Artist helps school raise more than $625,000 through Christmas ornaments sale

November 25, 2012

WINCHESTER, Va. — Mort Künstler, a world-renowned Civil War artist, has donated his artwork to Timber Ridge School in Winchester for its annual Mort Künstler Collectable Christmas Ornaments.

That donation has enabled the school to raise more than $625,000 through its ornament sale, with every dollar going to the nonprofit school and its programs. 

The school and Künstler forged a relationship in 1986 based on the artist’s dealings with several other Winchester businesses.

The artist found that the school’s administration was offering something that he would like to support.

That began the long-term relationship.

As an artist, Künstler was already a successful artist when he was commissioned to do a painting for the 1982 TV mini-series “The Blue and the Gray.”
The painting, which the artist meticulously researched, was dedicated on July 2, 1988, at the Gettysburg (Pa.) National Park at the 125th anniversary of that battle. Künstler has been mostly concentrating on Civil War art since that time.

Timber Ridge School has been serving at-risk emotionally disturbed and disordered adolescent boys between the ages of 10 and 21 for more than 40 years, with the ultimate goal of reuniting them directly with their families and their communities.

There are 68 boys in the program, many from Virginia, but between 35 to 40 percent of their students come from West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle counties of Morgan, Jefferson and Berkeley.

This year’s Mort Künstler Collectible Christmas Ornament is the school’s 17th offering.  It is titled “My Friend, The Enemy.”

The scene in this ornament is set on Virginia’s Rappahannock River near Fredericksburg following the bloody battle that occurred there a few weeks earlier.

The limited edition 2012 ornament is also the second in a mini-series of five ornaments titled the 150th Anniversary Series and commemorates the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War.

Many of the original limited edition ornaments are sold out.

The 2012 ornament sells for $25 and can be purchased on the school’s website at Some prior ornaments are also still available.

All proceeds go to the improvement of student programs and facilities.

For more information, call Troy Newbraugh, director of development, at 877-877-3005 or at 540-888-9523, or send an e-mail to

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