History of Robert A. Ritterbeck Painting
Part 2

 

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Robert P. Ritterbeck

 

 

 


R
obert was 36 years old when Gus died.  
He was married and had five little boys.  
He completed the jobs Gus had under contract, 
working around the clock for the next six months, 
all the while mourning the loss of 
his best friend and mentor.

 

 

  Surprisingly, churches stopped calling for his services.  August had been such a large presence that the diocese seemed unsure if his son could fill his very formidable shoes.  It would be two long years before Robert P. Ritterbeck Painting would contract to decorate a church interior.  In the meantime, he scrambled for work, often spending weeks on the road painting gas stations.  It was, if nothing else, a very humbling period for the company.

Slowly, very slowly, the door started to reopen.  Like his father before him, Robert got restarted in the business through statue restoration.  He spent many a night and weekend in the shop perfecting his skill. This diligence would eventually pay off as his work not only got noticed but began to draw rave reviews from those in the industry.  In time, Robert would take statue restoration to a new level, breathing life into the cold plaster castings.  His use of rich, vibrant colors, along with an intense attention to detail, earned him the reputation as one of the finest statue artists in the country.  It was impossible to look at one of his statues without feeling the love he had for his work. 

 

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Two examples of Robert P. Ritterbeck's 
brilliant statue work. 

Click on the pictures for a closer view.

 

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Church decorating jobs started to come his way and he attacked these with the same enthusiasm.   He became known for his use of natural earth tones and extensive use of gold leaf in decorating many of the finest churches and cathedrals in the area.   It wasn't too long before the company was restored to it's former glory.   By continuing to call on Hans Schmidt to restore existing art or to create original paintings, Robert rebuilt a very formidable church decorating firm that flourished under his leadership.  Again, like Gus, he searched out the best painters.  Carl Albrecht, Larry Ganz, Charles Ganz, Rich Chippini, Ed Gleich, Robert Horne, and Jerry Goyne all hired on and stayed for years as they became known as "Ritterbeck men".

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For more History of the company, go on to History Part 3

 


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