1854 AUTHOR CRITIC PAINTER 1915
Arthur Hoeber was an artist, author, and critic who in his later years lived on The Enclosure, Nutley’s artists’ and writers’ colony active in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. He was an artist in the luminist tradition, which is characterized by effects of light in landscapes. Hoeber’s painting The Early Moon, a picture “of infinite beauty suggesting as it does the perfect repose of the hour” hangs in the library above his memorial bookcase.
Hoeber was born in New York City on July 23, 1854. He studied under J. Carroll Beckwith at the Art Students League in New York and later attended the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris where he studied under J. L. Gerome. Hoeber first exhibited at the Salon in Paris in 1882, and was known as a prominent contributor to most of the American exhibitions.
In 1891 Hoeber settled in The Enclosure. He was an art critic for The New York Times, The New York Evening Globe, and The New York Journal. His series on the great painters of history had been carried by all of the major U. S. newspapers. Hoeber also authored several books on 19th century painting. His final book, The Barbizon Painters: being the story of the Men of Thirty, paid tribute to “the art influences and impulses that had most deeply stirred him from his student days in France.” He died April 29, 1915.
After his death, “The Hoeber Memorial” at the public library was considered a fitting tribute by the Nutley Arts Club in recognition of Hoeber’s contributions to art. Local artists contributed artworks to be sold at auction, and the proceeds dedicated to the creation of this memorial: a specially designed bookcase that was to hold art books from Arthur Hoeber’s own collection, and the purchase of Hoeber’s The Early Moon that was to hang above this book shelf.
The bookcase was to be designed by architect William Armstrong who died before completion of the memorial. In 1941 the remaining members of the Nutley Arts Club brought the project once again before the Library Board of Trustees. The completed memorial bookcase has Mr. Hoeber’s name and accomplishments as an author, critic, and painter engraved upon it, and lettered on its sides are the names of Nutley artists and authors. In addition to Arthur Hoeber’s art books, the bookcase is also reserved for books written by Nutley authors. In 2014 as part of the Nutley Public Library’s Centennial Celebration Arthur Hoeber’s art books and many of the Nutley author books were rebound. The memorial bookcase is located in the reference hallway with The Early Moon hanging above it.
Cook, A. (1988, July 7). Michael Lenson discovers the Enclosure. The Nutley Sun, pp. 1, 3.
Funeral of Mr. Hoeber today. (1915, May 1). The Nutley Sun. p. 1.
Hoeber memorial will be shelf of volumes on art for library. (1915, May 22). The Nutley Sun. p. 1.
Perry, H. (1944, November 3). [Letter to the editor]. The Nutley Sun, p. B2.
The Summer Exhibition of American Paintings at the Albright Art Gallery. (1914). Academy Notes, 9 (3), 97.