Gahimer historian and local artisan
Dave Gahimer is the son of Virgil Gahimer, grandson of George Gahimer, and great-grandson of William Gahimer. For years he has been a key contributor to the Gahimer genealogy research, but perhaps Dave is better known for his beautiful wood turning artwork.
From the TERRE HAUTE Tribune-Star, April 1, 2011
TERRE HAUTE — Dave Gahimer of Rockville will be featured in a one-man show of his wood turnings in the main gallery of the Palestine Art Center, 110 S. Main St, Palestine, Ill. The exhibit starts today and runs through April.
Gahimer is an artist and historian who grew up in Shelby County. His father was also a wood artist and made furniture for their home. Gahimer took shop in high school and built a grandfather clock as his senior project. The clock is fashioned after a design by his teacher, Jessie Maurice Trotter. Upon joining the Naval Submarine Service he continued woodworking in the naval base hobby shop.
“My mission is to honor long gone craftsmen and artisans whose work lives on in small items and props found in the paintings of the Great Masters”, said Gahimer of his “Turnings from Antiquity.”
Gahimer is an electrical engineer and was on staff at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in the Electrical Engineering Department.
Access to the Carpenter Shop at Rose allowed his interest in wood and woodworking to develop even further. He was an understudy with master turners Dan Moore, Charles Hutson and Larry Myers.
Gahimer has retired from engineering and devotes his time to his love of wood and woodworking at the home he and his wife, Dorothy, built in rural Park County. He has a studio and woodworking shop at his residence.
Gahimer has studied the turning designs of Egyptians, Greeks and Romans by course, and in galleries and museums in these countries.
He has studied the paintings of the past great masters, which often include turned objects such as cups, goblets, candlesticks and urns, some from 600 to 2,000 years ago.
“I use an ancient painting as a time machine, studying small details to transport my thoughts of the artist that painted it. Glaring errors in time quickly stand out. For example, fine glassware on the table of the “Last Supper” by some artists is anachronistic. Usually though, the items and settings around the primary subject in works will tell volumes about the daily life of the people at that time in history. Furniture style and how it was constructed, and buildings’ interiors and exteriors give a hint of how professional architects and designers conceived their work. I believe turned objects are timeless and are appreciated and loved today as they were long ago.”
Gahimer’s philosophy? You may have noticed that all too often the real artisans of something we admire are not the ones honored. Who were the workmen who built Pharaoh’s tomb? Who remembers the men who built and crafted the elegant furnishings of the Titanic? Who built the Golden Gate Bridge? Did we ever hear the names of the engineers and technicians who built the Mars rovers and who made the turnings that were used as props in the great masters’ paintings?
Gahimer has traced his ancestry back to the Rheine Phaltz in Germany in the 1100s.
They were knights and artisan carvers. His mother’s French ancestors emigrated from the Nance Region of France in the 1640s to North America and were winemakers and artisans.
Watching his mother, Girtha Marie Boyer, paint instilled an interest in art in him.
Follow this link to see some samples and his current pieces for sale. To contact Dave, please follow this link.