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t ar matters

Thursday, January 24, 2013

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■ February 2013

■ Covering the Arts throughout the Philadelphia Region


New World art shines at PMA


By Burton Wasserman

“Saint Michael the Archangel,” 18th century. Artist/ maker unknown, Peruvian. Oil on canvas, Image: 79 1/8 x 61 inches (201 x 155 cm). Framed: 83 1/2 x 64 3/4 x 3 1/4 inches (212.1 x 164.5 x 8.3 cm). Promised gift of the Roberta and Richard Huber Collection. Now in view in “Journeys to New Worlds” at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

underappreciated, area of focus in the worldwide history of art. nergies, throbbing Specifically, the selections on with the emotional display will include paintings essence of the and sculpture concerned with Baroque period, religious and secular subjects will soon make as well as assorted objects of themselves felt in finely crafted silver and atan exhibition of tractive specimens of wooden fine and decorafurniture. tive art from the All of these objects were proHuber Collection, duced during an age of flourishset to open at the Philadelphia ing imperial prosperity when Museum of Art on Feb. 16. Spanish and Portuguese trade The items scheduled for pre- routes were very much in the sentation are choice examples ascendant. They were located of Iberian colonial form dating in places where venturesome from the 17th and 18th centusea captains like Christopher ries in Latin America and the Columbus, Ferdinand Magellan Far East. Titled “Journeys to and Vasco da Gama claimed New Worlds,” the overall instal- territories for the European lation will remain on public countries that sponsored their view at the museum until May voyages abroad during the 19 of this year. Renaissance. What began for Roberta and The exhibition is especially Richard Huber as a fascinating worthwhile for dealing with collecting hobby attracted their selections that were, until ever-deeper involvement with an appealing, though highly Please see New Worlds on A17

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Page 24

Glenside (Phila)


The passion and connectedness of art State of art, from A16

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Every painting was different from the last, “and each has so much life and vigor,” added Patrice. “Each has its own personality.” I witnessed colossal paintings, some of which stand well over 8 feet in height and width and provide a commanding and inspiring presence. The passion for creating done with such authenticity — they weren’t done on typical canvas but on carved Masonite — so as to pull the viewer’s gaze up, up, up in order to take it all in. Art is a reflection of its period in history; the softest of echoes that we must sometimes strain our ears before we can hear it. One of my stories took me to the Temple Judea Museum in Elkins Park, where I met Rita Poley, the exhibits curator, who told me that “people need to see themselves in an exhibit. That’s what makes it come alive for them.” The show consisted of political memorabilia of the sort that we don’t see much of these days: pins and buttons (approximately 500 of them), ribbons, handkerchiefs– the list goes on and includes pieces from the Civil War era. It was an exhibit that highlighted an age in which people could easily see themselves – and it did so using the artwork found within these politically-driven pieces, each one a handprint from a different time. “We are in many ways the guardians of this material,” Dr. David P. Silverman told me when I paid a visit to the Penn Museum, on South Street. “We are working to preserve these pieces of our history so later generations can learn from them.” Silverman is the curatorin-charge of the museum’s Ancient Egyptian section, which provides an intimate look into this almost alien-like world

Above is one of Tom Steigerwald’s monumental paintings. Below is another. The artist is with his beloved dog.

part of its creator, to connect not only with other people, but also with themselves. Still others use it to reconcile their passion for humanity with the world around them. Writing “State of the Art” has been a rewarding experience. Visiting these galleries and meeting the people who make it happen has been an inspiring venture. Let’s end with a thought from Kurt Vonnegut, taken from his 2005 essay collection “A Man without a Country.” “The arts are not a way to and the works of art that were make a living. They are a very subsequently born of it. human way of making life more These pieces of art are bearable. Practicing an art, no handprints that can never be matter how well or badly, is a reprinted. way to make your soul grow, “Each period of civilization for heaven’s sake. Sing in the creates an art that is specific in shower. Dance to the radio. it and which we will never see reborn,” said noted Russian ab- Tell stories. Write a poem to stract artist Wassily Kandinsky. a friend, even a lousy poem. “To try and revive the principles Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous of art of past centuries can reward. You will have created lead only to the production of something.” stillborn works.” Art is an expression, on the

