York County readers report sightings of Cliff Satterthwaite’s paintings, drawings

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Jean Fix of York, Pa., sent this Cliff Satterthwaite drawing to YorkTownSquare blog. It shows an art auction conducted by well-known York County artist William Falkler. Katie Falkler is holding the painting to his left and Ted Fitzkee is behind Katie holding a painting on an easel. Satterthwaite was well-known in the York County community in the 1950s-1970s for his impromptu sketching of everyday scenes. He now lives in Virginia. Also of interest: About long-time York County, Pa., documentary artist: ‘Cliff was quite a character’ and Linked in with neat York County, Pa., history stuff and Walt Partymiller’s cartoons and catalogues.

After researcher Diana Palladino asked for info on former York County artist Cliff Satterthwaite, several local folks contacted us with stories about the Virginia resident and examples of his work still on display around the area.
Satterthwaite had a penchant for attending events and sketching those in attendance during his local drawing days of the 1950s through 1970s.
One caller pointed to a time when he attended the Glades Auction, and Satterthwaite sat in the back of the room sketching “caricatures of the characters” there. The caller and his wife were among the artist’s subjects.
But here’s the most interesting story about Cliff:


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Ever hear of an art exhibit in an alley? In June 1958, Cliff Satterthwaite capture this scene of an Art Carnival on East Clarke Alley. About 700 people attended the York Art Club event.
Mary Arcuri and her husband Buddy were the last innkeepers of the old York Valley Inn, the 1700s stone building that sat along Lincoln Highway until the early 1960s.
When a road-widening project forced its demolition, the Arcuris opened another restaurant, The Carousel Room, later Liborio’s, in the old York County Shopping Center, the plaza where Springettsbury Township’s Red Lobster and Lowe’s operate today.
They sought a carnival scene for The Carousel Room, an outside-looking-in type of approach.
They asked Cliff Satterthwaite to draw the scene, and he did so over the course of about six months.
“He used to sit there and sketch, you know, like an artist does,” she said.
The artist at work attracted onlookers.
Mary particularly remembers a pink pig that Satterthwaite apparently had problems with. He went back to that pig again and again, she said.
The restaurateur had never been to a circus before, but the artist took her there “right in the painting.” (She noted that she later attended an actual circus.)
The painting was about four feet high and covered two panels of about 10 feet each. When Mary and Buddy closed the restaurant, she sold the painting to a person from Cherry Hill, N.J. It just peeled from the wall, intact.
Mary Jane has since lost track of it.
Another area restaurant still has large Satterthwaite works on display, giving a taste of the scene at The Carousel Room.
Promotional material for Abbottstown’s Altland House on the Web tout the artist’s work:

“Abbottstown is the oldest town in Adams County and by the mid-nineteenth century boasted several well established public eating and drinking establishments. The Altland House, like the town, has also undergone many changes since colonial times. The flavor of days gone by is captured in two murals by artist Cliff Satterthwaite depicting the early Altland House and surrounding streets and buildings… .”

About Jim McClure

Editor of the York Daily Record/Sunday News, ydr.com and its many digital products. Journalism/history blogger: yorktownsquare.com. Author or co-author of seven York County, Pa., history books.

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