history book on Oldham County
debuts with three signings
of county in early days
Helen E. McKinney
(March 2010) La Grange, Ky., artist Breck Morgan
paints pictures from his minds eye realistic, folksy scenes
of Oldham Countys landscape where his ancestral roots run deep.
He prefers to create scenes of the county in its early history, a time
when life was simpler and moved at a slower pace.
jacket cover of
the new Oldham
book was created
by local artist
Morgan, who lives on Hwy. 524 between La Grange and Westport,
resides on a farm close to the river. He aspires to paint scenes that
represent familiar Kentucky landscapes; scenes such as rolling hills,
the rambling Ohio River and views that look like Kentucky,
Although he prefers to paint in acrylics, Morgan said he has done
a little bit of everything. Over the years Morgan has produced
carvings, sculptures, oil paintings, scrimshaw, built furniture and
created murals. A section of a river view mural he painted several years
ago for Goshen couple Bob and Elizabeth Martins home is now on
the cover of the latest book about Oldham County history.
The front of the book depicts Morgans interpretation of what Eighteen
Mile Island might have looked like in 1840, one of the artists
favorite time periods. The back cover of the book is from a miniature
painting representing buildings in the town of Westport.
The Oldham County Historical Societys Executive Director, Nancy
Theiss, authored the book. It is a compilation of recent articles she
has written for the Neighborhoods section of the Louisville
Courier-Journal in a weekly column titled The World Beneath Your
Feet, oral histories from the Living Treasures program at the
History Center, as well as the archives stored at the La Grange facility.
Oldham County: Stories from the Rivers Edge was published
by The History Press, based in Charleston, S.C. The book sells for $19.99
and can be purchased through any major bookstore.
It is different from our other publications because it covers
200 years of history and the stories, oral histories, and events are
not in previous publications, said Theiss, an Oldham County native.
She said The History Press contacted the History Center asking if someone
there would like to write a book. I responded and they accepted
March 6: 2 p.m. at Barnes & Noble at The Summit
Shopping Center, Brownsboro Road, Louisville
March 13: 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. at Showcase Oldham County
at the YMCA Soccer Complex in Buckner
March 27: Noon - 2 p.m. at the Oldham County History
Center, 106 N. Second Ave., La Grange
An exciting, undiscovered history of Oldham County and
its people lie within the pages of Oldham County: Stories from
the Rivers Edge. These stories have been preserved through
court documents, old newspapers and other artifacts available to Theiss.
When it came time to choose a scene for the cover of the book, The
History Press asked me, as the author, if I knew of a local artist whom
I would recommend for the jacket cover, said Theiss. She was aware
of Morgans work and knew it would fit perfectly with the
title and theme of the book, so I recommended him and the editors were
ecstatic about his work.
Morgan, who has never had formal art training, credits God for his talent
by stating, The Lord paints through me. He majored in interior
design at the University of Louisville and took many art history classes
which greatly influence his artwork.
From March 27 through Aug. 1, the Oldham County Historical Society will
feature an exhibit, From The Rivers Edge: The Primitive
Artwork of Breck Morgan. The exhibit will showcase approximately
75 artistic pieces of various media created from his youth until now.
It will be exciting to see them altogether for the first time,
The Oldham County History Center museum gift shop will carry new specialty
items related to Oldham County: Stories from the Rivers
Edge. Available will be two new wooden decorative Cats Meow
pieces, The Riverboat and The Railroad Train.
These pieces contain a small quote from the book to identify a particular
story with the special piece. Notecards depicting scenes from the jacket
cover of the book designed by Morgan will be available, as well as other
Morgans folk art artwork can also be found at The Ruby Rooster
For more information on Breck Morgans
artwork or to contact Morgan please call (502) 225-4018. For more information
on Oldham County: Stories from the Rivers Edge, contact
Nancy Theiss at the Oldham County History Center at (502) 222-0826 or
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