About long-time York County, Pa., documentary artist: ‘Cliff was quite a character’

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Twenty floats were entered in the York (Pa.) Recreation Commission’s and Rotary Club of York’s Flotilla Day Pageant at Kiwanis Lake in August 1958. Playground groups entered the floats, with each float showing a country with a United Nations theme. Prominent in this Cliff Satterthwaite drawing are windmill and Eiffel Tower floats, representing Holland and France, respectively. Also of interest: York County Heritage Trust’s Web site gives virtual look at its vast holdings, activities and Cartoonist made York newspaper owner’s views an art form and ‘Memorable Moments’ calendar features keepsake York County photos.

My York Sunday News column seeking information on former York artist Cliff Satterthwaite drew interest from Betty Stein, whose family knew the artist well.
“Cliff was quite a character,” she wrote in an e-mail.
Her e-mail gives insight into Satterthwaite – and Betty Stein’s well-known and respected father, Judge John Rauhauser… .

“Cliff was a frequent visitor to my parent’s home during the 70s. My father, John Rauhauser, was an artist in his own right and was interested in Cliff’s artwork and ability to create while on the move. My dad engaged Cliff to do some of his pen and ink drawings during events that surrounded the Colonial Courthouse and related events marking the colonial period. I remember Cliff as a tall, lanky, eccentric man who came to our home for dinner and loved talking about art with my dad. He was gentle in nature but as he talked, his eyes would light up and his hands would wave around excitedly. I also remember being fascinated as I watched him create his works while walking around.”

She owns six pieces of Satterthwaite’s work, all signed.
I wrote in my column that I hope York County rediscovers Cliff Satterthwaite. He did many types of work, but his numerous pieces of documentary art create a record of York County life, specifically in the 1950s through 1970s. Similarly, the county is fortunate to have the documentary work of carpenter/artist Lewis Miller, who recorded life in the first seven decades of the 19th century.
Diana Palladino, whose query led to several York Town Square blog posts about the artist’s work, writes that Satterthwaite, a Virginia resident, will celebrate his 76th birthday in April.
“He was so pleased about his work being used again,” she wrote, “that he said it was the best birthday present he has ever received.”

About Jim McClure

Editor of the York Daily Record/Sunday News, ydr.com and its many digital products. East Region Editor, Digital First Media. Journalism/history blogger: yorktownsquare.com. Author or co-author of seven York County, Pa., history books.
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3 Responses to About long-time York County, Pa., documentary artist: ‘Cliff was quite a character’

  1. Kathleen Rauhauser says:

    I remember watching Cliff do a drawing of the Penn St. Market.
    Not all the art my father bought was commissioned. Sometimes Cliff would show up at my father’s office with a new piece of his work. Then my Dad would take Cliff along home and they’d surprise my mother with Cliff as an unexpected dinner guest.
    In addition to the ones my sister, Elizabeth Stein, has I have 2 pieces. In the one of York’s ’76 Bicentennial Kick-Off march from Continental Square to East York’s Camp Security Vicinity there is a figure of a man walking and carrying a large rake. It looks like a photo of our father at that event so I like to believe Cliff put him in that drawing. And, I have the huge wooden rake.

  2. Steve Russ says:

    I remember Cliff driving past our house in Wilshire Hills in his MG in the 60’s. I believe it was a TD model, but could be wrong about that. He usually had on an ivy league cap and a pipe in his mouth, I believe, which went well with that MG! If memory serves, I believe he knew my dad, Will Russ, who was president of the York Arts Council back then. Dad also was an artist at that time. Although I had never met Cliff, I do remember he was known to be quite a character. I hope he is doing well wherever he is.

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