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Page 16



by Diane M. Fiske

An architect with a piercing pen

By Diane M. Fiske

masonry specific to his buildings and clients. But none of the examples of his lmost everyone work was as surprising as the exhibit in Philadelphia at the Athenaeum, the architectural knows about history museum. Frank Furness, The famous, trend-setting architect the fabled archiapparently loved to draw caricatures tect of several of his clients, his family members and landmark buildhimself. ings, including And this son of a Philadelphia the Pennsylvania minister did not always draw flattering Academy of the Fine Arts, several University of Penn- images of his subjects. According to Bruce Laverty, the cusylvania buildings such as the Fisher rator of architecture at the Athenaeum Fine Arts Library of the School of Design and the First Unitarian Church who created the exhibit, Furness had asked that the drawings not be exhibin Center City Philadelphia. Furness, the son of a famous Unitar- ited during his lifetime. “Many of the drawings were ironic ian minister, Henry Furness, pastor of and less than flattering,” Laverty said. the First Unitarian Congregational“There may have been a good reason ist Church, died 100 years ago. To celebrate the anniversary of his death, that he didn’t want the drawings exhibits at the Philadelphia Museum of showed until well after he died,” Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Laverty said. More than three sketchbooks of Fine Arts and other institutions were drawings of family members and scheduled. Like most architects of the latter half clients, drawn during the period from 1860 to about 1890 were hidden in of the 19th century, Furness designed sketch books held by his family. They more than the generous total of 300 are finally being exhibited this month buildings. He also paired his work at the Athenaeum as part of the citywith furniture, crafted woodwork and

wide observation. “He came from a prominent family and there are several branches surviving,” Laverty said. “His father was a well-known Unitarian minister and the family protected the sketchbooks.” Laverty said that only a small percentage of the sketches are included in the exhibit. The books on display, like the ones that were not shown, are the property of family members and will be returned. One of the least flattering was one he drew of himself, Laverty said. It seemed he had the ability to draw the essence of what he saw as his subject’s personality. Several of the drawings show Furness’ passion for ending slavery and some of his subjects include leaders in the struggles of the times such as Frederick Douglass. “In fact,” Laverty said. “Furness actually abandoned his practice to serve in the Union Army during the Civil War and was decorated for his bravery.” At the time he began serving in the Union Army, Furness had been scheduled to go to Paris to study at L`ecole Des Beaux Arts, a popular practice

among contemporary architects in the late 19th century. He never went to school after the war. When he returned from the war, Furness began practicing with a series of collaborators, especially George Hewitt, with whom he designed the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Later, he hired an apprentice, Louis Sullivan, who later worked briefly in 1873 as an apprentice with Furness. This, of course, was a path also An unidentified caricature by Frank Furness. Courtesy of the followed by Frank Athenaeum. Lloyd Wright, who worked with Sullivan — This is a monthly column about much later. Laverty said that, though the exhibit architecture, city planning and landat the Athenaeum is ending, a book of scape design. Feedback from readers will be welcomed. Diane Fiske can be his work based on the sketchbooks is contacted at dfiske_19118@yahoo. being planned. com.


by Adam Crugnale

Expression, Connection, Passion


By Adam Crugnale

began writing “State of the Art” about eight months ago and have loved the journey since day one. It’s afforded me the opportunity to meet with artists and (albeit, briefly) be a small part of their world. From what I can gather, Vonnegut was right on the money: art is a means of real human connection; art is the

medium on which our passions run. Each piece of art is an echo from its era — a generational handprint we can trace (sometimes literally) with our eyes and fingertips. For a fleeting moment, we’re transported. Beginning with this issue, Art Matters will be featured as an eight-page section within Ticket. I was visiting a good friend of mine in Washington, D.C., over the weekend when we decided

