FOOTPRINTS: The Art and Life of Gary Erbe

Lecture and book launch, Dec. 4, 2016

Please join us for a PowerPoint lecture followed by a book signing by


Mr. Erbe will be presenting a newly released book published by The Butler Institute of

2016-Erbe book cover.png

NUTLEY, NEW JERSEY, October 22, 2016 – Please visit the Nutley Museum on Sunday, December 4, 2016 at 2:00 p.m., for a lecture and book signing by Gary Erbe, nationally known trompe l’oeil artist and Nutley resident.

Mr. Erbe will be presenting Footprints: The Art and Life of Gary Erbe, a newly released book published by The Butler Institute of American Art. Signed copies of the book will be available for sale at the event. Light refreshments will be available and the Nutley Museum will be open for visiting.

About Footprints: The Art and Life of Gary Erbe

This large-format scholarly written volume is hard cover, 300 pages with over 250 illustrations. This is the most comprehensive book written about Gary Erbe, one of America’s foremost trompe l’oiel artists.

In the book, a distinguished group of art historians focuses in depth on the artist’s life and over fifty years of creating an impressive body of work consistent in quality and vision. Contributing writers are Dr. Thomas Folk, Dr. Carol Lowrey, Dr. Christine I. Oaklander, Carter Ratcliff, Dr. Michael W. Schantz and Dr. Louis A. Zona.

Mr. Erbe personally devotes one chapter of this 11-chapter book to the technical aspects associated with painting, including how to prepare canvas like the old masters, a special formula for the oil medium he uses, the proper varnish to use, and the palette.

This first edition book is limited in numbers and a must for art lovers and students of all ages.

“The Nutley Historical Society is thankful to Gary Erbe for the opportunity to premiere this important new book about a major American painter who resides in our town,” says Barry Lenson, Art Director of the Nutley Museum. “Since Gary Erbe and his wife Zeny moved to Nutley in 2009, they have become champions of The Nutley Historical Society. Over the years, Nutley has been home to painters Albert Sterner, Arthur Hoeber, Reginald Marsh, Michael Lenson and others. Of them all, Mr. Erbe is probably the most renowned and respected.”

About Gary T. Erbe

Gary T. Erbe, a self-taught painter, was born in 1944 in Union City, New Jersey, where he maintained his studio from 1972 until 2006. Unable to attend art school, he worked as an engraver to support himself and his family. In 1967, he discovered trompe l’oeil painting and its masters and found his artistic place. He enlarged the scope of nineteenth-century trompe l’oeil painting by adding the illusion of levitation and a near-magical juxtaposition of objects which, in his words, “in reality had no relationship.”

Since Erbe decided to pursue his art full time in 1970, he has exhibited in both solo and group exhibitions in many of America’s most important art museums. A partial list includes a 40-year retrospective exhibition that traveled to the Butler Institute of American Art, the Salmagundi Club, the Boca Raton Museum of Art and other venues (2008-2009), a solo exhibition in the Grand Gallery of the National Arts Club in New York (2000), and a 25-year retrospective exhibition that was shown at the James A. Michener Museum, the Butler Institute of American Art, and other institutions.

Gary T. Erbe has won numerous awards, including the Gold Medal of Honor at the 2007 Allied Artists of America 94th Annual Exhibition, First Prize at the Butler Institute of American Art’s 66th National Midyear Exhibition, and many others. His paintings are held by many museums and private collections.

The Nutley Museum and Historical Society is located at 65 Church Street, Nutley, New Jersey, in a one-room brick school house that was once the town’s only school. The museum houses a collection of town artifacts as well as artworks by former Nutley artists Frank Fowler, Reginald Marsh, Charles Hawthorne, Edward Loyal Field, Michael Lenson, and others. The museum is open for special events and by appointment. Admission is free. For information or to arrange a visit, call (973) 667-1528.


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