Pennsylvania Art History
with an emphasis on representational art
This section of the Traditional Fine Arts Organization (TFAO) catalogue Topics in American Art is devoted to the topic "Pennsylvania Art History." Articles and essays specific to this topic published in TFAO's Resource Library are listed at the beginning of the section. Clicking on titles takes readers directly to the articles and essays.
Following the links to Resource Library articles and essays are a listing of museums in the state which have provided materials to Resource Library for this or any other topic.
Listed after Resource Library articles, essays and museums are links to online resources outside the TFAO website. Following these resources is information about offline resources including DVDs, paper-printed books, journals and articles. Our goal is to present complete knowledge relating to this section of Topics in American Art.
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Texts contained in Resource Library by named authors listed by author name in alphabetical order:
Pennsylvania Fraktur by R. David Brocklebank and Barbara L. Jones
The Legacy of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts by Patrick Connors
The Susquehanna: An Evolving Vision by Rob Evans
Artists of the Commonwealth: Realism and its Response in Pennsylvania Painting, 1900-1950 by Betsy Fahlman
A History of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1805-1976 by Frank H. Goodyear Jr
Contemporary American Art at The Academy by Joan M. Marter
The Decorated Furniture of Somerset County, Pennsylvania by Charles R. Muller
Nature's Bounty: Still Life Painting in Southwestern Pennsylvania, 1860-1910 by Judith Hansen O'Toole
Pennsylvania Painters and the Roots of Realism by Judith Hansen O'Toole
Scenic Views: Painters of the Scalp Level School Revisited by Judith Hansen O'Toole
Treasures from the Westmoreland Museum by Judith Hansen O'Toole & Carla S. Herling
Valley of Work: Scenes of Industry in Western Pennsylvania by Judith Hansen O'Toole
N. C. Wyeth and the Philadelphia Sketch Club by Christine Podmaniczky
Western Pennsylvania's Stoneware Potters by Phil Schaltenbrand
The Pennsylvania Impressionist Legacy by Michael Schantz
Introduction to "Along the Juniata: Thomas Cole and the Dissemination of American Landscape Imagery" by Nancy Siegel
The Decorated Furniture of Somerset County, Pennsylvania by Frank and Susan Swala
Tanware by Frank and Susan Swala
A Matter of Style: Artistic Influences and Directions in 20th-Century Pennsylvania Painting by Michael A. Tomor
Western Pennsylvania Textiles:by Harley N. Trice
Art and Industry in Philadelphia: Origins of the Philadelphia School of Design for Women by Nina de Angeli Walls
Articles contained in Resource Library without named authors listed by article name in alphabetical order:
150 Years of Philadelphia Painters and Paintings: Selections from the Sewell C. Biggs Museum of American Art
An American Tradition: The Pennsylvania Impressionists
American Watercolors at the Pennsylvania Academy
Art and Industry in Philadelphia: Origins of the Philadelphia School of Design for Women
Artists of the Commonwealth: Realism and Its Response in Pennsylvania Painting, 1900-1950
Artists of the Commonwealth: Realism and Its Response in Pennsylvania Painting, 1900-1950
Artists of the Commonwealth: Realism in Pennsylvania Painting, 1950-2000
Bucks County and the Philadelphia Sketch Club
Bucks County Landscape Paintings Acquired by Michener Art Museum
Changing Seasons: Three Generations of Bucks County Impressionism
Earth, River, and Light: Masterworks of Pennsylvania Impressionism
Facing Out, Facing In: Figurative Works from the Michener Art Museum Collection
The Painterly Voice: Bucks County's Fertile Ground
Pennsylvania Impressionism, co-published by the Michener Art Museum and the University of Pennsylvania Press
The Philadelphia Ten: A Women's Artist Group 1917-1945
The Philadelphia Ten, 1917-1945: A Women's Artist Group
(Philadelphia) Central High School Alumni Exhibition
The Red Rose Girls: An Uncommon Story of Art and Love
Reflections: Artwork by Kevin Kutz
Scenic Views: Painters of the Scalp Level School Revisited
Treasures of the Greater Lehigh Valley
Valley of Work: Scenes of Industry
Visualizing a Mission: Artifacts and Imagery of the Carlisle Indian School, 1879-1918
When Coal Was King: Paintings from the Steidle Collection
Eastern Art: 20-21st Century Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Painting (for years 1997-2000 also includes Southeast and Southern American Paintings)
Articles from the Brandywine River Museum, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and Westmoreland Museum of American Art often favor Pennsylvania artists.
