised her to study business as a career insurance in life. Her artistic ambitions were put on hold while she concentrated on being a military wife and raising a family.

Claire took her first art classes in Japan in 1955, with the well-known portrait artist Tokujiro Nakamura. Today, her artwork is on public display at Bellingrath Gardens in Alabama, St. Tammany Parish Court House, Mandeville City Hall and New Orleans International House Club. Claire’s paintings are also in numerous private collections. Through the years, her artwork has been selected to show in many juried exhibitions throughout the US, including the Louisiana Watercolor Society international show, Kentucky Watermedia national show, Southern Watercolor Society show, the Massur Museum of Art in Monroe, Mobile Art Gallery in Alabama and the Louisiana Women Artists in Baton Rouge.

After military duty stations which included Alaska, Japan, Hawaii, Virginia and Massachusetts, the Rohrboughs settled in Mandeville in 1962, where Claire’s family had deep roots in south Louisiana. Claire’s business training came to the fore as she started to take artistic commissions and opened an antique store and display studio with a family friend in the historic-former residence of Bernard de Marigny de Mandeville.

Claire also taught art at the St. Tammany Art Association and in private locations in Mandeville. She proudly served several terms as President and Vice-President for the SE Louisiana Branch of the National League of American Pen Women as well as serving on the board of the St. Tammany Art Association.

The Rohrboughs enjoyed taking sketch and painting trips throughout the US, and to Mexico, Greece and Italy. Claire was fluent in Spanish and learned basic Japanese while in Asia. While Claire’s great age and her artistic legacy stand out in her life, her family will remember her for her gourmet cooking, warmth and wisdom and sense of fun. She loved to dance. She insisted that her future husband learn to dance before she agreed to his courting her. Her steadfast religious faith sustained her and her family throughout her longevity.

Her official artistic achievements are numerous, but the works she will be best remembered for are her live oaks on the Mandeville lakefront, bayou scenes, Texas bluebonnets, and the churches and landscapes of the American southwest.

She is survived by sons Stephen (Marie McGuire) of San Antonio, TX, Frank (Diane Ross) of Boerne, TX, Leonard (Rebecca Brophy) of Mandeville, LA. She is also survived by six grandchildren: Gerard, Richard, Stephen, Bridget, Patrick and Phillip, along with 13 great-grandchildren, cousins, nephew, and friends; she is predeceased by a great-grandson. Claire was a member of St. Anselm Catholic Church in Madisonville, LA during her residency at Christwood Retirement Community and was a long-time member of Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church in Mandeville, LA where she served on the Altar Society. 

Claire Rohrbough and Jack Swanson