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Fort Lee Celebrates Artist's Birthday With Main Street Walk

a Paul Ortlip painting, showing a perspective from his cliff-top Fort Lee studio
a Paul Ortlip painting, showing a perspective from his cliff-top Fort Lee studio Photo Credit: Tom Meyers Facebook

FORT LEE, N.J. -- The Fort Lee Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs will celebrate the 90th birthday of Fort Lee artist Paul Ortlip with a free art history walk along Main Street on Saturday, May 21.

Fort Lee Cultural & Heritage Affairs Administrator Tom Meyers will lead the walk, to honor Paul Ortlip and his family of artists, who lived in Fort Lee for the better part of the 20th century and documented the people and history of the borough.

Ortlip died at age 81 on Feb. 14, 2008.

The walk will include stops at the museum and locations on Main Street, including

  • Fire House No. 1 -- mural of the history of Fire Co. No. 1, by Ortlip
  • Borough Hall -- Ortlip family paintings of past mayors of Fort Lee, in the Council Chamber
  • Fort Lee Public Library -- gallery of the works of Ortlip

Other stops will include the Fort Lee Post Office on Main Street, which includes New Deal murals of Fort Lee history. The Department of the Treasury's Section of Fine Arts commissioned these four murals. Painted by Henry Schnakenberg, they were installed in 1941. They're titled "Indians Trading with the Half Moon," "Washington at Fort Lee," "Moving Pictures at Fort Lee" and "The Present Day."

The walk will also stop at businesses along Main Street, which will display artwork of current Fort Lee High School students. At the end of the walk, there will be a reception with light refreshments at the Fort Lee Public Library.

The walk will begin at 11 a.m., at the Fort Lee Museum, 1589 Parker Ave. Parking will be available on the Palisade Avenue side of the museum. For more info, call the Fort Lee Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs at 201-693-2763.

Event sponsors include the Fort Lee Business District Alliance, the Fort Lee Regional Chamber of Commerce, Fort Lee High School, the library and the Fort Lee Historical Society.

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