Marcia Eleanor Berger
1901 - 1985

Marcia was born in Cincinnati on 2/26/1901. She died in 1/21/1985.

"Marcia was an artist and her father's pride and joy. She could never sell a painting because it was too good for him to part with. During her adolescence she became more and more withdrawn and antaganistic with her mother. With time the problems became worse and worse which struck her parents greviously. Petronella never recovered her joy. In 1929 Marcia and Mary Metz and _________did the grand tour of Europe. Much of Marcia's life was spent in sanitariums. Electric shock treatments common at that time made Marcia a docile old women but she could never live independantly for any length of time. George provided for Marcia her whole life by dividing the inharidence into seven shares. The seventh share became the George M. Berger Trust named for young George who died as a child and primarily was for Marcia's benefit. When Marcia died the trust was despensed to the remaining siblings with some to the next generation. Many family members prize a painting of M Berger. They are really good!" by Fred Berger

"Marcia was a very beautiful and gifted person and, perhaps unfortunately from an artistic standpoint, led a secure and sheltered life. It seems that most great artists must starve for years in a garret before they become famous. When Marcia showed her artistic talent and a penchant for water color and oil painting, her parents insisted that she take lessons from the finest teachers of her era. She soon became an accomplished artist in her own right and Jean and I feel privileged to have one of her finest paintings: an adobe church near Taos, New Mexico. This was painted right on the site during one of her numerous trips to all parts of North America. She spent much of her time in Tasco, Mexico and other artist colonies of the Southwest. In the Northeast, she painted some magnificent landscapes and seascapes around the Gaspe Peninsula at the mouth of the St. Lawrence River, usually with a group of her artist friends, most of them from the Cincinnati area. Zita Fallon, Anita Fenton and Bessie Wessel were some that come to mind as well as instructors Emma Mendenhall, Dixie Selden, and in Texas, Millard Sheets.
When I went to Hughes High School, I took the art course and everyday at noon, I bicycled over to Eden Park to the Art Academy. When Marcia discovered that I was interested in art, it created another bond between us, as we already shared the same birth date. I was exactly nine years her junior. She suggested that we take a course in oil painting under the noted Louis Endres, who painted every winter in Morrocco, Algeria and Tunis and taught here in the summer at his home in Madisonville. Every Saturday morning for ten weeks, Marcia picked me up and we dutifully painted until noon. She was usually a cautious and careful driver but one time, we were slowly coming down Vine Street past the Zoo and I was in a hurry to get home for a baseball game, so I made some remark about, a snail crawling past us. Well, this made her so angry that she stepped on the gas and we shot up Glenmary, over Clifton, down Ludlow full speed to Morrison Avenue. When she screeched to a halt to let me out, I felt lucky to be alive as she really scared me with her daring driving. So, you see, she had a reckless dimension to her nature that was carefully hidden most of the time. Many of her friends did not know that she loved horses and was an excellent rider in her youth.
In retrospect, I feel sure that if Marcia would have had to paint for a living she would have become a great artist by force of necessity. She was much bolder than Emnla Mendenhall and not as precise as Dixie Selden, who was a noted portrait painter, two of her instructors who had a great influence on her. Artistic talent ran in the Trefzger family, her Aunt Anna in Peoria was a fine artist.
Unfortunately, after her sickness in the late forties, she never regained the drive to paint every day as a great artist must do and became more of a dilettante. She spent the latter years of her life in institutions and painted only for her own enjoyment and amusement.
Marcia Berger is listed in the Ohio Almanac along with her instructors as one of Ohio's notable painters and was greatly admired and loved by her ontemporaries. She was generous to a fault and gave many of her paintings away to friends and relatives and sold very few. One of the incidents I recall concerned one of her paintings which was done in Tasco, Mexico. The setting was a beautiful monastery courtyard with a low adobe walled pool with a statue on a pedestal in the center and a beautiful garden. Deep shadows and brilliant sunshine made it a joy to regard. Uncle George had it hanging in the living room at 218 Hosea Avenue but Marcia took it and put in one of the downtown exhibits. Sure enough, there was an inevitable buyer and when Marcia came home and told her father the painting was sold, he was confounded. What? he said, that is one of my favorite paintings of yours. What do they want to pay for it? When she told him, he said, I'll double that if you bring it back so that I can rehang it where it belongs. Which she did." by Walter F. Sheblessy

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