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Allentown Impressions: Views of City Parks

October 24, 2004 - February 13, 2005

 

(above: Bill Hudders, American b. 1964, Summer Light, Trexler Park, 2004, oil on canvas. Courtesy of the artist.)

 

Historic and contemporary paintings of Allentown parks, many requested specifically for the occasion, celebrate the life and legacy of General Harry C. Trexler in Allentown Impressions: Views of City Parks, on view in the Allentown Art Museum's Rodale Gallery October 24, 2004, through February 13, 2005. The exhibition honors the Trexlers' enduring inspiration and support, which for decades have promoted the enjoyment of Allentown's expansive park system. It will be celebrated with a preview party, on Saturday, October 23, 2004, from 6-8 P.M. at the Museum (program and event information follows), where visitors will have the opportunity to meet and greet the artists. (right: Sandra Corpora, American b. 1947, January Morning, Lehigh Parkway, 2004, oil on panel. Courtesy of the artist.)

Allentown Impressions is intended as an aesthetic complement to Paths to Impressionism: French and American Landscape Paintings, a major exhibition of Impressionist and Barbizon painting on view concurrently in the Museum's Kress Gallery. It is also a visual testimony to two jewels in the crown of the greater Lehigh Valley: the splendid parks and the many talented artist of the region.

The exhibition commemorates two celebratory occasions: the 150th birthday of General Harry C. Trexler and the 70th anniversary of the Trexler Trust. Since 1957, the Trust has supported the Allentown Art Museum with major grants towards operating expenses and important exhibitions including Charles Sheeler in Doylestown (1997) and now, Paths to Impressionism. The keynote is John Berninger's delightful view of the Allentown Art Museum's earlier home (1936-1956) in the Rose Garden. Berninger was the Museum's curator and lived on the building's second floor. His painting is a visual and symbolic link between the Museum and Trexler's parks. (right: Dana van Horn, American b. 1950, West Park at Night, 2004, watercolor on paper. Collection of artist.)

Also included are contemporary works by Thomas F. Burke, William Christine, Sandra Corpora, Cheryl Agulnick Hochberg, William S. Hudders, Linda La Due, Ben Fortunado Marcune, Kurt Moyer, Donna Needs, John Opie, Peter D. Schnore, Joseph C. Skrapits, Midge Stires, and Dana Van Horn.

Allentown Impressions: Views of City Parks is made possible in part by the Allentown Art Museum Auxiliary.

 

Wall text from the exhibition:

Allentown Impressions: Views of City Parks commemorates two noteworthy occasions: the 150th birthday of General Harry C. Trexler and the 70th anniversary of the Trexler Trust. Since 1957, the Trust has assisted the Allentown Art Museum with major grants toward operating expenses and important exhibitions including Charles Sheeler in Doylestown (1997) and now, Paths to Impressionism: French and American Landscape Paintings. The keynote painting in Allentown Impressions is John Berninger's delightful view of the Art Museum's early home (1936-56) in the Rose Garden. Not only was Berninger a skilled landscape painter, he was the Museum's curator-in-residence, living with his wife on the building's second floor. His painting symbolizes the close relationship between the Museum and the Trust, since during the passing years, Cedar Beach Park and the Rose Garden have thrived with Trust support.

Allentown Impressions was planned as an aesthetic complement to Paths to Impressionism and as a visual testimony to two jewels in the crown of the greater Lehigh Valley: its splendid parks and its many talented artists. This installation of historical and contemporary views of city parks is entirely fitting, as the Trexlers' dedication and financial support for decades have enabled Allentown residents and visitors alike to enjoy our varied and expansive parks. Mary and Harry Trexler, who were childless, lavished time and money in fostering Lehigh Valley hospitals, schools, parks, and other public organizations and projects. Focusing on quality of life and preservation of land and wildlife, in 1906 General Trexler was a principal in developing West Park. In 1916, he established the Trexler Game Preserve and assumed directorship of the Allentown Planning Commission, overseeing the development of the city's park system. In 1931, Trexler donated the land that would become the Little Lehigh Parkway, one of the city's most visible and popular recreational sites.

When he died in 1933, the General bequeathed his substantial estate to his wife. After her death in 1934, her estate was merged with his and the Harry C. Trexler Trust was born. Provisions in the trust plan called for one-half of annual revenues to be distributed to Lehigh County charities, one quarter returned to the principal, and one-quarter paid to the City of Allentown for the maintenance, improvement, and extension of municipal parks. The Trexlers left their 140-acre country estate, Springwood, to the city; today Trexler Memorial Park is a quiet oasis with rolling vistas, a pond, and a variety of animals and birds, trees and flowers.

