Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art
Artists of the Commonwealth: Realism in Pennsylvania Painting, 1950-2000
During 2001-2002, art lovers will have an opportunity to enjoy the fruits of a two-year project resulting in the seminal exhibition "Artists of the Commonwealth: Realism in Pennsylvania Painting, 1950-2000." This exhibition is the outcome of rural and suburban art museums in Pennsylvania banding together with the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts to produce a visual arts traveling exhibition program. This partnership, formed in 1998, involves the Erie Art Museum, the Michener (James A.) Art Museum and the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art. These museums face the daunting challenge of serving populations with limited access to cultural resources; at the same time, these organizations have limited staff and financial resources. Thus, they have formed a partnership to produce programming that educates and enlightens their audiences while best utilizing each institution's resources. One product of this partnership is a traveling exhibition, "Artists of the Commonwealth: Realism in Pennsylvania Painting, 1950-2000," another is the development of "picturepa.com," the first web site dedicated to state, national and international marketing of traveling Pennsylvania-based exhibitions.
"Artists of the Commonwealth: Realism in Pennsylvania Painting, 1950-2000" is an extensive and monumental exhibition that traces the history of realist painting in Pennsylvania during the latter half of the 20th century. Organized by the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art in Loretto, the exhibition features 23 paintings from nationally and internationally recognized artists including Andrew Wyeth, Bo Bartlett, Philip Pearlstein, and Andy Warhol. Artists were selected for their influence and contributions to national movements in Modern Art and to the direction of art in Pennsylvania since 1950.
This exhibition will debut at the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art at Loretto on April 6 through June 10, 2001, and then will then travel to the Erie Museum of Art, where it will be open to the public from June 23 - September 16, 2001. Then, it will be installed from September 29, 2001 through January 6, 2002 at the James A. Michener Art Museum in Doylestown, followed by showings at the State Museum in Harrisburg, and the Everhart Museum in Scranton during its 18-month tour.
The Realism style, in which subjects are portrayed in a straightforward manner rather than idealizing them, was the prevailing style of the late 19th Century. Realism experienced a renaissance in the latter part of the 20th Century with the introduction of Pop Art. Numerous Pennsylvania artists are credited with influencing this style including Thomas Eakins, Mary Cassatt, Benjamin Peale, and Andrew Wyeth. The Commonwealth holds a prominent place in the development of Realism in American painting.
Included in the exhibition are:
These artists reached their mature style after 1950 and were either born in Pennsylvania, educated there, or have been long-time residents. Further, the artistic styles represented in the exhibition demonstrate the extraordinary diversity to be found within the Realism genre: the hyper-realism associated with the Photorealist movement, the fantastic and symbolic realism drawn from the subconscious, and the distillation of "representationalism" into the bold design elements of form and color. It is the hope of the exhibition's organizers that "Artists of the Commonwealth" will demonstrate the commitment of the artists represented to Pennsylvania's Realist tradition.
Other selected articles on Pennsylvania representational art:
Pennsylvania art msueums covered by this magazine:
rev. 4/1/01, 8/2/01
Read more about the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art in Resource Library Magazine
Please click on thumbnail images bordered by a red line to see enlargements.
For further biographical information on selected artists cited above please see America's Distinguished Artists, a national registry of historic artists.
This page was originally published in Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information. rev. 5/23/11
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