The James A. Michener Art Museum

Posted: January 02, 2019 by Karen Johnson

We here in Bucks County are so lucky to have the wonderful Michener Museum nearby. When is the last time you visited? If it’s been a while you should plan to go soon. The upcoming calendar is amazing!

The James A. Michener Art Museum is a private, non-profit museum in DoylestownBucks CountyPennsylvania, founded in 1988 and named for the Pulitzer Prize–winning writer James A. Michener, a Doylestown resident. It is situated within the old stone walls of a historic 19th-century prison and houses a collection of Bucks County visual arts, along with holdings of 19th- and 20th-century American art. It is noted for its Pennsylvania Impressionism collection, an art colony centered in nearby New Hope during the early 20th century, as well as its changing exhibitions, ranging from international touring shows to regionally focused exhibitions.

The museum collection includes more than 2,700 paintings, sculptures and works on paper from the Bucks County visual arts tradition, dating from Colonial times to the present. The collection includes works by painters of the Pennsylvania Impressionist or New Hope school, American primitive painters, limners and modernists. Works by abstract expressionists are on long-term loan from the Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art, University of Texas at Austin, where James A. Michener and his wife, Mari, donated a major portion of their private art collection. In addition to the permanent exhibitions, the Museum presents 15 changing exhibitions each year. These exhibitions feature a broad spectrum of artistic styles and mediums.

In addition, the museum presents ongoing adult lecture series and workshops that feature art scholars and artists. There are also children’s classes and workshops for children preschool age through high school, inter-generational classes, and school and teacher programs planned in coordination with the area school districts, offered both in the Museum and on site at schools. An extensive archival collection that documents the work of regional artists, both past and present, is preserved and maintained by the Museum.

Permanent exhibits include:

·         The Lenfest Exhibition of Pennsylvania Impressionism

·         The George Nakashima Reading Room

·         Daniel Garber's A Wooded Watershed (22-foot mural painted for the Sesquicentennial Exposition of 1926 held in Philadelphia)

·         Intelligent Design: Studio Craft Tradition

·         "James A. Michener: A Living Legacy" - an exhibit dedicated to the Museum's namesake, James A. Michener. This exhibit recreates his Bucks County office where he wrote Tales of the South Pacific. The exhibit features the desk, chair, typewriter, dictionary and other objects from the office in James A. Michener's Bucks County home where he lived and worked for more than 35 years.

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