Timeless paintings that capture a former way of life in Fort Langley are being brought out of private collections and shared with residents on a miniature scale.
Postcards, depicting 23 of Hans Rudolph Weber’s mid-20th century paintings, have been created by Weber’s granddaughter, Dianne Jones, and are now being sold at different locations in the Fort Langley village.
Known by family and friends as “Rudy,” Weber came to Fort Langley from Konolfingen, Switzerland in 1935, and began recording the local history through his art. He painted First Nations elders that lived on McMillan Island, the Golden Ears Mountain Peaks that tower across the Fraser River, and the bustling Albion Ferry that took passengers from Langley to Maple Ridge.
“They are a reflection of his personality and what he felt during that time frame. As I went through them I could see the differences myself,” said Jones.
“He loved Switzerland and he always painted mountains.
“(Fort Langley) was kind of a perfect fit with the Golden Ears as the backdrop.”
Weber, who worked full time at the mill on the Fraser River (where Bedford Landing is now) raised five children on Hadden Avenue on his own, after his wife died at a young age. Jones recalls his self-built house, which burned down in the 1980s, being “a work of art.”
“He was full of life, he was a character,” Jones recalled.
“The whole house was made of mosaics and covered in art. The whole house was a work of art. All of his doors were painted with pumpkins and tomatoes.”
Weber passed away in February 1991, and his collection of around 50 paintings were divided amongst his family, and close friends. A couple of years ago, Jones came up with the idea to make postcards for family members, so that everyone could have a copy of his paintings.
“It started out that everyone was getting older, and I realized that we can’t all own all of the paintings,” she said.
“So I thought I would take pictures of them and make cards for family members. Then they can have a copy of it.
“And then I thought, ‘well lots of people appreciated his paintings, maybe there would be a way to sell them.’”
She has spent the last two years tracking down and scanning Weber’s work, which she has found in the homes of her relatives, five different families in Fort Langley, and even on Craigslist.
“People are very attached to his paintings,” Jones said.
“They are a part of history, they are a part of family and a part of him.”
The postcards are available for purchase at The Langley Centennail Museum, 9135 King St., and Lee’s Market, 23320 Mavis Ave.
Proceeds from the postcard sales will go to the Little Warriors Be Brave Ranch to help children who have been sexually abused.
Paintings, from top: Weber’s painting “Albion Ferry” was done in 1970. The painting “Fraser River at Fort Langley, B.C.” was finished in 1952.