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York County artist/historian Jim Rudisill: ‘History is really “His Story,” the story of people… ‘

Jim Rudisill
York County, Pa., artist/historian Jim Rudisill speaks at a story night in Emigsville in 2006. His silhouette art work will appear on the cover of a scholarly journal issued by the York County Heritage Trust, set for September publication. Also of interest: Jim Rudisill drew cover art for “Northwest York” booklet, York County, Pa.: It’s shaped like a horse’s …, Mining a rich vein of southwestern York County’s religious history.

Many people in the York County historical community would consider Jim Rudisill the most influential York County historian in the past 50 years.
Generations of students experienced his love and enthusiasm for York County’s past as his students in the York City School District.
His historical work as curator of education at the York County Historical Society, for its successor the York County Heritage Trust and generally throughout the historical community has inspired students, researchers and writers of local history.
To recognize this Renaissance man’s achievements, his silhouette art work will appear on the cover of a soon-to-be-published York County Heritage Trust scholarly journal, the first of what is expected to become an annual publication… .

Jim Rudisill, seen in this York Sunday News photo from 1971.

Here is more information about this artist/historian, a master, who still has many students sitting at his feet.
Most notable work: “York Since 1741,” a history published in conjunction with York city’s 250th anniversary in 1991.
Working as a silhouettist “Working surely and rapidly, he turns out a profile in less than five minutes. Talking while he work, he observes, ‘Think of the plumb line. Observe the root of the nose, the upper lip.’ One last snip of the scissors, and he holds up a charming likeness of his subject.” (York Sunday News)
The Renaissance man: ‘Rudisill is a collector of English and American silhouettes, a painter, furniture finisher, building restorer and a scholar of history and the arts.” (York Sunday News)
Artist/historian in training: Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Syracuse University, Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
The teacher in action: It has been said of Jim Rudisill that he taught his art as a historian and his history as an artist.
Vintage Rudisill, in describing how buildings give clues about one’s whereabouts in York County: Think Neapolitan ice cream. In the southeastern part, a stone of a medium brown color was used. In the Codorus Valley, builders used white limestone. The stone of choice in the county’s northern part was dark, reddish sandstone, hence its name, Redlands.
Jim Rudisill, on the importance of “why:” History is really “His Story,” the story of people, and ends in a “y.” “Why” is the most important question historians can ask.
The teacher at work: A “C” history student can answer “who and where.” A “B”student can answer “who,””where,””what”and “when.”
An “A” student can answer the first four and “why.”