In celebration of the James A. Michener Art Museum
's 20th anniversary, the Museum hosts a monumental exhibition showcasing over 100 works from its permanent collection, including new and rarely seen acquisitions. An Evolving Legacy: Twenty Years of Collecting at the Michener Art Museum is on view throughout six galleries from June 13, 2009 through January 3, 2010 (closing date subject to change due to construction). From early acquisitions of Pennsylvania Impressionist paintings to more recent additions of modern studio furniture and contemporary video art, the works on display share the story of the Museum's vision for its collections while documenting Bucks County's vibrant artistic and cultural heritage.
"By partnering with artists, donors and community organizations over the past two decades, the Museum has built a rich and varied collection that reveals the changing relationships of artists to their physical and cultural environments as well as the dynamic technical and conceptual innovations that are part of the vibrant Bucks County visual arts tradition," says Constance Kimmerle, the Museum's Curator of Collections. "As we culminate a year-long celebration and look ahead towards the Michener's next 20 years, it's a delight to present a wide selection of the Museum's most outstanding and fascinating works, as well as a number of our newest acquisitions."
An Evolving Legacy features both historic and contemporary art including portraits, figure studies, narrative and genre paintings, landscapes and decorative arts. The exhibition will be housed in six galleries, each of which explores different aspects of the rich history of the Bucks County artistic tradition and reveals the extraordinary growth of the Museum's collection. Among the highlights are a Frederick Harer (1879-1948) Arts and Crafts style desk and side chair (ca. 1930, walnut with pear and ebony inlay); Phillip Lloyd Powell's (1919-2008) carved and sculpted walnut fireplace (ca. 1956-58) from the New Hope showroom he shared with designer Paul Evans from 1955 until 1966; Mark Sfirri's (b. 1952) wall sculpture Rejects from the Bat Factory-Exotics (2006); sketchbooks of painter William Langson Lathrop (1859-1938) and framemaker Bernard "Ben" Badura (1896-1986); and Catherine Jansen's (b. 1950) full-scale soft sculpture room environment The Blue Room (1970).