Allentown Impressions is appropriate not only because of the Trexlers' civic profile and their sustained interest in Allentown parks, but because they collected art and enjoyed relationships with area artists. In July 1914, an article in the Allentown Chronicle and News described flooding in the Trexler home, with resultant damage to fifteen paintings. The couple immediately called in A. N. Lindenmuth, who removed the damaged works (by American artists J.G. Brown and William Hart, and by lesser known European artists) to his nearby studio for restoration. Lindenmuth was a successful photographer and painter in his own right and the father of painter/printmaker Tod Lindenmuth; both Lindenmuths are represented in this exhibition. Also represented are fourteen of the region's finest contemporary painters. We appreciate the opportunity to display the landscapes they have created in honor of this special occasion.

 

Checklist for the exhibition: [Each work belongs to the artist's collection unless otherwise indicated]

Contemporary artists

Thomas F. Burke, Orefield b. 1948
Night's Gate, Trexler Park - Cabin, 2004,
oil on canvas
 
William Christine, Bethlehem b. 1954
August Morning, 2004, watercolor on paper
 
Sandra Corpora, Bethlehem b. 1947
January Morning, Lehigh Parkway, 2004,
oil on panel
 
Cheryl Agulnick Hochberg, Kutztown b. 1961
Whose Park is it Anyway?, 2004, oil on panel
 
William S. Hudders, Easton b. 1964
Summer Light, Trexler Park, 2004, oil on canvas
 
Linda La Due, Allentown b. 1959
Trexler Game Preserve, Landscape with Bison
("Oh Give me a Home"), 2004, oil on canvas
 
Ben Fortunado Marcune, Bethlehem b. 1935
West Park-Winter Afternoon, 2004,
oil on canvas
 
Kurt Moyer, Virginville b. 1977
West Park, 2004, oil on wood
 
Donna Needs, Zionsville b. 1960
Pink Jewels Adorn the Path (The Rose Garden),
2004, oil on board
 
John Opie, Quakertown b. 1936
Rose Garden, February, 2004, acrylic on panel
 
Peter D. Schnore, Boyertown b. 1939
Trexler Pond, High Water, 2004, oil on canvas
 
Joseph C. Skrapits, Allentown b. 1950
Crossing: Little Lehigh Parkway With the Albertus
Meyers Bridge, Early Spring, 2004, oil on canvas
 
Midge Stires, Boyertown b. 1943
Ceremony of Life, Phase II, 2004,
acrylic on canvas
 
Dana Van Horn, Allentown b. 1950
West Park at Night, 2004, watercolor on paper
 

Historical artists

Walter E. Baum (1884-1956)
Autumn Landscape, 1920s, oil on board
The Russell E. Baum Collection,
The Baum School of Art
 
John E. Berninger (1897-1981)
Wet Snow, City Park, 1929,
oil on canvasboard
Collection of Rudy and Rose Ackerman
 
Early Autumn, 1933, oil on canvas
Collection of Dr. George and Sydney McGinley
 
The Art Museum, undated, oil on canvas
Allentown Art Museum, Purchase: Allentown
Art Museum Auxiliary, 1962 1962.170
 
Untitled view of Trexler Park in winter,
undated, oil on canvas
Estate of Harry C. Trexler
 
Arlington Nelson Lindenmuth (1856-1950)
Spring Scene in Lehigh Parkway, undated,
oil on canvas
Collection of Dr. and Mrs. Philip J. Tighe
 
Raphael Tod Lindenmuth (1885-1976)
Schreiber's Bridge, around 1918,
oil on canvas
Collection of Dr. and Mrs. Philip J. Tighe
 
Schreiber's Bridge, undated, oil on canvas
Collection of Patricia Ruhe Kehs
 
The Green Sleigh, undated, oil on canvas
Collection of Patricia Ruhe Kehs
 
Walter I. Mattern (1891-1946)
Spring Scene Along Jordan Creek and
Lawrence Street, around 1930, oil on canvas
Collection of Dr. and Mrs. Philip J. Tighe
 
Untitled view of Cedar Beach Park,
about 1935, oil on canvas
Collection of Lois and Dayton Pryor
 
