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College Receives Donation of David Armstrong Print, Poster

“Rural America” was the only painting that local artist and picture-framer Lone A. Hock ever offered for sale. Now, the late artist and frame-shop owner’s work will be returned to his family by its owner: Pennsylvania College of Technology.

Hock, who died in 1999, was a self-taught painter who originally hailed from Bloomsburg. He owned and operated East End Picture Framing in Williamsport and was the framer used by renowned area artist David Armstrong, who died in 1998. Hock also was employed by Bethlehem Steel of Williamsport and served as superintendent of Brandon Park. Penn College purchased Hock’s “Rural America” oil painting in 1973 for $145. The work was part of the “Annual Area Artists Show” held in Brandon Park.

In appreciation for returning the painting, Hock’s family donated a framed David Armstrong print, “Family,” and a framed Armstrong poster, “Lighthouse,” to the College. The print and poster are valued at $800 and $200 respectively. The Penn College Foundation will auction off both pieces at fund-raising events held at various times in support of the Scholarship Fund.

Hock was very modest and private about his artwork, and his wife, Olga, and daughter, Elizabeth Morrison, say they were overwhelmed when they discovered in his files, a Williamsport Sun-Gazette article describing the only work he ever sold.

On a whim, they visited the College to see whether the painting was still there. They were directed to the office of Fred Gilmour, director of instructional technology and distance learning, who knew the painting and remembered Lone Hock well. Gilmour won a first prize in the 1973 art show at Brandon Park. Hock’s work was still hanging in the spot where it had been placed 27 years ago − the College library.

Olga Hock recalls her late husband working on the painting and her own concern that he might be including too much detail. She now believes the painting is among his best works, all of which are now owned by the family. Mr. Hock’s other children, Linda Avery of Bloomsburg and Judy Carl of Williamsport, remember their father’s passion for quality work and his unassuming talent.

“Reacquiring this painting now makes our family collection complete,” Mrs. Hock said of “Rural America.”

“We know Lone was committed to education, even though he was self-taught,” she added. “He was like an apprentice: He watched others until he learned the craft. He was always quietly observing.”

Elizabeth Morrison added, “We are filled with happiness knowing we are surrounded by my dad’s work.”

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