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Hans Růžička-Lautenschläger [1862–1933]

[From the Community Collection, a public trust in Agincourt, Iowa]


Cityscape / Tightrope Walker / Seiltänzer

oil on canvas / 5 inches by 7 inches / signed


Austrian artist Hans Růžička-Lautenschläger is recognized for his land- and cityscapes, painted in Italy, Austria, and elsewhere. His work in a late-Impressionist style has been mentioned favorably in several Austrian art journals, such as Der Merker. He exhibited in Vienna and Munich — and now in Agincourt.¹ This petite work emigrated to the United States with members of the Wasserman family, who settled in Agincourt in 1900.

“Tightrope Walker” may be a study for an intended larger work; it was likely painted at the scene. Despite the speed of execution, however — capturing the energy of the moment — there is little doubt of the wonder experienced by the spectators.

Hans Růžička-Lautenschläger / “View of the Pantheon in Rome”

Hans Růžička-Lautenschläger / “The ferris wheel in the Prater in Vienna by night”


¹ An inquiry has been made to the Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien.

Pictor Ignotus

[From the Community Collection, a public trust in Agincourt, Iowa]

E. L. [Etienne Laurent?] [dates uncertain]

Portrait of Gaius Plinius Tennant


oil on board / 9.6 inches by 7.3 inches

Of the three Tennant Brothers, Pliny — full name Gaius Plinius Tennant — was a true 19th century Transcendentalist. Though he was an investor in the Agincourt Enterprise and may have visited the site early in its development, Pliny Tennant pushed ever farther westward in his search for self. If this is, indeed, a portrait painted shortly before he disappeared somewhere into the southwestern states, possibly Arizona or Utah, he has struck a wistful romantic pose borne out by his life’s subsequent pattern or lack thereof. He is remembered as the namesake of “Pliny’s Purse”, the compounded return of his investment in the Agincourt townsite and the subcutaneous good it has done for the community.

The painter’s initials E. L. may stand for Etienne Laurent, a family friend from their origin in the Channel Islands.


Margaret Eleanor Lloyd [1867–1912]

[From the Community Collection, a public trust in Agincourt, Iowa]

LLOYD, Margaret Eleanor [1867–1912]

FODE, David G. [1968–2022]

“Punch & Judy”

Design for a Stencil / original size unknown; published at 5 5/8 inches

1905 (date of publication)

Stained glass window / 30 inches in diameter

2015 (date of execution)

The story of this collaborative project, between two artistically talented people born almost exactly one hundred years apart, is bracketed with tragedy. In 1905, the year Margaret Lloyd’s design appeared in The International Studio, a British art periodical, a kindergarten was built on the grounds adjacent to Saint Joseph-the-Carpenter Episcopal church. Operated on a non-profit basis to bring the educational philosophy of Friedrich Fröbel to the community, the Shingle Style building may be the first work of architecture by the sixteen-year-old Anson Tennant. It included a window opening to accommodate the “Punch & Judy” window, adapted from the British artist’s design. Though documentation is lacking, it’s believed Lloyd know of our intention to adapt her “stencil” as a window. It remained a project for a hundred and ten years, however, when David Fode of Waukesha, Wisconsin brought Lloyd’s vision, literally, to light.

Researching names and dates for this entry, we encountered another layer of coïncidence: stained glass artist Fode died in November 2022 at age fifty-four, while we learned that Ms Lloyd had passed in 1912, a casualty in one of Britain’s worst train accidents. She was forty-five. The window, a lighthearted work of charm, has become a memorial to both of its creators — despite its political incorrectness.


Donald Maxwell [1877–1936]

[From the Community Collection, a public trust in Agincourt, Iowa]

MAXWELL, Donald [1877–1936]

“Pook’s Hill, Little Dartmouth”


lithograph / 6.8 inches by 10.9 inches / edition unknown

A charming early 20th Century chromolithograph, showing a view across Pook’s Hill, Little Dartmouth adds to the apt but unjust observation — in our estimation — that the Community Collection consists largely of “landscapes and livestock.” Artist Donald Maxwell may be better known for his considerable body of work as an illustrator:

“Maxwell trained in London at the Clapham School of Art, the Slade School of Fine Art, and the Royal College of Art. He was soon writing and illustrating extensively for The Yachting Monthly and other magazines. In about 1909, he became a regular correspondent for the Daily Graphic and the illustrated weekly The Graphic and continued so until the latter closed in 1932. In later life he wrote weekly illustrated articles for the Church Times.

“Most of Maxwell’s thirty or more self-illustrated books were about voyages in (Europe, Mesopotamia, Palestine, and India) and later about the sights of Southern England. He also illustrated books by many other authors, including Hilaire Belloc and also Rudyard Kipling, to whom his mother was related.

“Interest in Maxwell’s work as an artist has continued. Several of his topographical paintings were bought by the Southern Railway and displayed as prints in railway carriages. These have since become collectors’ items. A lithograph of a water colour by Maxwell showing Shap Fell in Cumbria, printed for the London, Midland and Scottish Railway, sold at auction for £517 in 1999, and a marine oil painting for £5520 in 1998. A folio of unframed drawings by Maxwell fetched £840 at auction in 2005.” [from Wikipedia, no less]

We are fortunate to have this delicate piece.


