Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Garst Museum Searching for History on Darke County Barns

Chris and Gretchen Snyder's Barn
Drive anywhere in Darke County and you will see an old barn. Although many have outlived their purpose, they are still admired for their weathered beauty and the craftsmanship that has enabled them to stand for hundreds of years. Garst Museum has some recorded history in their reference library on some of the interesting barns that once dotted Darke County. Many of the century old barns that still stand are worth documenting. Garst Museum was recently contacted by artist Robert Kroeger from Cincinnati who offered his artistic talent as a fundraiser for the museum. Kroeger, 71, is an interesting fellow. He is actually Dr. Kroeger, a retired dentist. He is a marathon runner and avid golfer. He has also written several books on dentistry and the golf courses of Scotland, Wales, Ireland and England. His interest in art started at a young age and came from his father, who earned a degree in fine art from Notre Dame and worked as a commercial artist in Youngstown.

Kroeger's goal is to paint barns from all 88 counties in Ohio and capture what he sees as part of Ohio history that is vanishing to age and decay. He has visited about two dozen counties so far and is looking at Darke County as one of his next destinations. He has enlisted the help of Jenny Clark, Marketing and Program Manager at Garst Museum, to help him find local barns to photograph and paint. "We are excited to have Robert spend time in Darke County. He will be visiting in late April. We will select 10-12 barns that he will photograph and do rough sketches of. In November, he hopes to deliver the finished paintings to the museum. He donates these wonderful paintings to the museum to auction off with the museum receiving 50% of the auction proceeds." stated Clark.

If you know of an interesting barn that would be a good candidate for this project, please contact Jenny Clark at 937-467-9953 or email: The artist is especially interested in barns built in the 1800s, weathered-looking, sagging roofs, missing barn siding add character, and a good story.

More information on Kroeger's barn paintings can be found online at or

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