Structure & Sound Opens Next Week

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I am delighted to add Harry Bertoia to our community of artists by curating Harry Bertoia: Structure and Sound. Bertoia was a colleague to many of the craft and design artists in our collection so there is a great synergy between his work and our holdings.

Born in Italy, Harry Bertoia (1915-1978) was a resident of Barto, Pennsylvania, where he created his well-known sonambient or tonal sounding sculptures and designed furniture for Knoll, Inc.

His early studies in printmaking and metalworking at the Cranbrook Academy of Art informed his work throughout his career. Drawing, too, was an important part of the artist’s creative process, and many of his compositions articulate his planning and experimentation for sculpture.

In 1950, at the invitation of the Knoll furniture design company, he moved to eastern Pennsylvania and designed, among other pieces, the Bertoia Diamond Chair series, which became part of the modern furniture movement.

The tonal is the sculpture that is most often associated with Harry Bertoia. Sizes vary from a few inches up to 19 feet. Steel, copper and brass were the common metals used for the rods, which are capped with cylinders or drops of metal. These features, by their weight, influence the swaying of the tonal rods and the tenor of sound they emit.

Bertoia’s home and studio, including a barn space installation of 75 tonals of varying heights, is still maintained by his son, artist Val Bertoia. He occasionally arranges symphonic musical performances. Album recordings made by Harry Bertoia will be included in the installation so that the visitor will leave with a sensory as well as aesthetic experience.

Bertoia also explored jewelry making, crafting organic forms of silver and copper. Many of these one-of-a-kind pieces were exhibited through the Nierendorf Gallery in New York which also supported the artist with a stipend so he could continue his printwork and jewelry.

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Arts & Culture Award

Arts & Culture Award

The Arts & Cultural Council of Bucks County held its annual member reception at the Michener Art Museum and presented Director and CEO Lisa Tremper Hanover with an award in honor of the museum’s 25th anniversary.

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Branford Marsalis Drummer Justin Faulkner Comes to the Michener

Justin Faulkner drummer from Branford Marsalis QuartetFresh from an appearance with Branford Marsalis on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Justin Faulkner  will play Jazz Night at the Michener Art Museum April 27.

The New York Times recently cited Faulkner as one of “Five drummers whose time is now.” He is quoted as saying, “So what you’re feeling and hearing should go from within to the drums. If you’re not feeling what you’re playing, then you’re just meandering… If the music doesn’t build, what’s it going to do?”

“Justin Faulkner is really hot right now,” says Director of Programs Zoriana Siokalo. “He’s so in demand, we’re lucky to be able to bring him to the Michener.”

For the last three years, Justin Faulkner has been the drummer of choice for Branford Continue reading

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Michener Showcases Shared American Culture in ‘Infinite Mirror’

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American artists of African, Arab, European, Asian, Latino and Native American descent explore their heritage in Infinite Mirror: Images of American Identity, on view at the Michener Art Museum April 13 through July 7, 2013.

Renowned artists Paul Keene, Tomie Arai, Luis Jimenez, Jacob Lawrence and Faith Ringgold are among the culturally-diverse artists who use portraiture and figuration to examine issues of race, gender, religion, history, politics and family. The exhibit, comprised Continue reading

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The Brush is Mightier than the Sword

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The Michener Art Museum is fortunate to have in its collection many examples of paintings and works on paper that both celebrate daily life and reveal the plight of the homeless and the hungry. The Brush Is Mightier than the Sword: Twentieth-Century Works from the Michener Art Museum Collection, now on view in the museum’s Commonwealth Gallery, focuses on the tradition of “art with a conscience”—art that’s meant to open our eyes and change the world.

This form has a long and colorful history, but truly came into its own in the tumult and ferment of the first half of the 20th century.

“It’s easy to forget how bad things were when President Franklin Roosevelt said, ‘The only Continue reading

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