Bordentown Historical Society has famed painting successfully restored

The newly restored painting of Francis Hopkinson by artist and Bordentown resident, Henry Hartman. Photo by Thomas Wiedmann

A treasured item of the Bordentown Historical Society has been restored.

And the painting will have a new home in Bordentown City.

After the Bordentown Historical Society had set out on a successful fundraiser campaign to solicit funds for the restoration of a painting of Francis Hopkinson, they recently received the American historical piece back in time for the Fourth of July.

With an aim to rejuvenate an artifact of local history, the historical society recently began an initiative to restore a portrait of Hopkinson, a famous Bordentown resident who was a founding father and signer of the Declaration of Independence.

“I wanted to get something with name recognition,” said Bordentown Historical Society Co-President Doug Kiovksy. “The other drawing power was the artist who did it as well.”

The painting of Hopkinson, which was created in 1974 for the nation’s Bicentennial in 1976, was painted by Henry Hartman, an artist who was a longtime Bordentown resident as well.

Hartman created many illustrations during his life and was chosen by Dell Publishing Company during the 1950s to create the cover art for their “Lone Ranger” comic book series of which the historical society has a few of them in their collection.

As part of the restoration process for the painting, the historical society solicited funds in their first GoFundMe page campaign as well as other means through social media.

The historical society said they planned to not only restore the painting, but to frame it and showcase it at their meeting house on Farnsworth Avenue as well as various other locations in upcoming years.

Historical society officials said that given the upcoming anniversary of the American Revolution in July 2026, they anticipate to hold events and programs associated with the celebration, while they hope to feature the Hopkinson painting in the processions as well.

As for the design and layout of the portrait’s restoration, Kiovsky said it was the aim of the group to not only restore the portrait itself, but to properly match the framework and detail with an aesthetic look that would properly match its time period.

Kiovsky explained that the painting of Hopkinson serves as much historical value for the nation as much as it does to preserve a part of Bordentown’s rich history.

“To me, he invokes patriotism because he and many others sacrificed their principals and lives against the strongest opposing military force in the world in order to lay down the foundation for a new nation, and to ensure the liberties that have been bestowed upon us,” Kiovsky said. “Living out our daily lives, we tend to forget about that sometimes.”

In addition to the painting’s aim to pay reverence toward Hopkinson’s attributions to American history, Kiovsky pointed out his contributions to local history.

“We have something to show for [Hopkinson’s ties to Bordentown],” he said. “It’s great history for Bordentown and America. Some people don’t even know that Hopkinson married Joseph Borden’s daughter, so this is a big Hopkinson-Bordentown connection.

“Three generations of the Hopkinson family have strong connections to our American flag, our first national anthem, and the Statute of Liberty – all symbols of freedom,” he said. “You can’t get more patriotic than that,” Kiovsky said.

For those who are interested to see the newly restored portrait in person, they are encouraged to visit the to the Bordentown Historical Society at 302 Farnsworth Ave., Bordentown.

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