Museums and other non-profit sources of Resource Library articles and essays:
Please click on the name of each source to view articles and essays related to that source:
Allentown Art Museum
The Andy Warhol Museum
Atwater Kent Museum
Berman Museum of Art
Brandywine River Museum
Brauer Museum of Art, Valparaiso University
Carnegie Museum of Art
Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Erie Art Museum
Frick Art and Historical Center
Historical Society of Pennsylvania
Independence Seaport Museum
Juniata College Museum of Art
Levy Gallery for the Arts in Philadelphia
Michener (James A.) Art Museum
Palmer Museum of Art
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Reading Public Museum
Silver Eye Center for Photography
Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art
Studio of Ben Solowey
Westmoreland Museum of American Art
Woodmere Art Museum
York College Galleries
Zoellner Arts Center / Lehigh University
Other online information:
A Cultural Celebration: Arts of the Pennsylvania Germans from a Berks County Collection, an exhibit held 6/12/10 - 9/26/10 at the Reading Public Museum. Includes online video and news release. Accessed April, 2015.
Artists from Pennsylvania in Wikipedia. Accessed August, 2015.
Boston's Nineteenth Century Ship Carvers, Nov, 2000 by Jane L. Port from Magazine Antiques [Link found expired as of 11/29/11 audit.]
Bucks County Painters is a page contained in the Michener Art Museum website as a subsection of Bucks County Artists. Accessed May, 2016
"The Capitol's Fine Decorative Arts," chapter six excerpt of The Capitol's Fine & Decorative Arts, from Pennsylvania General Assembly. Accessed August, 2015.
Charcoal Club in Philadelphia from AskArt.com. Accessed August, 2015.
City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, a website devoted to "world's largest collection of outdoor public art." Accessed August, 2015.
First Academies: Benjamin West and the Founding of the Royal Academy of Arts and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts is a 2018 exhibit at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts which says: "On the occasion of the 250th anniversary of the founding of the Royal Academy of Arts (RA) in London, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) is pleased to recognize the role that Benjamin West (1738-1820) played in founding each of these first sustained academies in England and the United States." Also see press release Accessed 5/18
George Sotter: Light and Shadow is a 2017 exhibit at the Michener (James A.) Art Museum which says: "George Sotter (1879-1953), an artist strongly identified with Bucks County, Pennsylvania, is best known for his magical winter nocturnes, scenes made even more enchanting by the blanket of snow that is a recurring motif in his work." Also see press release Accessed 9/17
Gilliland Fine Art is a gallery specializing in Western Pennsylvania works of art. Its website contains biographies of several Pennsylvania artists. Accessed August, 2015.
Highlights from the New Hope-Solebury School District Art Collection is a 2016 James A. Michener Art Museum exhibit. The museum says: "Students don't often have the occasion to view real works of art in their own school buildings, but in Bucks County there is a long tradition of assembling collections of original works of art for display and educational use in public schools. The New Hope-Solebury School District (NHSD) is one such district in which school officials began to acquire work for educational purposes as early as 1931. Works were obtained in many different ways: they were donated by artists and artists' families, provided as gifts by the Student Council, and acquired in memory of former teachers and administrators." Accessed 9/16.
Joseph Plavcan (1908-1981) is a 2018 exhibit at the Erie Art Museum which says: "A prolific artist throughout his life, Plavcan painted constantly. One of the most common recollections of former students is how he was always at work on a painting in the classroom. He also worked daily in his home studio and painted on location throughout the region, especially on Erie's waterfront." Accessed 4/18
Labor and Landscape: 100 Paintings of the Allegheny Mountain Region by Ron Donoughe is a 2017 exhibit at the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art which says: "A native son of Cambria County and Loretto, Donoughe wanted to dig deeper into the places he calls home. He did so by visiting many businesses, farms and even the county fair. Asking permission to paint on private premises and at many area businesses and industries, he was given personal tours of steel mills, a pretzel factory and even a taxidermy school, to name just a few. His idea was explore curiously, with a paintbrush in hand." Also see artist's website. Accessed 5/17
"Makers, Manufacturers, and Artists" is a LancasterHistory.org Web page containing links to biographies of many artists from Lancaster County, PA. Accessed May, 2016
"Made In Pennsylvania: A Folk Art Tradition," by David S. Smith, from Antiques and the Arts. [Link found to be expired as of 2015 audit. TFAO is saving the citation for use by researchers.]
