A Summer Of Romance: Michener Art Museum Courts "The Color Of The Moon: Lunar Painting In American Art"

Exhibit Coincides With 50th Anniversary Of Apollo 11 Mission

June 7, 2019

Romance will fill the air this summer as “The Color of the Moon: Lunar Painting in American Art” lands at the Michener Art Museum. On view through Sunday, Sept. 8, “The Color of the Moon” showcases more than 60 paintings and works on paper that illuminate our eternal fascination with the moon and the long and enduring relationship between art and lunar science. The exhibition, featuring loans from museums and private collections throughout the U.S., coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission when American astronauts traveled across the skies to step onto the pitted surface of the moon in July 1969.
“The Color of the Moon” traces the positions, places, and phases of the moon across more than 150 years of art and explores the Romanticism of our relationship with the moon. The display is presented in three broad groupings: “Popular Moon from Myth to Destination,” ranging from mythological scenes of the goddess “Diana” by Samuel F. B. Morse to the Apollo 11 blast-off, painted by Jamie Wyeth as part of NASA’s art program; “The Romantic Moon” from the Hudson River School to 20th-century Modernists, featuring moonlit towers by Thomas Cole and a shimmering abstraction by Arthur Dove; and “The Moody Moon from Forest Glades to the Open Sea,” with paintings by Edward Bannister, Ralph Blakelock, and George Inness, revealing the deep preoccupation with spirituality and moonlight at the end of the 19th century.
The exhibition was co-curated by Laura Vookles, chair of the Hudson River Museum’s curatorial department, and Bartholomew F. Bland, executive director, Lehman College Art Gallery, the City University of New York, and co-organized by the Michener Art Museum and the Hudson River Museum, Yonkers, N.Y.
“The prevalence of the moon in American art speaks to its universal appeal; it is something that unites us across the globe. This attraction was explored by generations of artists who gazed upon the moon and later reaffirmed by astronauts looking back upon the fragile earth from space. Visitors will be awestruck by these views and by the beautiful paintings on display,” stated Vookles.
“The magnificent works of art in ‘The Color of the Moon’ underscore how the Romantic lure of this celestial body held an exorable pull for artists over generations,” commented Kathleen V. Jameson, Michener Art Museum executive director. “We are delighted to celebrate the triumphant lunar landing 50th anniversary with this exquisite display.”
Featured artists include the following: Susie M. Barstow, Albert Bierstadt, Oscar Bluemner, Charles Burchfield, Frederic Edwin Church, Joseph Cornell, Jasper Francis Cropsey, Arthur Dove, Sanford Robinson Gifford, Childe Hassam, Winslow Homer, George Inness, Roy Lichtenstein, Norman Rockwell, Edward Steichen, Henry Ossawa Tanner, and Marguerite Thompson Zorach.
“The Color of the Moon: Lunar Painting in American Art” is generously supported by Penn Color Inc. and Diane G. Eler. Additional support for the exhibition catalogue is provided in part by the Virginia B. and William D. Williams Endowment Fund. Major sponsorship for the presentation at the Hudson River Museum is made possible by a generous grant from the Mr. and Mrs. Raymond J. Horowitz Foundation for the Arts.
Complementing the exhibition is a series of dynamic programs, including a film series through a partnership with the County Theater; an informative lecture series; and a Star Party in collaboration with the Bucks-Mont Astronomical Association. Detailed information and tickets can be found at www.MichenerArtMuseum.org.
The Michener Art Museum is located at 138 S. Pine St., Doylestown, Pa. The museum is open Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.
For additional information, call 215-340-9800.


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