Category Archives: James A. Michener Art Museum

Gardens

PICTURE-PERFECT GARDENSSet between two flowing fountains and tree-lined pathways, the James A. Michener Art Museum’s Pfundt Sculpture Garden captures the essence of Bucks County’s rolling terrain. Credit: Photo by B. Krist for VISIT PHILADELPHIA®

PHILLY GALLERIES SET THE SCENE FOR PICTURE-PERFECT GARDENS

Art Often Comes With A Side of Floral Beauty In Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA – Throughout the Philadelphia region, art galleries and museums sit amid colorful gardens, quiet woodlands and serene meadows that accentuate the art found in both indoor and outdoor galleries. Here’s a look at some of the region’s museums and attractions that celebrate beauty inside and out:

  • Abington Art Center  This vibrant cultural organization, known for its summer concert series, occupies part of the 27 acres of historic Alverthorpe Manor in Montgomery County. Inside, three galleries show as many as six regional and national art exhibitions annually. Outside, Katasura trees dot a meandering walkway through Sculpture Park, which is open and free to the public 365 days a year. 515 Meetinghouse Road, Jenkintown(215) 887-4882abingtonartcenter.org
  • The Barnes Arboretum & Foundation In suburban Merion, the Barnes Foundation’s 12-acre arboretum is astonishingly diverse for its size, with more than 2,500 varieties of woody and herbaceous plants, many rare. The arboretum opens to visitors May to September. The Barnes Foundation on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway honors its horticultural legacy with landscaped lawns, trees, park, fountain, contemplative walkways and outdoor seating on its 4.5-acre site. That location’s Garden Restaurant also features outdoor courtyard dining, while internal gardens throughout the building encourage visitors to imagine they are strolling directly into the landscapes they’re admiring on the walls. Arboretum, 300 N. Latch’s Lane, Merion, (215) 278-7200; Foundation, 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway(215) 278-7200barnesfoundation.org  
  • Brandywine River Museum of Art  It takes just one glimpse of the Virginia bluebells, Cardinal flowers and holly and bayberry bushes that border this onetime gristmill to understand why this landscape has served as muse for so many local artists. The Brandywine River Museum is internationally known for its unparalleled collection of works by three generations of Wyeths and its fine collection of American art. Outside, visitors can join guided walks through the wildflower and native plant gardens, which were dedicated by Lady Bird Johnson and, during the annual plant sale on Mother’s Day weekend, can take home seeds cultivated right on the grounds, as well as lovely in-bloom plants. 1 Hoffman’s Mill Road, Chadds Ford(610) 388-2700brandywinemuseum.org  
  • James A. Michener Art Museum This Bucks County destination is home to the Edgar N. Putman Event Pavilion, a 2,700-square-foot indoor-outdoor space designed by architecture firm KieranTimberlake. The pavilion showcases museum programs—jazz nights, lectures, lively family events—within an elegant, all-glass structure that extends into the Patricia Pfundt Sculpture Garden. Inside, the museum’s eight galleries accommodate special exhibitions and a 3,000-piece permanent collection, including many Pennsylvania impressionist paintings that capture the essence of the county’s rolling terrain. 138 S. Pine Street(215) 340-9800, Doylestown, michenerartmuseum.org  