Mapping the Journey of Bucks County Artists from the Michener Art Museum. [Link found to be expired as of 2016 audit. TFAO is saving the citation for use by researchers.]
Matthew Daub: In the Shadow of Industry, Watercolors and Drawings of Eastern Pennsylvania, a 2001 exhibit at the Reading Public Museum. Includes essay by Robert Metzger, Ph.D, Director, CEO, Chief Curator, Reading Public Museum. Accessed April, 2015
New Hope Art Colony (Bucks County, Pennsylvania) from AskArt.com. Accessed August, 2015.
The Painters of Berks, an exhibit held 5/25/13 - 9/14/13 at the Reading Public Museum. Includes online videos. Accessed April, 2015.
The Painterly Voice, Bucks County Fertile Ground is an online exhibit with text by Brian H. Peterson, Gerry and Marguerite Lenfest Chief Curator of the Michener Art Museum. It has 31 sections, some devoted to individual artists and others to themes. Some biographical information from the museum's Bucks County Artists Database is not currently accessible due to a website redesign. Accessed May, 2016
Past Present Future: Western Pennsylvania's People & Places is a 2017 exhibit at the Silver Eye Center for Photography which says: "This expansive survey exhibition celebrates photographic landscapes and portraits of Western Pennsylvania, spanning over 100 years of image making in the region." Accessed 8/17
Pennsylvania (sampling of artists and works connected to state) from askArt. Accessed August, 2015.
The Pennsylvania Landscape in Impressionism and Contemporary Art is a 2018 exhibit at the Woodmere Art Museum which says: "Among the strengths of Woodmere's collection is work by painters known today as the Pennsylvania Impressionists. This exhibition demonstrates how these artists explored the Pennsylvania landscape as a subject and investigated ideas that continue to resonate in the visual expression of contemporary art in Philadelphia." Accessed 10/18
Pennsylvania State Capitol Artists from Pennsylvania Capitol Preservation Committee. Accessed August, 2015.
Philadelphia Sketch Club website, which says: "On November 20, 1860, six "Bohemian" students from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, George F. Bensell and his brother, Edmund B. Bensell, Edward J. McIlhenny, Henry C. Bispham, John L. Gihon, and Robert Wylie met at 125 South 11th Street to form a "sketching club." They sought illustration and design opportunities not available at the Academy. Within months, other talented artists were added to the membership, including Stephen J. Ferris, a celebrated etcher and Thomas Moran, the great landscape artist...." Accessed August, 2015.
Phillips Mill, in New Hope from AskArt.com. Accessed August, 2015.
Plastic Club website, which says: "Since 1897, The Plastic Club has been devoted to the promotion and preservation of the visual (plastic) arts in Philadelphia...." Accessed August, 2015. Also see A History of the Plastic Club by Barbara MacIlvaine, from the Plastic Club. Accessed July, 2015.
Rae Sloan Bredin: Harmony and Power is a 2018 exhibit at the Michener (James A.) Art Museum which says: "Rae Sloan Bredin (1881-1933) has long been known among the Pennsylvania Impressionists as a painter whose work is characterized by refinement and dignity, serenity and delicacy. His paintings depict life in New Hope and, unlike his local peers, often depict women and children in groups both out in nature as well as in intimate interiors. This exhibition will highlight works spanning Bredin's career, touching on his time as a student, instructor, and member of the New Hope Group." Also see 4/27/18 article in The Morning Call. Accessed 5/18
Pyramid Club in Philadelphia from AskArt.com. Accessed August, 2015.
Rose Valley artists 1901-1911 from The Rose Valley Historical Society. Accessed August, 2015.
The Scumblers and their Shack at Edison in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, by Richard Oliver OSB and Chuck Rudy; from Richard Oliver OSB. Accessed August, 2015.
