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Dart for the Art — Allentown Art Museum Plans Shutdown for Expansion Project

21 September 2010 2 Comments

Photo swiped from Allentown Art Museum web page.

When it comes to fine art, I’m pretty whitebread. OK, boring is more like it. I like portraits and landscapes. I can appreciate Norman Rockwell and Gilbert Stuart. Picasso makes me think someone was hitting the sangria a bit too hard.

That’s why I like the Allentown Art Museum. They offer a good mix of permanent exhibits, including Stuart’s portrait of Ann Penn and a great painting of Niagara Falls. But they mix it up, too. The current exhibit “Peter Grippe – A Personal Vocabulary” mixes Grippe’s modernistic sculpture with the artist’s own poems and makes you think a bit.

It also includes Grippe’s “21 Etchings and Poems,” a project completed when he was director of the Atelier 17 print workshop and represents 10 years of his work.

My wife and I visited at the end of August because she wanted to see the quilt exhibit and I wanted to see an exhibit of mythological sculptures and works based on Indian mythology that depicted images of Jainism, Hinduism and Buddhism. The juxtaposition of the Pennsylvania German quilts and the works of ancient India really seemed to bookend the unique opportunities offered by the Allentown Art Museum.

But the most important news from the museum these days is the fact that it will close on Nov. 15 for a 10-month expansion project. The museum is offering free admission through Nov. 14 for everyone who wants a last glimpse at the major exhibits before they go into storage – or temporary display elsewhere in the Lehigh Valley.

So check it out. Soon.

If You Go: The Allentown Art Museum is located on 5th Street behind the Lehigh County Courthouse and across the street from Allentown’s Art’s Park. It’s open Wednesday to Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

What to Know: Expansion plans include overall renovations and a 7,900-square-foot expansion. Go to www.allentownartmuseum.org for more information.

Facts: The museum is housed in a 1901 Neo-Classical church that was last expanded in 1975. The primary exhibits are the Renaissance paintings of the Kress collection.


  • Karyn Goldner said:

    Another great exhibit that’s going on right now is the 75th Annual Lehigh Art Alliance. Sunday, September 26 through Friday, November 12. There are great pieces on display from our top local artists. A beautiful exhibition. Don’t miss it!

  • admin (author) said:

    Thanks, Karyn. Good stuff.