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Friday, February 24, 2012

Citizens & Northern Bank has donated two large murals

Citizens & Northern Bank has donated two large murals, painted by local Athens artist M. Louis Gore, to the Tioga Point Museum in Athens. The murals were painted by Mr. Gore specifically for the former Farmers National Bank, now the C&N office at 428 Main Street in Athens. They are approximately 14’ x 5’ and 13’ x 5’ and have hung in the Athens office since 1950 and 1951.

The murals were removed from the flood-damaged Athens C&N branch office Thursday morning. Workers from Naglee Fine Arts Moving and Storage of Elmira, NY. handled the mural removal and transported them to the museum where they will be temporarily housed in the manner recommended to best structurally support them. Museum Director Valerie Jacoski said museum officials hope to repair some minor damage before moving them to their permanent home on the stairwell wall leading up to the museum, located upstairs in the Athens Public Library.

“We’re very excited to receive these murals, which fit in so well with the quality of our other collections,” Jacoski said.

One mural was painted from Round Top looking south towards Milan, and the other was painted from Prospect Point (Sheshequin narrows) looking north towards Athens. The murals were damaged by flooding in 1972, causing the bottoms to bow. They were not adversely impacted by the September 2011 flooding, but the Athens office was severely damaged and is undergoing extensive renovation. C&N officials felt the murals should be moved to a safer location and knew the museum would be an excellent steward for them.

Ginger Reap, Athens branch manager, said the branch will retain a large mural of the old Athens Academy Mr. Gore donated to the bank on behalf of Farmers National Bank President Stanley Burns and a self-portrait of Mr. Gore in Paris donated to the bank by his niece. The Athens office is expected to re-open this spring.

M. Louis Gore died in December, 1967 at the age of 90. A member of one of Bradford County’s first families, he studied art in Paris and did sketching and painting in France, England and Scotland. His murals and paintings are featured in many public buildings and homes throughout the Valley area. He was also an accomplished photographer.

The 117-year-old Tioga Point Museum (www.tiogapointmuseum.com) is located in the Spalding Memorial Building. It houses an extensive collection of rare and historic items, including original George Washington and Abraham Lincoln signatures, an extraordinary rare book collection with elaborately decorated bindings, Revolutionary and Civil War collections, local and non-local Native American exhibits, portraits of early Valley settlers and many souvenirs from local residents who traveled the world. The museum is open Tuesdays and Thursdays, noon to 8 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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