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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]
Related Programs and Events:
(above: Kurt Moyer, American b. 1977, West Park, 2004, oil on wood. Courtesy of the artist.)
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Copyright 2003, 2004 Traditional Fine Arts Organization, Inc., an Arizona nonprofit corporation. All rights reserved.