Richard W. Ware Obituary, 2011

On the Tonawanda

On the Tonawanda

The Holland Purchase Historical Society recently purchased this painting by Richard W. Ware.

In 1968 Richard W. Ware, a Batavia artist, spoke about his work at the October meeting of the Holland Purchase Historical Society held at the YWCA. Recently the Holland Purchase Historical Society was fortunate enough to purchase one of Ware’s paintings at an auction, and it is now proudly hanging in the museum. The picture is particularly relevant as it is a view of the back of Main Street painted as if standing on the old Walnut Street Bridge — which is now a footbridge — and looking to the west along the Tonawanda Creek. In the distance you can see the old Oak Street Bridge. Along the Tonawanda you can see the back of several businesses that are no longer standing. It is now a green space with the War of 1812 Peace Memorial to be developed there. You cannot actually see the Holland Land Office because it is blocked by the businesses that existed at that time. Among the businesses that existed at the time of the painting looking west toward the Holland Land Office Museum, were Gallagher’s Liquor Store, Sloat’s Tire, New & Used, Pat’s Tire, Tony Ficarella’s Barber Shop and the Bluebird Inn. The Museum also has in its collection a Ware painting of the Holland Land Office Museum. Richard W. Ware was born on Jan. 3, 1913, to Ernest Ware and Mabel Wright Ware. He attended school in Batavia and also attended Rochester Business Institute in Rochester. In 1933, he began working at F.E. Mason and Sons. He was head of the Art Department that manufactured embossed seals at the Franklin Street business. He received his early art education under the supervision of his mentor, Roy M. Mason, whose artwork is well-known and highly prized by collectors. He also studied with Carl Peters of Fairport. As with his mentor, watercolor paintings were his specialty. He had many one-man shows over the years. He showed his art at the Woman’s University Club, Rochester; Wood Memorial Library, Canandaigua; Century Club of Rochester; Stevens Library, Attica; and Two Rivers Gallery, Binghamton. His art could also be seen at exhibits for the Batavia Society of Artists. He received many awards during his tenure as one of our local artists. From 1958-1968 you could find Richard Ware’s name attached to many awards throughout the Western and Central New York area. They included awards and honorable mention such as: the Cooperstown Art Association, 1958, first prize; Batavia Society of Artists, honorable mention; Rochester Art Club, 1962; Frederick A. Godley Prize, Cooperstown Art Association, 1966; Scott Award, Newark, Art Club, 1967; Grand Prize, Genesee Creative Art Guild, 1967; and first prize, Cooperstown Art Association, 1968. Mr. Ware passed away in 2004 in Fairport at the age of 92. Batavia is so fortunate to have so many well-known artists. The Holland Land Office Museum is proud to have two of Richard Ware’s paintings and invites the public to come to the museum and see our collection of paintings by local artists. You may wish to visit the Museum’s website ( to view some of these works. Among the artists represented in our collection are: Donald Carmichael, Roy Mason, Richard Ware, George Mahaney, Nina Mason Booth, Lawrence Hopp, Rose Pontillo DeCarlo, Max Mason, Rosalind Hayes, and others. The Museum is always looking to expand our representation of local artists. If you have works by other local artists, please consider a donation or loan to the Museum. Please contact the Director of the HLOM (343-4727) or Anne Marie Starowitz at if you have any information on Richard W. Ware. This article was written and researched by Anne Marie Starowitz. Information for this article was taken from the Genesee County History Department with the help of Judy Stiles, research assistant.

Source:  Daily News, The (Batavia, NY) – Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By submitting a comment here you grant this site a perpetual license to reproduce your words and name/web site in attribution.