James A. Michener Art Museum James A. Michener Art Museum
Doylestown, PA
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James A. Michener Art Museum
138 S. Pine St.
Doylestown, PA 18901

Email: info@michenerartmuseum.org


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Nakashima Looks: Studio Furniture at the Michener

The Art of Seating: Two Hundred Years of American Design

Frank Hyder: The Janis Project

Leslie Pontz: Integration

Bridging Two American Muralists: Daniel Garber and Edward Steichen

Daniel Garber’s Poetry of Light


Nakashima Looks: Studio Furniture at the Michener
March 2, 2019 - July 7, 2019
Beans Gallery

Curated by Mira Nakashima, Guest Curator

Nakashima Looks highlights the Michener’s long-standing focus on Studio Furniture while providing a window to the Museum’s future direction. Renowned artist Mira Nakashima turns her eye towards the Museum’s Studio Furniture Collection. Rooted in its deep commitment to George Nakashima’s legacy, the Michener has continued to collect and exhibit modern and contemporary craft, including fine examples of Mira Nakashima’s own work as well as work by Paul Evans (1931–1987), Jack Larimore (b. 1950), Robert Whitley (b. 1924), and Mark Sfirri (b. 1952), among others. Select loans round out Mira’s intimate look at craft furniture at the Michener, including pieces by Wharton Esherick (1887–1970), Harry Bertoia (1915–1978), Sam Maloof (1916–2009), and both generations of the Nakashima family. For a limited time, visitors will have the rare opportunity to immerse themselves in the Nakashima legacy as well as the broader context of furniture design on view in both the Nakashima Looks and The Art of Seating exhibitions.

Nakashima Looks: Studio Furniture at the Michener is generously supported by RAGO. Additional support is provided by Judy and Seth Blau.

The Art of Seating: Two Hundred Years of American Design
February 9, 2019 - May 5, 2019
Paton | Smith | Della Penna-Fernberger Galleries

Curated by Ben Thompson, Deputy Director at the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville

The Art of Seating: Two Hundred Years of American Design organized by The Museum of Contemporary Art, Jacksonville, Florida, presents a survey of exceptional American chair design from the early 19th century to the present day. The chair is experienced not only as a functional item, but as sculptural in view—the chair as art. Each of the more than 40 chairs in the exhibition was chosen for its beauty and historical context with important social, economic, political and cultural influences. Selections from the Jacobsen Collection of American Art are joined by contemporary designs offering a stylistic journey in furniture with showstoppers by John Henry Belter, George Hunzinger, Herter Brothers, Stickley Brothers, Frank Lloyd Wright, Charles and Ray Eames, Eero Saarinen, Isamu Noguchi, and Frank Gehry, among others.

The Art of Seating provides audiences with a unique opportunity to see chair types that usually reside in private homes, withheld from public display. The American Chair Collection, the center of this exhibition, is an amazing and comprehensive private collection of iconic and historic chairs reaching back from the mid-1800s to pieces from today’s studio movement.The exhibition provides an opportunity to see readily recognizable pieces alongside those rarely seen by the public.

The Art of Seating: Two Hundred Years of American Design is generously supported by Visit Bucks County and Tom and Alycia Scannapieco. Additional support is provided by Barbara Donnelly Bentivoglio and Dr. Lamberto Bentivoglio, EwingCole, and Jane M. Yeuroukis, Inc., Interior Designs.

The Art of Seating is organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Jacksonville, in collaboration with the Thomas H. and Diane DeMell Jacobsen Ph.D. Foundation and is toured by International Arts & Artists, Washington, D.C.

Frank Hyder: The Janis Project
Through March 10, 2019
Pfundt Gallery and Sculpture Garden

Curated by Louise Feder, Guest Curator

Frank Hyder, who splits his time between Philadelphia and Miami, has become known for working across a variety of media. His paintings and sculpture have been widely exhibited in venues such as the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art’s Museum of American Art, the Carnegie Museum in California, the La Salle Museum of Art in Philadelphia, and the National Museum of Catholic Art and History in New York among others. Hyder has also created several public art works, including three murals through the City of Philadelphia’s Mural Arts Program: Hanging Garden of I-95, Honey’s Garden, and Bell’s Pond.

Hyder’s fascination with the public sphere has manifested in a multimedia experience titled The Janis Project. Begun in 2015 and still continuing today, Hyder has created over a dozen large-scale, double-faced inflatable sculptures of heads. Hyder states of The Janis Project that each head, “which at once references Moai of Easter Island, Olmec heads and, the ancient Roman god of new endeavors, at the same time has its roots in street art and inflatable toys…Janis carries a message of equality and good will and dares to step out of the normal world of Art museums or Art Galleries to be among us. Made of resilient nylon and paint, Janis has found a place to make us all consider issues with a smile that often divide us.”

Through Oceania Cruise Line’s Artist in Residence program, Janis traveled the entire coast of Europe form Istanbul to St. Petersburg, including the British Isles. The Janis Project continues to travel the world with its growing number of sculptures and will land at the Michener in November of 2018. The Museum will play host to several Janis sculptures as well as a selection of watercolors made during and in response to Hyder’s journey around the world with his sculptures.

The exhibition program in the Bette and Nelson Pfundt Gallery is presented by Vivian Banta and Robert Field.

The installations in the Outdoor Sculpture Gardens are sponsored by Silverman Family Partnerships.

