Published: February 17, 2004
Treasures of the Reading Public Museum
The Reading Public Museum is launching its 100th anniversary year with the groundbreaking exhibit “Enduring Beauty: Treasures of the Reading Public Museum.” This exhibit, which runs through April 11, is mounted in the museum’s Temporary and Founder’s galleries.
The exhibit’s focus is seldom or never before seen works from the permanent collections of the Reading Public Museum. Masterworks from painting, print and sculpture, and objects from the ethnographic and science collections are highlighted.
Ron Roth, museum director CEO and exhibit curator, commented, “The collections of the Reading Public Museum are among America’s most important. Few museums have the level of variety and quality as that of our museum. The 100th anniversary is an opportunity to increase the level of awareness in our community of the unique treasure that is the Reading Public Museum.”
The Reading Public Museum has one of the country’s largest collections of Pennsylvania Impressionists including Edward Redfield, John Folinsbee, Daniel Garber and Robert Spencer. One of the highlights of “Enduring Beauty: Treasures of the Reading Public Museum” is the exhibition of most of the museum’s collection from the New Hope Art Colony and other American Impressionists associated with Pennsylvania.
Another highlight of “Enduring Beauty: Treasures of the Reading Public Museum” is the “floating exhibit” staged in the second floor Asian Gallery. The museum’s collection of approximately 14,000 prints includes significant holdings of Japanese woodblock prints of the ukiyo-ye school, referred to as the “floating world.” This “floating exhibit” features some of the museum’s most important prints of this school, including masters Hokusai and Hiroshige.
Other highlights include a “Sculpure Salon” that showcase the museum’s holdings of late Nineteenth and Twentieth Century sculpture including Auguste Rodin, Antoine Louis Barye, Paul Manship and Alexander Sterling Calder. Also featured will be the work of Albrecht Durer, Germany’s great Sixteenth Century artist, including a complete set of one of his most important series of prints, the engraved “Passion.” This series of engravings, printed in book form, was produced between 1507 and 1512 and is one of the most important acquisitions by the museum in its 100-year history.
The museum’s ethnographic holdings are represented with a sampling of rare artifacts from the Lenape and Sioux nations, including a rare silk decorative ribbon, a one-of-a-kind artifact from the Lenape to the Osage nation in the latter Nineteenth Century. The museum’s science collection is showcasing rare, exotic birds and mammals and physical science treasures.
Related programming for “Enduring Beauty: Treasures of the Reading Public Museum” includes a Wednesday Treasure lecture series – March through May. Content-based talks led by experts in specific fields highlight the collections and objects at the Reading Public Museum. Lectures are conducted in the museum auditorium on Wednesday evenings, from 7 to 8 pm. Cost is $10 for members and $15 for nonmembers (no preregistration required – tickets sold at door).
The lecture series lineup is as follows: March 10, “Treasures of the Reading Public Museum” by Fred Heffner; March 24, “A History of Art in Berks County” by George Meiser, IX president of the Historical Society of Berks County; March 31, “Shearer, Spang, Devlin” by Valerie Malmberg, co-owner of Greshville Antiques and specialist on Berks County artists; April 7, “Homage to Tintoretto” by Ronald Roth, director and CEO of Reading Public Museum, in honor of the Jesuit Center. The “Raising of Lazarus,” a work on loan to the Reading Public Museum.
On May 5, “Pennsylvania German Art and Artifacts” by Richard Machmer, major collector and specialist of Pennsylvania German folk art; May 12, “Ralph Blakelock” by Norman Geske, America’s leading expert on Twentieth Century American art and the work of Ralph Blakelock; May 19, “History of Photography” by Archibald Perrin, art history professor, Albright College; May 26, “Twentieth Century Art” by Robert Metzger, a leading authority on Twentieth Century art and director emeritus of the Reading Public Museum.
“Enduring Beauty: Treasures of the Reading Public Museum” is sponsored by Yuasa and supported by the Friends of the Reading Museum, The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. Regular museum admission is adults $7 and children $5, age 4 to 17. Museum hours are Tuesday, Thursday through Saturday, 11 am to 5 pm; Wednesday, 11 am to 8 pm; and Sunday, noon to 5 pm.
The Reading Public Museum is at 560 Museum Road. For information, 610-371-5850 or readingpublicmuseum.org.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
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