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Metzger's works on display

June 21, 1999

MetzgerBy KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI / Staff Writer

photo: RICHARD T. MEAGHER / staff photographer




Every day for the past 81 years, Evelyn Borchard Metzger could be found with a paintbrush in her hand.

The prolific artist started painting when she was 7 years old and has never stopped.

She has produced more than 1,000 works - landscapes, portraits and still lifes - using a variety of techniques.

"I'm always thinking of things I would like to try and accomplish," Metzger said.

Twenty-five of her works are on display at the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts at Hagerstown's City Park through Aug. 1.

More than 150 art lovers got a chance to meet Metzger and see her work in the Bowman Gallery during a reception at the museum Sunday afternoon.

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"The display is a mixture of paintings which show her early work from the 1940s, some from the 1950s and more recent works," said Jean Woods, museum director.

Woods first became aware of Metzger's work while visiting her exhibit in 1997 at the National Museum for Women in Arts in Washington.

She realized her museum had one of the artist's works in its permanent collection, she said.

Donated by the Metzger family in 1965, the still life, "Flower Pattern," was created using cans of spray paint.

"She is highly regarded in the art community," Woods said. "Her work is so appealing - it matches her personality."

Metzger's subject matter reflects the culturally diverse life she has led, she said. She has exhibited her work in Mexico, France and Argentina.

The artist lived for several years in South America, where she painted hundreds of portraits of people she met there and landscapes of the scenery.

After moving to New York City in the 1950s, Metzger devoted her attention to scenes outside her apartment windows, which overlook Central Park, she said.

Metzger gives credit to her parents for fostering her interest in art at a young age.

Her parents were art enthusiasts who collected old masters, she said.

"My father gave importance to my opinions. He would consult me about what paintings to buy when I was just 8 years old," she said.

She recommends parents encourage budding artists.

"Children can be easily discouraged, and nobody's much good in the beginning," she said.

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