The Valentine's Day observance on Sunday is traditionally a time of flowers, candy and cards.

It is the latter holiday element, though, that stays intact long after the flower petals fall and the candy is devoured. The special Valentine cards often end up tucked into family photograph and memory albums.

Going beyond a nostalgic keepsake, though, is the collectible, fancy and sometimes one-of-a-kind card.

Those were the card types that brought fame a century ago to a woman who specialized in creating unique and highly valued artistic versions of the Valentine's Day missives.

And, she was born in Oil City and went on to be known as the "Valentine Lady" for her detailed and elaborate holiday cards.

Juvia Johnson, born in 1872 in Oil City, was the daughter of Charles Cooper Johnson and Marian Cochran Johnson. Her father was described in early business listings as an oil dealer.

When she was eight years old, Juvia moved with her family to Meadville where she graduated from high school.

With her family's support, she began taking art courses at the Academy of Design in New York in 1890. She completed her courses and eventually settled in Cleveland to pursue an art career.

It was during a time, according to a Feb. 8, 1976, article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper, that "the acceptable occupations for refined young women were limited to school teaching and secretarial work."

Juvia soon expanded her Renaissance-styled artwork creations to include designs for the Christmas season. She opened her art studio on the top floor of the Republic Building in downtown Cleveland.

Valentines are featured

Among her first artistic creations were Valentine cards, and they caught the eye of Raphael Tuck & Sons of London, England. The family-owned company was famous for producing hand-colored postcards and greeting cards.

Her drawings of hearts and cupids soon evolved into more sophisticated holiday renditions, including a popular line of "naked cherubs bearing hearts," according to the Ohio Arts Council.

The London firm incorporated Juvia's artwork into a series of hand-colored postcards that, after being lithographed in Germany and then shipped back to Cleveland to be completed and marketed, were sold in shops across the U.S. Many of the pieces were hand colored by her staff, most of whom were women.

In 1912, she married Henry Wilson and the couple had a daughter, Virginia.

Working into her 80s, Juvia began creating ivory miniatures, placecard designs and party decorations. She died at the age of 94 in 1966.

Her valentine cards and illustrated postcards are now considered rare and typically fetch high prices.

Her art portfolio expanded to include other holidays, including Halloween, Thanksgiving and other special events over the years, and many are for sale in specialty shops and online. One of her small paper greeting cards, titled "Girl with Pie Dough," is listed for sale on the internet at $24.99.

Many of Juvia's vintage images are still reproduced on contemporary holiday cards, especially Valentine's Day cards.

0
0
0
0
0

UPMC Northwest’s regional vaccine clinic at the former Bon Ton in the Cranberry Mall is providing first doses of the Pfizer vaccine today without appointments until 3:30 p.m. Residents from Venango, Clarion, Forest, Crawford, Mercer, Warren, Lawrence, Butler and Jefferson counties are eligible.

Preparations for next month's primary election are underway in Venango County, and all the county's voting machines are being tested this week to make sure they are working properly.

HARRISBURG — The state Department of Health today said it notified COVID-19 vaccine providers that the pause in administering doses of the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine will be extended until April 24, or until updated guidance is provided from the Centers for Disease Control and P…

UPMC health system is temporarily pausing its use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, following CDC and FDA guidelines recommended after six patients nationwide experienced blood clotting.

The Oil City sesquicentennial celebration Sunday in Justus Park was a big hit, and a number of people who attended the event then stopped at the Venango Museum on Seneca Street to view new local history displays that are on exhibit.

Hundreds of people turned out to Justus Park in celebration of Oil City's 150 years of history that's "unique, noble and quirky" and to look forward to a "bright and promising future," as two of the speakers put it Sunday.

ELK TOWNSHIP — A man died in a house fire Sunday morning in Elk Township, according to Shippenville-Elk fire Chief Steve Merryman.

The easing of COVID-19 mitigation efforts at restaurants and bars has suddenly made the jobs of workers at those businesses much more manageable.

Local restaurants and bars welcome relaxed COVID-19 mitigation guidelines.

Handmade gifts by Valley Grove Elementary students and local flowers were delivered Wednesday to residents at Sugar Creek Station.

Amid political polarization, U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson vows he will maintain a bipartisan approach.

KNOX — Knox police are seeking information on the whereabouts of Trenton Alan Hogue, 24, of Knox.

MARIENVILLE - Seventeen years ago, Dave Yeany read a magazine article that told him he could tap maple trees for syrup from his own backyard.

About a dozen people braved the cold temperatures Friday to participate in the Good Friday cross walk in Oil City.

Federal law could open the way for the state's plan to toll Interstate 80 bridges.

A men's homeless shelter in Oil City that has been in the works for more than two years will open Monday.

HARRISBURG (AP) — Every adult in Pennsylvania will qualify for COVID-19 vaccines starting April 19, and emergency responders, grocery workers and others will be able to set up shots immediately, Gov. Tom Wolf's administration announced Wednesday.

HARRISBURG — The state Department of Health on Wednesday announced 23 new cases of COVID-19 were reported from the tri-county area.

Sugar Valley Lodge will be reopening its facilities Thursday after more than a year of COVID-19 preventative restrictions.