Leslie Pontz: Integration
November 3, 2018 - February 17, 2019
Beans Gallery

Curated by Louise Feder, Guest Curator

Leslie Pontz’s work deals with topics such as community, conflict, and growth by applying the vocabulary of textiles to materials not commonly associated with the medium. Rusted tools find a home with soft woven pieces while metal is crocheted like yarn. These surprising juxtapositions of materials makes categorizing Pontz’s work difficult; it is sculpture, it is fabric, it is installation.

Her work also, in many cases, invites participation from its viewers. Whether following a meditative journey proscribed by Pontz in and around her work, or by literally rearranging portions of her sculptural pieces, viewers are both invited to be shaped by Pontz’s work and shape it themselves. The story of Pontz’s own life, that of her community, and visitors to the Museum will be woven together in the exhibition by participation, conversation, and collaboration.

Artist Statement:
I remember thinking on my first visit to the desert how glorious it was with its grayed colors and hard shapes and soft sand and prickly textures. There were so many contrasts in this quiet world of sand and lizards. Yet from the very first moment that I experienced this environment, it seemed so peaceful, full of shapes and textures that did not seem to go together but definitely wanted to live together. Since that time I have continued to be intrigued with exploring the juxtaposition of contrasting elements that are far more exciting existing together than independently. By combining materials like crocheted metal, silk organza, thread, and rusted industrial elements, I am able to explore this concept of co-existing contrasts that constantly reminds me that life itself presents an array of conflicts that always need balancing.

The rawness of my finished work is an integral part of the artistic statement. It is a statement that stretches the boundaries of “shoulds” and “should nots,” of perfection and imperfection. I find it very invigorating to work without pre-set boundaries and rules, because that gives me an energy that I believe transfers to the “canvas” as I push the materials around until the finished piece emerges. Working with this kind of an open mindset also provides me with a sense of freedom. There is no such thing as a mistake, and that is a wonderful freedom.

Leslie Pontz: Integration is generously supported by The Coby Foundation, Ltd., and Virginia W. Sigety, cabi Fashion Stylist.

Bridging Two American Muralists: Daniel Garber and Edward Steichen
Through April 15, 2019
Putman | Smith Gallery

Through a new partnership with Art Bridges the Michener Art Museum is advancing the history of American art by mounting Edward Steichen’s rarely seen suite of seven large-scale murals, In Exaltation of Flowers (1910-1914), alongside the permanent installation of a keystone in the Museum collection—Daniel Garber’s A Wooded Watershed (1926).

This special installation builds on new scholarship that has emerged from the Michener in recent years through cross-institutional relationships designed to widen the lens and perspectives of artists working in the Delaware Valley by placing them in context with key innovators from around the country. Creating an immersive mural installation with compelling contrasts, the Michener aims to provide visitors with a unique cultural learning opportunity that sheds new light on two major, rare, large-scale works by distinct, significant American artists.

Bridging Two American Muralists allows visitors to see how artists engaged with their environment to present their own viewpoints—Garber’s work, representing the idealized depiction of the Delaware River with its native plantings and geography, is juxtaposed with Steichen’s work, a symbolic painting utilizing nature and flowers that he cultivated as the basis and inspiration for its composition. Nature has informed these two artists in their own unique ways; yet, while they each employ a distinct vision, they are grounded in the American art tradition of using natural elements as inspirations in their work.

An accompanying school-based initiative and standardized curriculum, The River Flows Through Art: A Catalyst for Change, will engage 300 youth in mural-making projects and Museum field trips that encapsulate the theme of nature throughout the exhibition.

The Michener is delighted to partner with Art Bridges for this special installation. Established in 2017 by arts patron and philanthropist Alice Walton, Arts Bridges, Inc., aims to facilitate new thinking within the museum world, by enabling the development of collaborative exhibitions and collection sharing initiatives—across institutions of all sizes and geographic regions—that create dynamic new scholarship and exciting visitor experiences of American art.

This installation is made possible through Art Bridges, Inc.

Daniel Garber’s Poetry of Light
September 12, 2018 - April 14, 2019
Putman | Smith Gallery

On view in the Putman Smith Gallery through April 14, 2019, Poetry of Light is a special installation of works by renowned artist Daniel Garber (1880-1958) that examines the incredible craftsmanship for which he is known: close, almost tapestry-like brushstrokes; a restrained use of color; and, most importantly, his dramatic use of light.

At the cornerstone of the installation is Garber’s highly acclaimed portrait of his daughter, Tanis, for which he was recognized with the National Academy prize in 1915. Accompanying Tanis are eleven additional works, including paintings and drawings, that illustrate the “dual sensibility” as a decorative and realist painter for which Garber is known. This special installation allows viewers to look across genres and mediums, revealing the artist’s skill, style, unique sensibility, and masterful handling of light, and illuminates Garber’s legacy as one of the most influential figures in American art.

This is one in a series of American art exhibitions created through a multi-year, multi-institutional partnership formed by the Philadelphia Museum of Art as part of the Art Bridges + Terra Foundation Initiative.

Launched in 2017, the Art Bridges + Terra Foundation Initiative is a joint grant program of Art Bridges and the Terra Foundation for American Art that aims to generate exhibitions at more than 50 arts venues nationwide. The initiative supports multi-year, multi-institutional exhibition partnerships among groups that include a metropolitan museum and institutions in primarily non-metropolitan areas that work together to engage local communities with outstanding works of American art. Sharing collections and resources, these collaborative partners create a series of exhibitions of art of the United States that are content rich, include in-depth educational and interpretive materials, and are designed to meet a spectrum of audience interests. The grants also foster professional-development exchanges between partners and across groups.

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