Information Contacts:    

Kit Lane
(269) 857-2781

John Peters
(269) 857-2967

Click HERE for a pdf of
the news release.



SAUGATUCK, JULY 25, 2008 -- "Tuesdays 'til Noon", a weekly series of one-hour lectures at the Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Society Museum, will feature "Bill Olendorf: Saugatuck and Ox-Bow Create an Artist" presented by his son Don Olendorf on Tuesday, August 5, at 11 a.m.

William Carr (Bill) Olendorf was a successful advertising salesman in 1951 when a vacation at Ox-Bow's summer art school led him to realize that "the world is filled with beauty and art should record something of that beauty." In the early 1970s he decided to devote himself fulltime to art, both fine and commercial. One of his paintings, a farmhouse north of Fennville, appeared on a graham cracker box; many others hang in the collections of well-known people around the world. He also produced a series of "sketchbooks" of some of the places he liked best: Chicago, Palm Beach and Paris.

According to one magazine assessment, "One of the factors in Olendorf's success is that his career began at the corporate level" with paintings displayed in large corporate offices. Illinois Governor James R. Thompson commissioned scenes intended as gifts to famous people around the world including Presidents Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon, and George Bush, former Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, Dan Quayle, Lech Walesa of Poland, and the prime minister of Ireland. He had many exhibits in the United States and abroad including a 1963 show in Paris on the theme "Europe Viewed by an American."

The Olendorfs rented, then in 1952 purchased, a small cottage on the Ganges lakeshore that remains in the family. Bill and his wife Mary also were part of a group that owned and ran the Red Barn Theater in the 1980s. Don Olendorf, still a Ganges resident, is a former area school administrator and teacher, now a legislative liaison for several school districts and organizations.

Tuesdays 'til Noon talks are held in the south gallery of the Museum, with audience capacity limited to 50 guests so early arrival is recommended. Parking and admission are free, donations welcomed.

Programs end promptly at noon when the Museum opens for the day. Its new 2008 exhibit offers unusual insights into our area's past with "13 Moments in Time: The Artist as Storyteller". Built around a selection of seldom-seen paintings and drawings completed in Saugatuck from 1898 to 2002, this exhibit evokes historical vignettes of Saugatuck and Douglas at the time each artwork was created. For more information visit

Founded in 1992, the Saugatuck-Douglas Museum occupies the historic Saugatuck Pump House at 735 Park Street, along the west shore of the Kalamazoo River at Mt. Baldhead Park, a short walk north from the Saugatuck Chain Ferry landing. Tel: (269) 857-7900.

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