Frank Nofer, 71, famed graphic artist

Posted: July 14, 2001

Frank Nofer, 71, of Spring Mill, a celebrated graphic artist and watercolorist who designed a Philadelphia logo for the American Bicentennial, died Thursday at Keystone House in Wyndmoor.

His representational watercolors are included in prominent private and corporate collections. In 1995, the Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College honored him with a one-man retrospective exhibition.

For 25 years, Mr. Nofer operated a graphic-design studio in the Old City section of Philadelphia, where he did advertising for pharmaceutical companies and amassed many awards. He closed the studio in 1985 to paint in transparent watercolor full-time.

His book, How to Make Watercolor Work for You, was published in 1991.

His graphic design of Philadelphia, depicting notable figures and landmarks, was adopted by Mayor Frank Rizzo for the city's celebration of the Bicentennial, said his wife, Dorothy Garris Nofer.

Her husband appreciated all art, as long as it was "good art," Mrs. Nofer said. He chose art over a possible career as an opera singer, although he had a sweet baritone voice, she said.

Mr. Nofer was born in Philadelphia, graduated from Olney High School in 1947, and graduated in 1951 from what is now the University of the Arts, where he majored in illustration on a full scholarship. He also studied at the Charles Morris Price School of Advertising, at the University of Pennsylvania, and privately with several artists.

He was past president of the Whitemarsh Community Art Center, where he lectured on watercolor techniques and served as a juror for exhibitions.

He served on the boards of the Art Directors Club and the Artists Guild, and he was a member of the American, Pennsylvania and Philadelphia Watercolor Societies.

In addition to his wife of 49 years, he is survived by a daughter, Kristin Nofer Houle; a son, Frank S.; and a brother.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Aug. 6 at Morris Arboretum, 100 Northwestern Ave., Philadelphia.

The family suggests memorial donations to Keystone House, 8765 Stenton Ave., Wyndmoor, Pa. 19038.

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