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To the Editor:

As most of you know, John Ford Clymer was born in Ellensburg in 1907. He produced the most authentic Western historical art in our country. John Clymer and his wife, Doris, visited the sites for most of his art and researched extensively to produce this authentic art. Clymer illustrated for Field and Stream magazine and The Saturday Evening Post where he did more than 80 covers.

His first one-man art show was in New York City at the Grand Central Galleries in 1964. His art hangs in the Whitney Gallery of Western Art in Cody, Wyoming and many, many other galleries across the country.

Ellensburg was proud to come up with the idea of an art museum in John Ford Clymer’s honor. It all started in 1988 with the Western Art Association and many local people working to bring the museum to fruition.

As a founding member, I am disappointed in the Clymer museum’s current state of affairs. For the past 4 1/2 years, the officers/leaders have had financial and business problems. Articles donated to the museum have been sold via a board member to another museum. The totally owned building has been used as collateral for a loan to pay bills. In addition to hiring a new board member as director without advertising the available position to the wider community. Minutes lack information. These are just a few of the problems. What happened to the volunteers?

What ultimately brings me to write this letter is: “An Original Piece of John Clymer’s Historic Art is Being Sold at Auction in Jackson Hole, Wyoming in September.” The Clymer Board should be “protecting and preserving Clymer’s art.” How can a board vote on this kind of nonsense or did the board get to vote?

I understand the COVID pandemic has likely caused a multitude of problems but rather than selling original works donated to the museum, why can’t better management be implemented? Or, a few board members to clean, dust and do a complete inventory on all items in the gallery among other things. Time to tighten budgets and have the board pitch in to work.

The good news ins the upstairs will be completed before long which will bring in more rental in come to add to that which is already paid each month. And there is always hope that this situation will get solved with everyone in the community lending a hand.

Janice Ludtka

East Wenatchee


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