The Way Back: The Paintings of George A. Weymouth is a 2018 exhibit at the Brandywine River Museum which says: "In addition to his roles as founder and board chairman of the Brandywine Conservancy & Museum of Art, a philanthropist, and a land and cultural conservationist, George A. "Frolic" Weymouth (1936-2016) was a highly talented artist." Also see press release and 1/25/18 article in The Hunt Magazine. Accessed 2/18
Western Pennsylvania Folk Art is featured in the Antiques and the Arts Weekly 7/2/07 article "Made In the Pennsylvania A Folk Art Tradition" and a 12/1/02 article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Accessed 3/18
Museum of Pennsylvania offered a guided exhibit tour of A Common
Canvas or Pennsylvania's Heritage with editor Michael O'Malley's interview
with curator David Lembeck. The exhibit ran November 23, 2008 through May
17, 2009: Videos include a Full Presentation (1:50:30 length), Preview (7:50
length), Just the Tour (1:31:07 length), Short Tour (20:00 length), and
Just the Interview (18:01 length). [Link found to be expired as of
2015 audit. TFAO is saving the citation for use by researchers.]
Books, listed by year of publication, with most recently published book listed first:
Born of Fire: the Valley of Work: Industrial Scenes of Southwestern ..., By Barbara L. Jones, Edward K. Muller, Joel Arthur Tarr. Published 2006 by Westmoreland Museum of American Art. 160 pages. ISBN:0931241316. Original from the University of Michigan. Digitized Nov 13, 2007.
Artists of the Commonwealth: Realism and Its Response in Pennsylvania Painting 1900-1950, by Betsy Fahlman, Barbara L. Jones. Westmoreland Museum of American Art, Feb 1, 2006 - 72 pages. Google Books says: "Artists Of The Commonwealth: Realism and its Response in Pennsylvania Painting, 1900-1950, is a page catalog created to accompany the exhibition of the same name organized as a collaboration between Westmoreland Museum of American Art, Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art, and the Erie Art Museum. It is an initiative of the Pennsylvania Council of the Arts. This exhibition brings together the work of Pennsylvania artists that, although stylistically varied, are firmly based upon the foundation of representational art. By celebrating the contributions of Pennsylvania artists and placing them and their work within the greater context of American art, this exhibition will provide museum visitors with a rare opportunity to assess the direction of art at the opening of the 20th century."
Treasures of the Greater Lehigh Valley, by Martha Young Hutson, Christine I. Oaklander, David R. Brigham. 2003 - 48 pages. Features examples from the collections of artistic organizations in Berks, Lehigh, and Northampton counties in Pennsylvania: Allentown Art Museum,
Pennsylvania Impressionism, by Brian H. Peterson, William H. Gerdts, Sylvia Yount. Published 2002 by University of Pennsylvania Press. 340 pages. ISBN:0812237005. From the book jacket: ""Pennsylvania impressionist paintings are now widely collected, and numerous works in private hands are shown here, as are selections from the holdings of the James A. Michener Art Museum, which has the most extensive public collection. The book is lavishly illustrated with 369 color reproductions, and includes biographies of eighty-four artists, many never before published. The history of the Bucks County art colony is explored by Brian H. Peterson, who also suggests new ways of understanding the art and artists who made their home in the area. Sylvia Yount eloquently weaves together the historic foundations of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and its impact on the Pennsylvania impressionists. Noted art historian William H. Gerdts provides a comprehensive study of the art colony movement and its roots, and includes a comprehensive bibliography on that bygone era." Note: Google Books offers a Limited Preview of this book. For more information on this and other digitizing initiatives from publishers please click here and here. (left: front cover, Pennsylvania Impressionism, image courtesy Google Books)
Artists of the Commonwealth: Realism in Pennsylvania Painting, 1950-2000, By Michael A. Tomor, John Vanco, Bruce Katsiff. Published 2001 by Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art. Painting, American. 71 pages. ISBN:0970099533
Folk Art Motifs of Pennsylvania, By Frances Lichten. Published by Dover Publications, 1999. ISBN 0486233030, 9780486233031. 71 pages
The Genius Belt: The Story of the Arts in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, By George S. Bush. Published by Pennsylvania State University Press, 1997. ISBN 0271016736, 9780271016733. 192 pages
The Pennsylvania Impressionists, By Thomas Folk. Published by Associated University Presses, 1997. ISBN 0838636993, 9780838636992. 136 pages
The Pennsylvania School of Landscape Painting: An Original American ..., By Thomas Folk,. 1984 - 95 pages. Catalogue of an exhibition held at the Allentown Art Museum and others, Sept. 16, 1984-Sept. 2, 1985
Return of the Figure: A Pennsylvania Perspective. Published 1985 by Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art. Catalog of an exhibition held at the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art from September 15 to December 8, 1985.
