Artist who painted iconic Greencastle-Antrim scenes dies at home

PAT FRIDGEN
“Center Square - Greencastle 1878” is a Mark Twain Noe painting hanging in the Tower Bank office of Jeff Shank, president and CEO. His father commissioned 20 pieces from Noe to reflect Greencastle’s history.

Mark Twain Noe, 73, the Harrisonville artist who painted 20 historical scenes for First National Bank of Greencastle, passed away Jan. 31 at his home. The paintings still hang in the bank, now Tower Bank. During each Old Home Week they are put on display in the halls for public viewing.

Tower president and CEO Jeff Shank remembers when his dad, C.B. “Lee” Shank, then bank president, commissioned the paintings in the late 1970s or early 1980s. Noe worked at Grove Manufacturing at the time. Prints were used for promotional purposes.

“We used the paintings in ‘A Gallery of History’ to share Greencastle’s past with service organizations and other groups,” said Shank.

A 22-minute slide presentation was eventually converted to CD. Copies containing photos of the paintings and a narrative of each Greencastle scene were given to the schools, borough and Allison-Antrim Museum.

“The paintings of Mr. Noe are a legacy to the Greencastle-Antrim area pertaining to its history, from the very early settlements on,” said Bonnie Shockey, president of the museum board of directors.

Noe was born Jan. 4, 1939, in Arkansas. After service in the Army, he studied at the National Academy of Art in Washington D.C. He worked as an industrial and advertising artist. In 1980 he opened “The Studio in the Pines” in Fulton County.

He won many regional and national awards for his nature-inspired paintings. His work has hung in the Smithsonian Institute. He won a national forest stamp contest and was the New York Ducks Unlimited Artist of the Year in 1991-1992. His work was also recognied by the National Wildlife Turkey Federation. The organization published an original piece every year since 1989 and named him Artist of the Year.

Noe’s paintings and prints are in private and corporate collections across the United States and Canada.

He was a member of Sideling Hill Christian Church, Needmore; Mt. Zion Lodge No. 774, McConnellsburg; Mt. Pisgah Lodge No. 443, Greencastle; National Wild Turkey Federation; American Legion Post 561 and VFW Post 655, McConnellsburg.

He is survived by a daughter and a companion.

Services were held Feb. 7 at Sideling Hill Christian Church, with interment at Sideling Hill Christian Cemetery.

Tower Bank has announced the release of This print of the Martin's Mill Bridge was the last Mark Twain Noe print offered by Tower Bank during Old Home Week in 2010.