Montclair’s Iconic Rooster Mural Has Lost Its Painter

Thomas Reitter, who painted Montclair’s iconic Rooster mural on Park Street in 1980, died on February 5. Reitter was 71.

From Reitter’s obituary:


Thom graduated from Chatham High then went to the Newark School of Fine and Industrial Arts; he was a fine arts artist painting in oils and watercolor. Many paintings adorn people’s homes. His claim to fame is the Rooster mural in Montclair NJ which he originally painted in 1980 and has repainted it every ten years, the last being 2019. His work is magical, full of realism and fantasy intertwined.

The mural is so beloved it has its own Facebook page, where fans shared stories about its origins. For years, the Rooster was one of the only murals in Montclair, until an initiative led by Montclair Center BID resulted in the creation of many more.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. So sorry to hear about Thomas’s passing. Walking out of the Y in the early 80’s after a workout that rooster would greet you along with the smell of fried chicken. Who could resist?

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