What Do You Remember?

Marxhausen touched the lives of students, other artists and professors, and the whole community of Seward. If you remember Marxhausen, we'd love you to tell us your story.

Here are some of the memories his friends, peers and students have shared with us:

Marx was my advisor for my 4 years at Seward. He was pleased enough with my high school portfoliio that he let me skip "Kid Art" as we called Art for Children in those days. Marx also hired me to work 10 hours a week in what was then the Koenig Galklery, in the basement of Weller Hall under the chapel. I'd help habng shows, and worked at framing quite a few original paintings and prints that had been donated to the College.
I took all the classes Marx taught, and took Ceramics back home in Calif during the summer. Marx taught ceramics, but didn't like to throw, or teach it, so I became his assistant instructor for his nighttime ceramics class, and taught throwing. Once the art house was moved to the Scheuilke House across Columbia from Weller, the amount of productivity from art students really increased. A couple of us from Calif, including Ty Kraus, and some other enterprising art students like Milt Heinrich organized an outdoor art sale in the half-moon. It became an annual event (at least as long as we were there) and provided some much needed cash for struggling art students and gave us some worth as young artists. Marx also taught me how to weld.

Fun story #1 - When Marx was working on the Murals for the Nebraska State capitol, he wanted to have an open studio tour of his work in progress. However, he was shy enough that he didn't want to be there when people came. So he advertised his four Sunday open houses on the radio station as part of Harold Davison's show (Remember the House of Davisson - Everything for the farmer but rain!). He hired ME to greet people and give tours of the studio and mural, while he and Doris and the boys took a long long drive out into the country in their Rambler Station Wagon. He never did show up for the advertised events, and I'm not sure people were glad to see me in his places.

Fun story #2 - I was the campus photographer and needed to take photos of each faculty member. So Marx told me to come by his studio. He chose one year to mount his unicycle and have me shoot him pedaling down his street. A different year we were posing him in front of his marvelous house when his wire-rim glasses got knocked off and landed with a crack on the cement sidewalk. Marx picked them up, put the shattered lens back into the frame, put his glasses back on and said, "Take the Picture!" So I did, and we used the image of Marx looking thru cracked glasses for his official yearbook photo.

Fun story # 3 - It must have been in the late 60s that Banker's Life (I think) insurance company made a film about Marx called "A Time to See" which was a half hour visit with Marx while he talked about old barns, textures, looking at one thing and seeing something elkse. You could get it on loan from the Insurance company., I was teaching High School art in Hong Kong at the International School, and wrote to the company if they would give my school a copy of the film. They did... and I used it every semester for students, and even adult classes. It was stored in our librazry, and available to other HK schools on inter-library loan. I'm sure that one copy was screened at least 500 times. It may still be there 30 years later.

Dave Kohl
Class of 1968

November 25, 2009 |  Dave Kohl, CTC '68 (dkohl@cu-portland.edu)

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There are many ways to witness to the truth. Marx was not a preacher, but one would be hard pressed to wite a better sermon on the Christian life than the last two sentences in this article.
I never had this man for an art course at Seward. I did not see myself as being very artistic. Once, however, at a professional workship, Marx said to me, "You should be an artist." Well, Marx, a few book illustrations, paintings, and drawings later, I'm still not sure I'm an artist, but I'm sure having a lot of fun. Thanks.
Jay Musfeldt, Class of '63

November 26, 2009 |  Jay Musfeldt (moosejam@suddenlink.net)

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Some people leave their fingerprints on you. Such a person is Marxhausen. For forty years I’d walk on the playground during recess pointing out the oil spots to students as they mixed with water into incredible colors and shapes. For forty years I collected student work. Once I even made sure a student didn’t throw away the sopping wet paper towel she cleaned a brush on. I let it dry and showed her how beautiful it was. I can’t tell you how many times I played with materials, building collages out of stuff others threw away. Once, I saved the back cover of the workbooks I took apart at the beginning of the year because they were a really cool color. I handed the paper out to use in an art project later that year. You should have seen what the kids did with it.

I played with words in composition class with the kids in the same way. We made throw away banners for church and chapel services so we would be forced to make new ones yearly. All these ideas had their genesis with Marxhausen.

I once asked Marxhausen when he would leave Seward. He said simply, “When I’ve seen everything.”

Paul Wollangk

Class of 1968

December 6, 2009