Author traces path of local naturalist, painter


Walking through the Bay Head Loveland Homestead Museum, local historian Patricia H. Burke, gushes over artwork on display by Gerard Rutgers Hardenbergh, who summered on his houseboat, Pelican, moored in Bay Head in the early 20th century.

“In this area people thought he was a starving artist, but he came from a very wealthy, educated background,” said Ms. Burke, vice president of the Bay Head Historical Society.

“He was a self-taught artist and ornithologist. He did a lot of hunting and paintings of all these different species of birds in the Bay Head, Mantoloking, Chadwick Beach area. This was his path and I think that is what attracted me, that he did his own thing.”

For the past several years Ms. Burke has been hard at work traveling and researching to find out as much as she can about the summer resident, and has recently published a new book highlighting the prominent shore artist.

The 200-page book, featuring 180 illustrations, “Gerard Rutgers Hardenbergh: Artist and Ornithologist,” takes an inside look at Mr. Hardenbergh’s oeuvre and life.


For more on this story, read The Ocean Star—on newsstands Friday or online in our e-Edition.