Untitled view of Lehigh Parkway, undated,
oil on canvas
Collection of Jessica and Thurston Nichols
 
Elisabeth Boardman Warren (1886-1980)
West Park, about 1950, watercolor
Collection of Boris Wainio

 

Related Programs and Events:

October 23
6 ­ 8 P.M. Preview Party: Paths to Impressionism: French and American Landscape Paintings and Allentown Impressions: Views of City Parks
 
October 24
1 ­ 4 P.M. FREE Sunday Artventures: The Art of Nature
Art Ways, an interactive family gallery, at the Binney & Smith Learning Center. Museum educators will be on hand to lead informal visits into the galleries and to guide artful projects.
2 P.M. Guided Visit: Paths to Impressionism: French and American Landscape Paintings and Allentown Impressions: Views of City Parks
 
October 31
1 ­ 4 P.M. FREE Sunday Artventures: The Art of Nature
2 P.M. Guided Visit: Paths to Impressionism: French and American Landscape Paintings and Allentown Impressions: Views of City Parks
 
November 4
5:30 ­ 7:30 P.M. Fall Art Mixer: Party in the Park. celebrates the special exhibitions Paths to Impressionism: French and American Landscape Paintings and Allentown Impressions: Views of City Parks after work with live music, hors d'oeuvres, and a cash bar.
 
November 6
4:30 ­ 5:30 P.M. Allentown Symphony Pre-concert Reception. The Allentown Symphony will present its second season concert, "If Monet Wrote Music," preceded by a cocktail reception from 4:30-5:30 P.M. at the Allentown Art Museum and dinner in the Symphony's recently restored ballroom. The reception/dinner ticket includes a discussion of the relationship between Impressionist art and music by Symphony Maestra Diane Wittry and Museum Executive Director David R. Brigham.
 
November 7
1 ­ 4 P.M. FREE Sunday Artventures: Impressive Impressionists!
2 P.M. Guided Visit: Paths to Impressionism: French and American Landscape Paintings and Allentown Impressions: Views of City Parks
 
November 14
Noon ­ 4 P.M. Fall Festival 2004: Sky's the Limit! A festive fête is the best way to describe this fun-filled afternoon of activities celebrating the special exhibitions Paths to Impressionism and Allentown Impressions. An exciting array of live performances, artist demonstrations, and tasty treats will be available for visitors of all ages, all inspired by the painterly masterpieces on view. Kathleen Jacobs & Puppets perform "Creatures Great and Small." Three lively stories about whimsical creatures of the forest, mighty animals of the jungle, and imaginary beasts invite audience participation and are followed by a puppet construction demonstration. Mad Science presents "Up, Up, and Away," an interactive exploration of the science of air pressurethink hot air balloons and The Mad Science Hovercraft. Painting and framing demonstrations and make and take art projects will delight throughout the afternoon.
2 P.M. Guided Visit: Paths to Impressionism: French and American Landscape Paintings and Allentown Impressions: Views of City Parks
 
November 21
1 ­ 4 P.M. FREE Sunday Artventures: Impressive Impressionists!
2 P.M. Guided Visit: Paths to Impressionism: French and American Landscape Paintings and Allentown Impressions: Views of City Parks
 
November 28
1 ­ 4 P.M. FREE Sunday Artventures: Impressive Impressionists!
2 P.M. Guided Visit: Paths to Impressionism: French and American Landscape Paintings and Allentown Impressions: Views of City Parks
 
December 5
2 P.M. Guided Visit: Paths to Impressionism: French and American Landscape Paintings and Allentown Impressions: Views of City Parks
Free with special exhibition admission: $3.00 (members free)
 
December 12
2 P.M. Guided Visit: Paths to Impressionism: French and American Landscape Paintings and Allentown Impressions: Views of City Parks
Free with special exhibition admission: $3.00 (members free)
 
December 19
2 P.M. Guided Visit: Paths to Impressionism: French and American Landscape Paintings and Allentown Impressions: Views of City Parks
Free with special exhibition admission: $3.00 (members free)
 
December 26
2 P.M. Guided Visit: Paths to Impressionism: French and American Landscape Paintings and Allentown Impressions: Views of City Parks
 
Sundays, January 2 - February 13
2 P.M. Guided Visit: Paths to Impressionism: French and American Landscape Paintings and Allentown Impressions: Views of City Parks
 
 
 

 

 

(above: Kurt Moyer, American b. 1977, West Park, 2004, oil on wood. Courtesy of the artist.)


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