Burroughs focus of new ECCC show
Arkville — The Catskill Center Erpf Gallery has announced its third gallery show of the season – “Jody Primoff, John Burroughs and Woodchuck Lodge” – featuring works by Roxbury artist and writer, Jody Primoff.
The public is invited to attend the gallery opening on August 8 from 5-7 p.m. at the Erpf Gallery in Arkville. The show runs through Oct. 3, with a lecture by Primoff on September 26 at 2 p.m. at the Catskill Center.
Jody Primoff’s relationship with Woodchuck Lodge began long before she was born. Her great aunt Clara Barrus, a remarkable woman who became a doctor in the 1880s, greatly admired the writings of literary naturalist John Burroughs, whose prose was influential in the evolution of the American conservation movement. Born in 1837 on the family’s homestead in Roxbury, Burroughs’ books on nature were read by millions including Clara Barrus. Clara wrote to Burroughs and over time became his biographer, editor, and physician.
When Burroughs began spending his summers at Woodchuck Lodge in Roxbury, Clara and some of her nieces and nephews also began to spend time there. Among them was Jody Primoff’s mother, Harriet B. Barrus. One day Milton Shatraw – a shy, young man delivered milk to Woodchuck Lodge and met Harriet – an attractive young girl who was staying at the house. He asked her to go to the movies. Five years later they were married. The couple had two daughters – Jody and her sister, Claire.
The exhibition will present more than 25 drawings, paintings, and collages. The collages will show Burroughs and friends at Woodchuck Lodge. The paintings will depict the original farm as well as the Roxbury Library of the 1930s. Laminated boards with John Burroughs’ biography and photographs will be shown along with Jody’s Primoff’s journal writings. To complement the display, Burroughs’ writing table, chair, and 12 of his books will be part of the exhibit.
A 20-minute documentary of Jody’s mother, together with members of the Burroughs family, will be a permanent feature of the exhibit. The Erpf Gallery is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m.