Allentown Art Museum

Allentown Art Museum

infobox Museum
name= Allentown Art Museum

imagesize = 200
established= 1934
location= 31 N. 5th Street
Allentown, Pennsylvania USA
director= Greg Perry
website= [ Official website]
The Allentown Art Museum is an art museum located in the city of Allentown, Pennsylvania, in the United States. It was founded in 1934 by a group organized by noted Pennsylvania impressionist painter, Walter Emerson Baum. With its collection of over 13,000 works of art, the Allentown Art Museum is a major regional art institution. In addition, its library and archives of more than 16,000 titles and 40 current periodicals make it an important cultural resource in the Lehigh Valley region.

Founding of the museum

The "Allentown Art Gallery" was organized by Baum and opened in Allentown's Hunsicker School on March 17 1934. With seventy canvases by local Pennsylvania impressionist artists on display, the gallery attracted major attention from the local and regional art communities. During the Great Depression, Baum was able to grow the collection through the Public Works of Art Project and through acquisitions and gifts. In June of 1936, the City of Allentown granted the museum a permanent home in a Federal-style house located in the Rose Garden in Allentown's Cedar Park. The museum's first curator was local artist John E. Berninger, who lived with his wife on the museum's second floor.

The Kress endowment and expansion

In 1959, a gift of fifty-three Renaissance and Baroque paintings and sculptures from Samuel H. Kress (a native of nearby Cherryville, Pennsylvania) brought the museum to a new level. The Kress gift stimulated community visionaries and museum friends to purchase and refurbish a building, the Allentown Art Museum's current location, suitable to house the new collection. In 1975, an expansion to the building was completed to enhance the museum's programs and collecting plans. At that time, the Museum installed a room designed by Frank Lloyd Wright as part of its permanent collection: the library from the second Francis W. Little House. Another room from that house can be seen at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Current collection

The Allentown Art Museum's collection, still largely defined by European paintings in 1975, expanded with a large collection of textiles and another gift of works on paper. The 1978 acquisition of Gilbert Stuart's beguiling portrait of Ann Penn Allen (granddaughter of William Allen, the founder of the museum's native Allentown), set the benchmark for the qualitative standards of the collection.

European art

* "Game Stall at Market", Studio of Frans Snyders (1625/37)
* "Saint Jerome Penitent", Lorenzo Lotto (1515)
* "Portrait of Henrica Ploost van Amstel", Paulus Moreelse (1625)
* Central Panel of an Altarpiece "Mystic Marriage of Saint Catherine", Giovanni del Biondo (1379)

American art

* "Ann Penn Allen", Gilbert Stuart (1795)
* "Niagara Falls", Gustav Johann Grunewald (1834)
* "Floriform Vase", Tiffany Studios (1905)


* "Bed Curtain (Palampore)", India, Coromandel Coast (1775)
* "Table Cover", Margaret Oothout (1764)

Prints and drawings

* "Diogenes after Parmigiano", Ugo da Carpi (after 1525)
* "Untitled", Keith Haring (1982)
* "Il Perdono (Vision of Saint Francis of Assisi)", Frederico Barocci (1581)

External links

* [ Allentown Art Museum Official Web Site] .
* [ Frank Lloyd Wright library images, from the Allentown Art Museum Web Site] .
* [,+Allentown,+PA+18101 Google Map location for the museum] .
* [ Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Web Site] .

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