June at High Ridge

Fred Machetanz is widely known for his paintings depicting the Alaskan wilderness. His paintings bring to life the rugged and majestic beauty of the frozen landscape. Several of his paintings show polar bears, dog sled teams and the Alaskan Inuit people. There is one painting, however, that depicts a different side of Alaska. It shows that summer in the rugged wilderness is just as beautiful. That painting is known as “June at High Ridge” and it was a gift from a husband to a wife.
In the summer of 1978, John and Ruby Jester took a trip to Alaska to visit Fred and Sara Machetanz. While there, they visited the Machetanz log home at High Ridge. The Machetanzes along with a 17-year-old named Sam Koppenberg built the log home in 1950. This log home was not just where Fred and Sara lived, but it also contained Fred’s art studio. To the left of the cabin, the studio can be seen and it is here that the artist first began his painting career. As a memento of the trip, Mr. Jester asked Mr. Machetanz if he would paint a picture of High Ridge and the beautiful scenery surrounding it. Mr. Machetanz agreed and the painting was created. In the painting, wild roses are shown in full bloom while fireweed was just getting started. Like all of the other paintings done by Mr. Machetanz the painting was created in the same technique used by the old masters such as Vermeer, Titian, and Rembrandt.
Mr. Jester presented the painting to his wife in 1983. Mrs. Jester, who was Mr. Machetanz’s secretary, treasured the painting. In August of 2007, Mr. Jester loaned the painting to the museum and upon his death, Mr. Jester bequeathed the painting to the museum along with his collection of other Machetanz items.
Flash forward to 2017. We at the museum have always valued this painting and the beauty that is shows. We are excited to announce that the museum now has limited edition prints available for purchase. These prints are unsigned and unframed. There are two different sized to choose from 24 in x 36 in and 18 in x 24 in. If you are interested in purchasing one of these beautiful prints, please contact Linda or Sheena at the museum at 419-673-7147 or better yet, stop in and see the original for yourself