Lakewood, N.J., October 16, 2018—It was a chance glimpse of a photo that prompted 1970 Georgian Court graduate Patricia Burke to explore the life of ornithological painter Gerard Rutgers Hardenbergh. She saw a photo of Mr. Hardenbergh and found it fascinating. Then, a friend of hers showed her a bird game that he had illustrated for Scribner’s, and there was no turning back.
Ms. Burke spent more than 10 years researching Hardenbergh, resulting in the publication in July 2017 of Gerard Rutgers Hardenbergh, Artist and Ornithologist. It’s described by Out & About Magazine’s Victoria Ford as a “visually stunning, factually rich limited-edition coffee table book.” On Thursday, October 18, Ms. Burke will hold a book discussion about the biography in GCU’s Sister Mary Joseph Cunningham Library, which recently celebrated its 25th anniversary. A book sale and signing will follow the October 18 presentation, which will be held at 6:30.p.m. Admission is free, and no tickets are required.
After graduating from Georgian Court, Ms. Burke worked for the Ocean County Historical Society. She has also been executive director of the Toms River Seaport, archivist for the Monmouth County Historical Society and the State Archives in Trenton, and adjunct faculty at GCU. Currently, Ms. Burke serves as a board member of the Bay Head Historical Society. She is also the author of the 1985 book, Barnegat Bay Decoys and Gunning Clubs, which she spent about four years researching. It covers the peak of waterfowling, from 1880 to1920. Waterfowl was a dietary staple for Americans in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Mr. Hardenbergh was a self-taught artist and ornithologist in the 19th century. His oil and watercolor paintings depict the birds living along the New Jersey coast and landscapes of Barnegat Bay. He was a great-great grandson of the first president of Rutgers University and spent most of his life in New Brunswick and Bay Head.
Founded in 1908 and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court University is Central and South Jersey’s only Catholic university. GCU is a comprehensive, coeducational university with a strong liberal arts core and a historic special concern for women. As a forward-thinking university that supports diversity and academic excellence, Georgian Court expands possibility for nearly 2,400 students of all faiths and backgrounds in 30+ undergraduate majors and 10+ graduate programs. In 2017, GCU was named #39 on Washington Monthly’s list of Best Bang for the Buck schools. GCU has also been recognized by The Economist and Colleges of Distinction and is a Military Friendly® School. The main campus is located in Lakewood, New Jersey, on the picturesque former George Jay Gould estate, a National Historic Landmark. Georgian Court, which is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, also serves students at other locations, such as GCU at Hazlet, and through multiple online certificate and degree programs.