to take in a new exhibit at the Hirshhorn Museum — a fantastic and unapologetically defiant show entitled “Ai Weiwei: According to What?” Though the show concerns itself with challenging China’s political status quo, it still somehow transcends language and thought, bridging our hearts and minds to an oppressed people on the other side of the planet. It got me thinking. Artwork is a means of expression and connection. It’s also much, much

more than that. In the right hands, art can be wielded like a weapon to combat injustice, racism, discrimination. Ai Weiwei is using his art to make a stand against his government. Part of the exhibit features a Neolithic vase with the phrase “Coca Cola” painted over it in brazen silver paint, suggesting our need to move on and change when something isn’t working. In one of my previous stories, I had the privilege to interview Corky Lee, the “unofficial and

undisputed Asian American Photographer Laureate,” who was showcasing his latest exhibit at the Asian Arts Initiative in Philadelphia. Lee’s photos range from soft, candlelight vigils to police brutality victims. Staggering acts against humanity, captured in time. Lee sought to point out that many of us who face such hardships are as American as anyone else, and more importantly, that “people are people,” as Lee put it.

Art is the medium on which our passions run. One of my earlier columns featured the work of Tom Steigerwald, a true embodiment of the “Renaissance Man” ideal. Though I never had the chance to meet him (he passed away in June of 2011), Steigerwald’s passion for his work, for his garden and home, for his life and wife, were made abundantly clear as his wife Patrice guided me through the home studio. Please see State of art on A24

Thursday, January 24, 2013


Page 17 by Burton Wasserman

Stunning Art from the New World Plaque from an Altar Frontal, 1700-1750. Artist/maker unknown, Bolivian. Silver, repoussé, chased, engraved, and burnished, 10 1/2 x 21 1/8 x 1 1/4 inches (26.7 x 53.7 x 3.2 cm). Roberta and Richard Huber Collection.

ment that lends a unifying consistency to the otherwise varied objects on view. recently, only marginally Two painters who are researched in depth in our represented by several country. examples of their personal Fortunately for the serious styles are Melchor Pérez connoisseur, they open up Holguin and Gaspar Miguel areas of study and insight de Berrio. They were active that are artistically eyein the city of Petosi, Bolivia, opening and intellectually and focused their efforts on ecumenical. subjects of religious devoThis could not have hap- tion. pened without Holguin’s the dedicated “Pietà,” for commitment example, is a to the task of deeply moving organizing oil on canvas “Journeys to New the show and in which the Worlds” bringing it to Christ figure is continues at Philadelphia fulfillment by seated on the Museum of Art, 26th & the Parkway, two members ground while Philadelphia, PA 19130, of the museum his upper torso through May 19. staff, Joseph is supported Info: 215-763-8100 or Rishel and by the Mark Castro. stricken Holy Incidentally, Mother. The they also contributed signifi- poignancy of the scene is cantly to the preparation and profoundly touching. completion of the superbly Geographically, the area illustrated and soundly-writ- where these painters worked ten exhibition catalog. was also blessed with the The 126 items that make presence of silver mines that up the exhibition are bounti- provided a major source of ful with a diversity of dewealth for the mother counsign elements and alive with try and ample raw resources an unwavering commitment for a great metalworking to expression in depth. In tradition. The exhibition addition, there is also an includes objects fashioned identifiable animating elein this material specifically New Worlds, from A15


for both ecclesiastical and secular purposes. Yet another fascinating area of specialization in the exhibition is a group of handsomely worked small sculptures in ivory, originally crafted in the old Portuguese colony of Goa, located in the Far East, and in the Philippines, which were once governed by Spain. A “Seated Christ Child” in a very faint rose-toned ivory by an anonymous carver is especially exceptional. The work exhibits a rare touch of tenderness and is most skillfully handled in its portrayal of infantile anatomy. It is also distinguished by an unusually fine treatment of gesture and human expressiveness. In addition, all of the features are convincingly intensified by the presence of painted detail in the hair of the figure and in facial features executed with subtle delicacy and impeccable sensitivity, Another notable piece in carved ivory represents a reclining “Christ Child as the Good Shepherd.” The left hand of the figure touches an expertly cut image of a young lamb while the head

