Stephen and Robert Pell Dechame recently donated a orginal art work by Theodore H. Kleffel to the Ticonderoga Historical Society in memory of their mother, Stephanie Pell Dechame.
The large framed colored poster is believed to be one of the six publicity posters completed by the well-known local artist and photographer Theodore H. Kleffel, for the Society for the Preservation of Indian Lore’s 1947 Indian Pageant held here at Cook’s Grove. Other pieces of Mr. Kleffel’s work were used extensively in the Society’s ’47 pamphlet with scenes that coordinated with the Pageant’s performance theme: “The Birth of the Longhouse” or the “First League of Nations.”
Mr. Kleffel, born in Cologne, Germany in June, 1886, served in the German Army as a lieutenant before coming to the United States in 1921 at the age of 35. He came to this country to paint Indians and in pursuit of this endeavor traveled extensively in the southwest in search of his subjects. He sold his art work to Wanamaker’s in Philadelphia and later established an art and photographic studio business with his wife in New York City. In 1943 he and his wife came to Ticonderoga for the summer and moved here permanently in 1945. He was active in the Ticonderoga Chamber of Commerce, taught Art Adult Education in the local schools and gave private art classes. Mr. Kleffel died suddenly in Ticonderoga from a cerebral hemorrhage in November 1950.