  • Penn Museum – After viewing the impressive collection of international art and artifacts inside this historic University of Pennsylvania museum, visitors can relax in two magnificent gardens. The Warden Garden, now wheelchair accessible, features a classic koi pool, expansive lawns and mosaics created by Louis Comfort Tiffany. The Stoner Courtyard, built on the philosophy that places for nature are necessary in our built-up world, includes sculptural pieces by A.S. Calder, a cobblestone walkway and a beautiful marble fountain. Inside, guests marvel at ancient objects including African and Native American masks, Maya sculpture and Egyptian mummies. 3260 South Street(215) 898-4000penn.museum
  • Philadelphia Museum of Art Best known for its international exhibitions and world-renowned collections of more than 240,000 works, the crown jewel of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway is more than a museum. It’s also the unofficial gateway to Fairmount Park. The museum’s bi-level sculpture garden, with its combination of terraces, lawns, flora and water features, showcases an ever-changing sculpture collection overlooking Fairmount Park, the Schuylkill River, the four-acre Azalea Garden and the grand, neoclassical Fairmount Water Works. Works on display include large-scale pieces by Claes Oldenburg Ellsworth Kelly and Sol LeWitt. 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway(215) 763-8100philamuseum.org
  • Rodin Museum Movie-theater magnate, philanthropist and Rodin collector Jules Mastbaum, known for his eye for elegance, hired architects Paul Cret and Jacques Gréber to create this jewel-box museum. The venue’s intimate settings are perfect for taking in the extensive Rodin collection, one of the greatest single collections of his work outside Paris. Visitors seem to enjoy the front garden’s reflecting pool and tapestry of magnolia trees, shrubs and colorful flowers—some dating back to the 1920s—as much as they do The Thinker and Eternal Springtime. 2151 Benjamin Franklin Parkway(215) 763-8100rodinmuseum.org  
  • Second Bank of the United States – Inside this Parthenon-like structure is a first-rate collection of approximately 200 historic portraits of Founding Fathers, early leaders, explorers and others, many by Charles Willson Peale. Just steps away are several gardens. The Signers’ Garden, with native plants and trees, commemorates the creators of Declaration of the Independence. The 18th-Century Garden replicates formal English gardens of the day with geometrically patterned raised flowerbeds, walking paths, and a pergola. The Rose Garden and Magnolia Garden are secluded, colorful and fragrant refuges. Second Bank, 420 Chestnut Street; Signers’, 5th & Chestnut Streets; 18th-Century, Walnut Street between 3rd & 4th Streets; Rose and Magnolia, Locust Street between 4th & 5th Streets; (215) 965-2305nps.gov/inde  
  • Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library Textiles, paintings, prints, furniture and ceramics dating from 1640 to 1860 make the former home of Henry Francis du Pont a favorite for fans of Americana. Nature enthusiasts are drawn to the 60-acre garden nestled in the 1,000-acre country estate. Highlights of the garden include eight acres of azaleas, naturalized bulbs displays, peonies and primroses. Trails lead from the garden through rolling meadow, woodlands and waterways. If the kids get antsy, a short trip across the Troll Bridge leads to the Faerie Cottage in the Enchanted Woods. 5105 Kennett Pike, Winterthur, Delaware(800) 448-3883winterthur.org
  • Woodmere Art Museum – At the top of the Chestnut Hill neighborhood of Philadelphia, this gem of a venue tells stories of Philadelphia’s art and artists, including N.C. Wyeth, Benjamin West and Violet Oakley, as well as new and emerging contemporary artists. The 19th-century stone Victorian mansion sits on six acres dotted with sculptures by Dina Wind and other Philadelphia-area artists surrounding Harry Bertoia’s sinuous fountain sculpture, Free Interpretation of Plant Forms9201 Germantown Avenue(215) 247-0476woodmereartmuseum.org