Our Lady of Mount Carmel with Bishop Saints, 1764. Gaspar Miguel de Berrío, Bolivia, Potosí 1706 - after 1764. Oil on canvas, Image: 38 3/4 x 33 1/16 inches (98.5 x 84 cm). Framed: 45 1/2 x 39 3/8 x 3 1/4 inches (115.6 x 100 x 8.3 cm). Promised gift of the Roberta and Richard Huber Collection.

of the “Child” is supported gracefully by a bent right arm. Overall, the artwork gives voice to a mood of peaceful well-being. By contrast, several other ivories deal convincingly with representations of “Christ Crucified.” These are emotionally awesome

treatments of the suffering of the Christ Figure. As such, they offer eloquent testimony for the Christian dogma that this event was the culminating factor in providing for the redemption of humanity through the sacrifice experienced by the Savior.

Without question, this is an eminently rewarding art exhibition. Clearly, such installations do not come along every day of the week, which is why it deserves to be visited at the first opportunity available.





Call for Artists Information: Women’s History & CFA Theme Exhibition “Music For All Ages� March 4 - 25, 2013 Annual Open Juried Watercolor Exhibition April 1 - 22, 2013 For prospectus to either exhibit send SASE to CFA/SNJ, 123 S. Elmwood Road, Marlton, NJ 08053 Telephone: 856-985-1009



May 17 - June 20, 2013 Two entries per artist, $15.00 per entry. Entries must be submitted as digital JPEGs, high-resolution images on CD BY FEBRUARY 28, 2013. Include self-addressed, stamped envelope with CD and entry form for notification of acceptance/ rejection. Juror: N. Lee Stevens, Retired Senior Curator Art Collections, The State of Pennsylvania. Call 717-236-1432 for entry form or visit

For Artists and Art-Lovers We’re clearing out our inventory of all ready-made frames, great prices!!! Dozens and dozens of ready-made frames, all sizes, all styles, all finishes! Sale is on through the end of February. Carol Schwartz Gallery 101 Bethlehem Pike Philadelphia, PA 19118 215-242-4510

ARTISTS & CRAFTERS WANTED 25th Annual Lansdale Festival of the Arts Saturday, August 24, 2013 Memorial Park, Lansdale, PA A juried exhibit & sale of fine art, handmade crafts, performing arts, cash awards, & more. Jury will be held Saturday, April 27th. For prospectus & jury Information 215-361-8353, or visit

Sponsored by Lansdale Department of Parks and Recreation

2013 Lancaster County Art Association National Juried Exhibition June 9- July 18, 2013 Featuring five art categories {oil, acrylic, watercolor, photography, sculpture and ceramics, other media}, and $3,000 in awards. Sponsor: James S. Gibson of the Gibson Luckenbill Group, RBC Wealth Management Deadline for submission is April 6, 2013. Open to all artists 18 years or older. Original work in all media is eligible. Work previously shown in the LCAA galleries will not be accepted. Artwork must have been completed in the past three years. $15 non-members, $10 members per piece; 3 piece max. $3,000 in total awards, $500 Best of Show, $300 First place each category, $200 Second place each category, $100 Third place each category The LCAA will retain a commission of 30%. Slides or digital images on CD accepted. Visit for prospectus and application, or send SASE. You may also call (717)687-7061. LCAA 149 Precision Ave. Strasburg, PA 17579 (717) 687-7061

Call for Entries The Philadelphia Sketch Club CALL FOR ENTRIES!

