Elizabeth Weiffenbach

Elizabeth Weiffenbach (1881–1954) was an art teacher at Lafayette High School in Buffalo, New York, from the school's opening in 1903 until her retirement in 1952. During that period, she influenced artists and architects who went on to local, national, and international renown. They include:

Bruce Shanks (class of 1927), Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoonist; Gordon Bunshaft (class of 1928), noted twentieth-century architect; Frank Kelly Freas (class of 1938), famed science-fiction cover artist; Jeremiah Goodman (class of 1939), known simply as "Jeremiah", painter of interior still lifes of famous residences; and Ted Lewin (class of 1953), artist, author and illustrator of children's books.


The Oracle, Lafayette High School's periodical and yearbook, published continuously from 1903 (as a quarterly) through the present (as a class yearbook), by various publishers. Issues from 1903 through 1954 note Miss Wieffenbach's presence on the school faculty and her notable protégés. Copies are available for viewing in the school's archives room, 370 Lafayette Avenue, Buffalo, New York 14213.

Bruce Shanks

Bruce McKinley Shanks (January 29, 1908 – April 12, 1980) was an American editorial cartoonist who worked for the Buffalo Evening News during the middle of the 20th century. There he won the annual Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning for "The Thinker" (August 10, 1957), which showed "the dilemma of union membership when confronted by corrupt leaders in some labor unions".Shanks was born in Buffalo, New York, the son of George Shanks, who owned a local sign painting business. From 1924 to 1927, he attended Lafayette High School, where he was taught by art instructor Elizabeth Weiffenbach, who later (1936-1939) also influenced the style of science-fiction cover artist Kelly Freas. Shanks began his employment with the Buffalo Evening News as a copy boy. His first cartoons appeared in the sports pages.

One character created by Shanks was Olaf Fub, a name derived from "Buffalo" spelled backward. A drawing of Fub and the phrase, "Olaf Fub sez ..." continued to introduce the commentary of Evening News writers on local events even well after Shanks' death.

Another character who appeared frequently in Shanks' editorial cartoons was John Q. Public. That name was created by Vaughn Shoemaker, another editorial cartoonist, and is now a placeholder name in the United States. Shanks' cartoons were widely distributed by syndicators throughout the U.S. and the world at the height of his career, so he may have contributed to the establishment of the placeholder.

Beside the Pulitzer, Shanks won eight Freedoms Foundation awards and several Page One Awards from the American Newspaper Guild.

During World War II, Shanks served in the U.S. Army from 1942–45. He died in Palm Beach, Florida in 1980.

Frank Kelly Freas

Frank Kelly Freas (August 27, 1922 – January 2, 2005) was an American science fiction and fantasy artist with a career spanning more than 50 years. He was known as the "Dean of Science Fiction Artists" and he was the second artist inducted by the Science Fiction Hall of Fame.

Jeremiah Goodman

Jeremiah Goodman (October 22, 1922 – September 7, 2017) was an illustrator who signed his work with his first name only. Goodman used his unique painting style to create the essence of a building's interior. His painting interprets the plans of both architects and interior designers. He painted original portraits of spaces for both commercial and private clients. For almost twenty years he created the covers for Interior Design magazine, and also books on interiors and for murals.

Lafayette High School (Buffalo, New York)

Lafayette High School was a public high school in Buffalo, New York. At the time of its closing, it was the oldest public school in [Buffalo that remains in its original building; a stone, brick and terra-cotta structure in the French Renaissance Revival style, by architects August Esenwein and James A. Johnson. Although classes began off-site during construction of the school, the building was completed, and graduated its first class, in 1903. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. It is located in Buffalo's Upper West Side at 370 Lafayette Avenue.

The name 'Lafayette High School' was phased out beginning in 2015, graduating its final class in 2018, and was replaced by Lafayette International High School and Newcomers Academy. Classes will continue to be held in the historic building.

Ted Lewin

Theodore Peter Lewin (born May 6, 1935) simply known as a pen name Ted Lewin is an American illustrator and writer of children's books. Lewin and his wife Betsy Lewin drew on their travels to exotic places such as the Amazon River, Botswana, Egypt, Lapland, the Sahara Desert, and India when collaborating on their many books. Lewin has illustrated over 100 books for children and young adults in the past 20 years.

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