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Virtually

Virtually Rudy, Michener Art MuseumCharles Rudy with Cornish Red Chicken

Michener Art Museum to Present Innovative Sculpture Exhibition

Virtually Rudy: New Dimensions in Sculpture opens on February 17, 2018

DOYLESTOWN, PA–Beginning February 17, 2018, the James A. Michener Art Museum will present Virtually Rudy: New Dimensions in Sculpture, an innovative sculpture exhibition that joins 20th century art with 21st century technology. Nine sculptures by artist Charles Rudy (1904-1986) will be on display alongside three-dimensional representations made possible through a partnership with the Google Cultural Institute.

Through Google Cardboard viewers, visitors will be able to explore the sculptures in virtual-reality mode. The exhibition will be on view through April 8, 2018.

“This is a first-of-a-kind show–not only for the Michener, but for many art museums in the United States,” said Adrienne Neszmelyi-Romano, director of interpretation and innovation, who co-curated the exhibition with assistant curator Louise Feder. “We are very proud that our museum, which has long been committed to showcasing the work of important regional artists, is also at the forefront of technology, and is taking a leading role in understanding how technology can enhance the visitor experience.”

The James A. Michener Art Museum was the first institution on the East Coast to partner with the Google Cultural Institute 3D Operations team to digitize objects from its permanent collection, making 26 objects–including 15 of Rudy’s sculptures–accessible in 3D in 2015 to a global audience. Virtually Rudy pairs the tangible with the intangible, presenting scan and sculpture side by side for the first time. A graduate of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Charles Rudy achieved national status as a sculptor for his work on public buildings across the country as well as for his prize-winning sculptures. His most notable commissions include the Noah on the Bronx post office in New York and the Sun Seaman’s Memorial in Delaware. In 1936, Rudy and his wife purchased a 70-acre farm in Ottsville, Pennsylvania, where he located his studio. His sculptures of farm animals, several of which are featured in this exhibition, are said to have been inspired by his time spent on his farm. A 1942 Guggenheim fellow, Rudy taught as the head of Cooper Union’s sculpture department for ten years. He also held teaching positions at the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Art, Michigan State College, and Philadelphia Museum School of Art.

Through a partnership with the Perkiomen School in Pennsburg, PA, 3D-printed reproductions of Rudy’s sculptures will be available for visitors to handle, and live demonstrations of the 3D printing process will take place during visiting hours. The 3D printer and the models will be provided by the school’s Entrepreneur Institute, the students of its additive manufacturing class, and the Perk Tech Hub. Throughout the exhibition, museum visitors can register to win 3D-printed models of the sculptures through periodic drawings.

For more information and to purchase tickets in advance, visit MichenerArtMuseum.org.

Thank you to the James A. Michener Art Museum for the content of this post.

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Form

Charles Sheeler, Michener Art MuseumBobbi Arnst (click photos for large images)

James A. Michener Art Museum Will Present Groundbreaking Exhibition

Charles Sheeler: Fashion, Photography,
and Sculptural Form 

Multimedia retrospective to display never-before-seen photographs from a modernist icon created during his five-year tenure at Condé Nast

DOYLESTOWN, PA – In March 2017, the James A. Michener Art Museum will present Charles Sheeler: Fashion, Photography, and Sculptural Form, a groundbreaking exhibition that features never-before-seen photographs by Charles Sheeler, one of America’s most celebrated modernists. Inspired by Sheeler’s portrait and fashion work for Condé Nast from 1926 to 1931, the multimedia show will feature a significant display of these newly discovered photographs as well as paintings and other photographs created by Sheeler, 1920s fashion ensembles, and Sheeler-designed textiles. Evoking the exuberance, glamour, and promise of the Jazz Age, the exhibition will be on view from March 18 through July 9, 2017.

Charles Sheeler, Michener Art MuseumAldous Huxley

A Philadelphia native, former Doylestown resident, and Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts alumnus, Charles Sheeler is one of the founding figures of American modernism. In 1910, Sheeler and fellow artist Morton Schamberg searched for a place to retreat from Philadelphia to sketch. They found a creative and inspirational escape in Doylestown, making their home at the historic Worthington House on Mercer Avenue. It was here, a mile and a half from where the Michener Art Museum now stands, that Sheeler began to explore photography in earnest.

Charles Sheeler, Michener Art MuseumIna Clare as Betsy Ross

Sheeler’s fashion and portrait photography for Condé Nast, however, has been almost universally dismissed as purely commercial, a painter’s “day job,” and nothing more. In reality, this commercial work was instrumental in shaping his aesthetic vision. Trained in an impressionist approach to landscape painting, Sheeler experimented early in his career with compositions inspired by European modernism before developing a linear, hard-edged style now known as Precisionism. While working in this mode, he produced powerful and compelling images of the Machine Age: skyscrapers, factories, and power plants, images that established his reputation as a leading figure in American art. Charles Sheeler: Fashion, Photography, and Sculptural Form will show that his dramatic viewpoints, rhythmic patterning, and abstract compositions were influenced by his work at Condé Nast.

