Ted Gerhart’s Work Stands Tall on Prince Street

Hippocampus by Ted GerhartWhen Ted Gerhart died in December 2011, Lancaster lost its most viewed artist. Yeah, 5 million people may visit the Met every year and a great many of those look at Demuth’s No. 5, but in terms of individual views over 365 days, more eyeballs look at Gerhart-created pieces than any other Lancaster artist.

Been to Carr’s? Chestnut Hill Cafe? Walked along Duke Street? Love Penn Stone? Belvedere Inn? St John’s Episcopal Church? 300 Block of N Queen? All of these places boast outdoor signs and embellishments that Ted Gerhart made with chisel and mallet, and once you know what to look for, you see Gerhart’s work everywhere.

One place in Lancaster you can go right now to see a very special Gerhart piece is City Folk on Gallery Row.

I first saw Hippocampus when my kids and I wandered into Gerhart’s studio on North Pine Street during the 2009 Fall ArtWalk. He showed us signs and green men and small ornamental pieces, but over in the corner on the second floor was something altogether different. With the head and front hooves of a horse, but the tail of a fish, this carousel animal drew my attention not only because it was unique among the pieces in Gerhart’s studio, but because it was absolutely beautiful.

For the time being, Hippocampus, like all of his wonderful signs, is available for public viewing. All you need to do is stand on the sidewalk at 146 N. Prince Street and view away. And if you want to take Hippocampus home…go inside and talk to Karen.

Before long, someone is going to – just get over there before they do.

Ted Gerhart’s signs can be found all over Lancaster City and it is impossible to walk downtown without seeing one. His sculptures and ornamental pieces have been commissioned by clients throughout the nation as have his signs. He was a graduate of Warwick HS who worked for 30 years in a studio on Pine Street.  He died on December 2, 2011.

To inquire about Hippocampus you can drop by City Folk at 142 N Prince Street or call Karen Anderer at 717-393-8807.

  • Rebecca Doster Deibler

    Ted was a great friend back in our high school days. I have always regretted that we didn’t catch up until a couple of years before he passed. But he was always so creative and intense, even then
    . I think of him often when I see his work. What a lovely legacy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/carter.bixler Carter Bixler

    As Ted Gerhart’s wife for over 20 years, I know his work and am willing to authenticate any unidentified pieces. Although I did encourage (okay, maybe nagged) him to sign his work, he was so wrapped up in finding the image in the wood that he frequently forgot to sign his work. I have the first blanket chest that he made from a cherry tree that he felled–unsigned. He was, without a doubt, the most talented artist I have ever known. He is sorely missed.

    • Steve Carlson

      Thank you, Carter, for commenting on the post. I would eventually like to write a piece exclusively about his signs and really do feel that they are very much under-appreciated. If you don’t mind, I would like to contact you when the time for that comes around. Would you say that most (all?) of the hand-carved signs in Lancaster City are his?

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