AE 64th Anniversary Members Juried Exhibition April 3 - June 22, 2013 April 6, Sat. 1-4 pm Reception Numerous Cash & Merchandise Awards Widener University Art Center, One University Place, Chester, PA 19013-5792 March 8-9, Fri.-Sat. 10:30-3 pm, delivery of artwork for jurying Visit the website for a prospectus or mail a #10 SASE to: AE Prospectus 2013 103 Equestrian Lane, Schwenksville, PA 19473

ART OF THE FLOWER 2013 A juried exhibition and sale of works with floral themes in diverse mediums. March 1 – March 24, 2013 at the PSC’s historic location in center city Philadelphia. Juror is Paul DuSold. Artworks may be juried on line or delivered for jurying. Entry fee of $15 for one piece or $25 for 2. A prospectus with schedule can be downloaded from or send S.A.S.E. to: Philadelphia Sketch Club 235 S. Camac Street Philadelphia, PA 19107

Wayne Art Center

CALL FOR ENTRIES wayne art center

Jurors Garth Herrick and Jennifer Frudakis $2,000 in Prize Awards Artists may submit up to 3 images of companion animal works in drawing, painting, pastel, mixed media, ceramics,  ���� ��­ ­� ��€ ‚ƒ„

Online application only. January 1 - March 1, 2013 Exhibition will open April 5th and remain on display until May 4, 2013

wayne art center

413 Maplewood Ave Wayne, PA 19087 ’’’„’�“��„”­ 610-688-3553

Wayne Art Center 7th Annual Plein Air Festival Call for Entries:

Wayne Art Center is pleased to announce a CALL FOR ENTRIES beginning January 1, 2013 for the 7th Annual Wayne Art Center Plein Air Festival open to artists working in the plein air method. Thirty artists will be chosen by this year’s juror, Jim Wodark to compete in the festival from May 6 - 10, 2013 in Wayne, Pennsylvania and its historic and pastoral surroundings. Works completed during the festival week will be judged for prizes amounting to up to $6000. The exhibition will open at a Preview Party and Artist’s Reception on May 10th. Paintings will remain on display, open to the public and for sale through June 28th. The Wayne Art Center 2013 Plein Air Festival prospectus can be downloaded at as of January 1, 2013. Deadline for entries is March 1, 2013.

Your resource for finding artists, soliciting entries, renting art studious and for promoting your service. For more information call 215-628-9300, ext. 226

Wednesday, January 30 Camden County College Art Gallery, 5 – 7pm, Blackwood, NJ Thursday, January 31 Lawrence Gallery, Rosemont College, 4 – 7pm, Rosemont, PA Lehigh University Art Galleries, 5pm - , Bethlehem, PA Friday, February 1 Blue Streak Gallery, 5 – 8pm, Wilmington, DE Darlington Art Center, 1 – 5pm, Boothwyn, PA Sweet Mabel Folk Art, 6 – 9pm, Narberth, PA Muse Gallery, 5 - 8pm, Philadelphia, PA Pennsylvania College of Art & Design, 5 – 9pm, Lancaster, PA Phoenix Village Art Center, 6 – 9pm, Phoenixville, PA Goggle Works, 5:30 – 7:30pm, Reading, PA Christiane David Gallery, 6 – 9pm, Lancaster, PA Sunday, February 3 Manayunk-Roxborough Art Center, Noon – 3pm, Phila., PA Greater Norristown Art League, 3 – 5pm, East Norriton, PA Wednesday, February 6 Institute of Contemorary Art, 6 – 8pm, Phila., PA

__To place your listing in__


____For Information____ Call 215-628-8330; ext 226

Thursday, February 7 The Philadelphia Foundation, 5pm - , Phila., PA Friday, February 8 Ocean City Art Center, 7 – 8:30, Ocean City, NJ Sunday, February 10 Lancaster County Art Association, 1 – 5pm, Strasburg, PA Cheltenham Center For the Arts, 6:30 - 8:30pm, PA Third Street Gallery, 1 – 3pm, Philadelphia, PA Wayne Art Center, 3 – 5pm, Wayne, PA Wednesday, February 13 Center for the Arts in Southern New Jersey, 7 – 9pm, Marlton, NJ Friday, February 15 Main Line Art Center, 5 – 8pm, Haverford, PA Saturday, February 16 Chester County Art Association, 1 - 4pm - , West Chester, PA Main line Unitarian Church, 3 – 6pm, Devon, PA Sunday, February 24 Philadelphia Sketch Club, 2 – 4pm, Phila., PA

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