A fresh, new look on all fronts

Daniel Garber’s Tanis has returned to our Museum for a six-month stay courtesy of the generosity of Marguerite & Gerry Lenfest and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. She is holding court in the Commonwealth Gallery, surrounded by beautiful canvases from the permanent collection and gracious collectors who have agreed to part with their paintings for our benefit.  Doylestown Borough is partnering with the Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA) with its Inside/Out Program, which brings reproductions of some of the treasures from the PMA’s permanent collection into communities.  Tanis is one of the objects that will be reproduced; the reproduction will be placed on the corner of Pine and Ashland Streets and Michener docents will be leading tours of the various sites on a regular basis.

In February, our Museum received notification that our institution had achieved re-accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums, an acknowledgement of the high standards we bring to all aspects of our program, from exhibitions and education to permanent collection stewardship and exceptional staff and board credentials.

With the maturity of our landscaping and dramatic lighting scheme, and the replacement of our historic slate roof and fresh paint throughout the façade of our main entrance, our Pine Street presence has never been more majestic. We are grateful to Eiseman Construction for their careful attention to detail and for managing a complicated project with minimal disruption for our visitors.

We are grateful to all of you for your investment in the Michener Art Museum’s Annual Fund, exhibitions, education programs, collections, and events as evidenced by our comprehensive listing in the centerfold of this magazine.  The Michener Art Museum is my primary philanthropy, and with so many institutions in this region worthy of our support, we appreciate your commitment to our Museum.

I look forward to thanking you in person during your next visit.

Lisa Tremper Hanover, Director & CEO

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A promising new year

Welcome to a new year of stellar exhibitions, provocative programs, captivating music, and ever-expanding youth programming that keeps us energized through the winter months. The balmy conclusion to 2015 saw over 800 people attend our Holiday Open House, a collaboration with Mercer Museum, numerous school and adult tour groups enjoying the galleries and the outdoor sculpture gardens, and made us a delightful destination for those seeking an alternative to Black Friday shopping. The Museum was fortunate to enlist the services of Eiseman Construction to meticulously replace the original slate roof of the Warden’s House, constructed in 1884. New copper-lined gutters, rounded slate siding, and fresh paint for the soffits and windows will ensure the longevity of our beautiful entrance façade. The good weather helped this project to come in on time and on budget.

In the midst of changing multiple exhibitions and opening our marquee installation, Blanket Statements: New Quilts by Kaffe Fassett and Historical Quilts from the Collection of the Quilt Museum and Gallery, York, UK, we welcomed two colleagues from the museum field for a site visit associated with our reaccreditation application with the American Alliance of Museums (AAM).  The AAM is the national governing body for museums and its imprimatur through accreditation is an important endorsement. The Michener first achieved this honor in 2001. Our colleagues were thoroughly impressed with the Michener’s staff, board, volunteers, exhibitions, visitors, and physical facility from top to bottom. They will submit a report that will be reviewed by the Accreditation Commission in February 2016 and we will learn the outcome in early spring.

2016 also heralds transitions. We welcome several new staff members, introduced on page 25, and say farewell to long-term employee Erika Jaeger-Smith, who has been a part of the Museum’s growth for over 20 years. We extend our appreciation to Jeffrey A. Miller Catering for being a part of the evolution of the Edgar N. Putman Event Pavilion, our premiere space for events and rentals, and welcome Catering By Design to the Michener family.

The Board of Trustees continues to grow with the addition of three new members, and a major transition in Board leadership will ensure continuity and strong oversight of this outstanding institution. We honored outgoing President/Incoming Chairman Louis E. Della Penna on December 14, 2015 with toasts of appreciation for his considerable efforts to steer the Museum through a physical and leadership transformation during his 2012-2015 tenure.  The Della Penna President’s Award was also inaugurated to honor and reward a deserving Museum employee for his or her exceptional efforts throughout the year.  Please join me in thanking Lou for his dedication to the Michener Art Museum.

The Board of Trustees continues to grow with the addition of three new members, and a major transition in Board Leadership with the election of Gregory Church as President.  His expertise will ensure continuity and strong oversight of this outstanding institution.

Lisa Tremper Hanover, Director & CEO

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A new strategic plan

On June 8, 2015, the Michener Art Museum Board of Trustees gave their stamp of approval to the document that will guide our vision and actions from 2015–2020. Our Strategic Plan, Fortifying the Michener Art Museum for the 21st Century, will aid the transformation of the Museum into a cultural touchstone for both new and returning audiences, retaining its identity as a regional treasure while responding to the new environment that museums worldwide must now navigate.

As a result of this planning process, there has been an evolution of employee positions and an investment in strengthening departments with professional staff support and technology.

Fall 2015 brings expanded programmatic offerings in youth and adult art education, music and exhibition specific events, and several opportunities for our Members to participate in very special gatherings with our curators and artists. We will continue our pilot program Art for All that has touched so many dealing with the effects of dementia/Alzheimer’s as patients and caregivers. The Museum’s Docent corps has made a remarkable contribution to this program and has a deep sense of satisfaction with these intimate interactions.

The popular Collector Series returns with three sold-out opportunities to view extraordinary collections and interact with those who are invested in an aesthetic vision. I am grateful to SEI for their generous support of this initiative. And, The Art of Wine, celebrates its Fifth Biennial on October 17, 2015. This is the Museum’s most important and signature fundraiser and your support as a guest and with donations to our Silent and Live Auctions is critical to our ongoing success.

Other important and exciting initiatives include the reimagining of our gallery spaces that will provide fresh interpretation of our treasures, including Redfield’s The Burning of Center Bridge. The Byers Gallery undergoes a make-over and will be dedicated to the Pennsylvania Impressionist stars. With the 2013 installation of Nelson Shanks: A Brush with Reality in the Putman-Smith Gallery, we saw that large-scale, dynamic, and contemporary work shines in this space. Gerry & Marguerite Lenfest Chief Curator Kirsten Jensen is assembling our Modernist holdings that will transform this gallery with color and scale.

I look forward to welcoming you to our Museum!

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