Charles Sheeler, Michener Art MuseumMadame Lasse

“This exhibition will show how Sheeler’s modernist vision was refined over the course of his time at Condé Nast,” said Kirsten M. Jensen, Ph.D., the Gerry & Marguerite Lenfest Chief Curator at the Michener Art Museum and curator of the exhibition. “It was while there he fine-tuned his particular style-objective, distant, and rigorously formal-that he then applied to all of his subsequent work.

The core of the exhibition is 85 portraits and fashion photographs from this period, on loan from the Condé Nast archives. Models adorned in jewels and couture gowns, literary giants of the era, and Broadway actors and Ziegfeld Follies dancers: the subject matter is as sensational as the Jazz Age itself. The exhibition also features select prints from Sheeler’s famous Doylestown House series as well as his photographs of modern sculpture and early portraiture, the film Manhatta (a collaboration with Paul Strand), period costumes on loan from the collections of the Museum of the City of New York and Drexel University’s Robert and Penny Fox Historic Costume Collection, and paintings and photographs on loan from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, Columbus Museum of Art, Yale University Art Gallery, Princeton University Art Museum, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and other major institutions.

Charles Sheeler, Michener Art MuseumHelen Menken

“The James A. Michener Art Museum is an especially relevant venue for Charles Sheeler: Fashion, Photography, and Sculptural Form considering Sheeler’s strong ties to the region,” said Lisa Tremper Hanover, director and CEO of the Michener Art Museum. “We’re thrilled to present this unknown body of work in Doylestown, where Sheeler made his first important photographs.”

Complementing the exhibit will be programming that includes lectures, curator talks, a Scholars Day, a film series, musical performances, and a New York-based symposium. For the full schedule, visit the exhibition website at CharlesSheeler.org.

Advance tickets and group tours for Charles Sheeler: Photography, Fashion, and Sculptural Form are available at MichenerArtMuseum.org or by calling 215.340.9800.

A member reception will be held on the evening of March 17, 2017, the day before the exhibition opens for public view. To become a Michener Art Museum member and receive an invitation, visit MichenerArtMuseum.org or call 215.340.9800 x110.

Major support for Charles Sheeler: Fashion, Photography, and Sculptural Form has been provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, with further support from The Coby Foundation, Ltd., Visit Bucks County, an anonymous donor, and the Bucks County Foundation.

Additional funding has been provided by Bonnie J. O’Boyle and Virginia W. Sigety, Independent cabi Stylist.

In-kind support is generously provided by Condé Nast Editions.

About the James A. Michener Art Museum

The James A. Michener Art Museum collects, preserves, interprets and exhibits American art, and promotes the work of nationally and internationally known Delaware Valley artists of all eras and creative disciplines. The museum presents exhibitions that explore a variety of artistic expressions and offers diverse educational programs that develop a lifelong involvement in the arts. Throughout the year, the Michener Art Museum hosts a wide range of programs open to the public, including lectures, artists conversations, gallery talks, artist studio tours, dance performances, jazz performances, family-themed activities, and other events. The museum also offers diverse selection of art classes for children and adults, which include instruction in drawing, painting, sculpting, and printmaking as well as programs for the public, schools, and teachers designed to support arts education. The James A. Michener Art Museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.

The James A. Michener Art Museum is located at 138 South Pine St., Doylestown, PA. The Museum is open Tuesday through Friday, 10:00 am – 4:30 pm; Saturday, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm; and Sunday, noon – 5:00 pm. For more information, visit MichenerArtMuseum.org or call 215.340.9800.

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Thank you to Christine Triantos, James A. Michener Art Museum, Associate Director, Marketing and Communications for the content of this post.

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