Seeking the best-looking painted screens

Written by on September 18, 2013 in Community Bulletin, Featured - No comments

What’s old is new: Sue and Dave Wollner of Canton share custom painted screens by Dee Herget. The screens replicate a mural painted by Alonzo Parks, an itinerant screen and bar painter from S. Linwood Avenue. The original art found under layers of old wall coverings inside the Wollners’ home dates from as early as the 1940s and was once the Ladies Dining Room in Beeche’s Cafe. - Photo by Edwin Remsberg

We want to see your painted screens! If you have one or know that is worth sharing, it could be featured in the Guide, or it could end up being named “The Most Attractive Painted Screen in (East) Baltimore” and win a prize.

It’s not the first time we’ve made this request.

Seventy-three years ago, the Baltimore Guide asked readers, “Your Window—Does it Have a Painted Screen?”

It was 1940, and there were no snapshots, and few owned cameras, so readers sent in verbal descriptions of their screens and others. Seventeen-year-old Ted Schuchat, then a cub reporter at the Guide, visited the entrants with the editor. Schuchat recently celebrated his 90th birthday.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of painted screens in Baltimore. Elaine Eff of the Painted Screen Society reports that the art was pioneered in Baltimore by William Oktavec, a Czech grocer, in 1913. Today, Oktavec’s grandson John Oktovec continues the tradition with an increasing number of other dedicated souls, including local artists Anna Pasqualucci and Monica Broere.

Who better to judge your screens today then the newspaper that has featured them for decades? Join us and the Painted Screen Society to name the Most Attractive Screen. Email your entries in jpeg format to If you have no access to a computer, give us a call and we’ll do our best to accommodate: 410-732-6603.


Do you have an amazing screen? Show us!

Send a photo of your favorite painted screen to and you could see it featured in the Baltimore Guide. Maybe your screen will be named the “Most Attractive Screen” in Baltimore!

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