Maureen Bendix [1919–2006]

[From the Community Collection, a public trust in Agincourt, Iowa]

BENDIX, Maureen (née Florscheim) [1919–2006]

“Over the Moon”


oil on canvas / 15.9 inches by 20.1 inches

The Bendix family established Agincourt’s first post-war housing development: Riverside Addition, where contractor William Bendix built one of the community’s finest examples of Mid-century Modernism, still standing at 216 N.E. Sixth Street. Bill had designed the house himself and lavished the best materials and craftsmanship on it. Several contemporary artworks graced its walls and the family were major donors to this collection. “Over the Moon” was painted by Maureen Bendix herself for their daughter Estelle.

A playful composition of rabbits defying gravity among clouds and stars, “Over the Moon” was a gift from Estelle Bendix Feldman, who now lives in Omaha.

Pictor Ignotus

[From the Community Collection, a public trust in Agincourt, Iowa]

Pictor Ignotus [ca1940s]

“Study for a Printed Fabric”

watercolor on paper / 6.8 inches by 10.2 inches


During the 1940s the art department at Northwest Iowa Normal (its name had not yet changed to “State University”) offered classes in what today we would call commercial or applied art. A folio of work from that period has recently shown up in the library and been placed on long term loan to the Community Collection. Research into college records my reveal who created this sophisticated idea for what was presumably intended to be a silkscreen on silk.

Stylized birds of this sort were a popular theme with architects and designers from the early Arts & Crafts through the Art Deco — William Morris, C.R. Mackintosh, H.M. Baillie Scott, C.F.A. Voysey, and Kolo Moser are prominent in this group. Though their treatment tended toward repetition for application to fabric or wallpaper. The loose treatment evidenced here offers another perspective on industrial design.

Another equally probable influence came to the U.S. much earlier, from Japan, in the form of ukiyo-e floating world woodcut prints, such as this print by Yamada Hōgyoku, active in his own country a hundred years earlier, ca1820-1840.

Julius Singer [dates uncertain]

[From the Community Collection, a public trust in Agincourt, Iowa]

SINGER, Julius [ca1880–ca1942]

Winter on the Farm


watercolor on paper / 8.5 inches by 12.2 inches / signed

Another piece on loan from Temple Emanu-El, this subtle and sensitive watercolor is the work of an artist who may have been lost to the Holocaust. His dates are uncertain and he may have been confused with another artist of the same date and approximate age who designed bookplates. This work was acquired in the U.K., though the subject is evidently a Central or Eastern European rural setting.

This work was a gift from an anonymous source to the temple’s “Art of the Holocaust” collection [אמנות השואה].

Maurice Lapp [1925–2014]

[From the Community Collection, a public trust in Agincourt, Iowa]

LAPP, Maurice [1925–2014]

Abstract Cityscape


oil on masonite panel / 27 inches by 33 inches

Chicago-born and educated at the Art Institute, Lapp received both a Ryerson Fellowship and Fulbright Grant for advanced study. He settled in Northern California about 1952 and eventually joined the faculty at Santa Rosa Junior College in 1956. This painting was acquired by William and Maureen Bendix and hung in their MCM home in Agincourt’s Riverside Addition. It was donated to the Community Collection by their children.

Micah Schwaberow, also represented in the collection, was among Lapp’s students at the College.

William Walcot [1874–1943]

[From the Community Collection, a public trust in Agincourt, Iowa]

WALCOT, William [1874–1943; Scottish-Russian]

“An Etruscan Temple — Jupiter Capitolinus”


etching and aquatint / 5 inches by 7 inches / signed

Scottish-Russian architect, artist and etcher, William Walcot was born in Odessa, now in the Ukraine, and practiced a refined Art Nouveau style in Moscow for about six years. This rendering of the Temple of Jupiter Capitolinus shows the original wooden Etruscan temple which stood on Rome’s Capitoline Hill, now the site of Michelangelo’s Capitol.

This etching was a gift to the nascent Community Collection some time during the 1920s in memory of Agincourt architect Anson Tennant — at a time when he was thought to have gone down with the Lusitania. The source is unrecorded.

As is the origin of an additional memorial album, Walcot’s Roman Compositions, published in 1921 by the Architectural Press in London.

Max Pollak [1886–1970]

[From the Community Collection, a public trust in Agincourt, Iowa]

POLLAK, Max [1886–1970]

“Wien, Notsteg Uber den Donaukanal” / Vienna, Emergency Pier Over the Danube Canal


mixed technique intaglio / ed. unknown

25 3/8 inches by 31 inches (image)

Born in Prague, while it was still part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Pollak was educated in Vienna. This print was part of the Austrian record of World War I — think of it as something like a war-time WPA. The Nazis subsequently destroyed much of Pollak’s work as “degenerate Jewish art”. He emigrated to the U.S. in 1927.

This poignant and history-laden work is on loan from the collection of Temple Emanu-El.