Discovering Pittsburgh's Sculpture, By Vernon Gay, Marilyn Evert. Published by University of Pittsburgh Press, 1983. ISBN 0822934671, 9780822934677. 451 pages
Pennsylvania's Painters (Pennsylvania History Studies No. 14), By Irwin Richman, Pennsylvania Historical Association, 1983, 83 pages
The Sculptures at Gettysburg, By Wayne Craven, Milo Stewart, Published by Eastern Acorn Press, 1982. ISBN 0915992221, 9780915992225. 96 pages
Sculpture of a City: Philadelphia's Treasures in Bronze and Stone. Published by Walker Pub. Co., 1974. ISBN 080270459X, 9780802704597. 363 pages
Pennsylvania Folk Art, October 20 through December 1, 1974, Allentown Art Museum, By Allentown Art Museum, Pa Allentown - Folk art - 1974
Two Hundred and Fifty Years of Art in Pennsylvania, By Paul A. Chew. Published by Westmoreland County Museum of Art, 1959. 105 pages. Google Books says: "This catalogue is to record the exhibition assembled on the occasion of the opening of the Westmoreland County Museum of Art."
Pennsylvania Folk-art: An Interpretation, By John Joseph Stoudt. Published by Schlechter's, 1948. Original from the University of Michigan. Digitized Jan 25, 2007. 402 pages. Google Books says: "Revision of Consider the lillies, how they grow, pub. in 1937 as the 2d annual vol. of the Pennsylvania German Folklore Society."
Pennsylvania Dutch American Folk Art, By Henry J. Kauffman, Charles Geoffrey Holme. Published by American Studio Books, 1946. Original from the University of Michigan. Digitized Jan 25, 2007. 136 pages
Folk Art of Rural Pennsylvania, By Pennsylvania Art Project, Index of American design, Index of American Design Pennsylvania, Frances Lichten, Index of American Design, Austin Davison, Compiled by Frances Lichten, Austin Davison. Published by Pennsylvania Art Project, Pennsylvania, 1941 Google Books says: "This portfolio is selected, adapted, and compiled from original sources by Frances Lichten and Austin Davison II."
Water Colors by Philadelphia Water Color Club: May 3-26, 1940. Arnot Art Museum - 1940
Book information courtesy of Google Books.
Jim Alterman: "Pennsylvania Impressionists and Modernists" American Art Review September-October 2001 (Volume XIII, Number 5)
Alice A. Carter: "The Red Rose Girls" American Art Review November-December 2003 (Volume XV, Number 6)
Doreen Bolger, "The Education of the American Artist", In this Academy, 1976, The Pennsylvania Academy: pp. 51-74
Betsy Fahlman: "Realism and Its Response in Pennsylvania Painting" American Art Review July-August 2006 (Volume XVIII, Number 4)
Frank H. Goodyear, Jr.: The Pennsylvania Academy: In this Academy, 1976, Frank Goodyear, "A History of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1805-1906", pp. 12-48
Frank H. Goodyear, Jr.: The Pennsylvania Academy: In this Academy, 1976, Frank Goodyear, "American Landscape Painting", pp. 122-137
Frank H. Goodyear, Jr.: The Pennsylvania Academy: In this Academy, 1976, Frank Goodyear, "The Eight", pp, 188-228
Erika Jaeger-Smith: "The Bucks County . Framemaking Tradition" American Art Review January-February 2001 (Volume XIII, Number 1)
Erika Jaeger-Smith: "Phillips' Mill: Celebrating Seventy-Five Years of Art" American Art Review May-June 2005 (Volume XVII, Number 3)
Ilene D. Lieberman: "Race and Remembrance: Philadelphia's All Wars Memorial to Colored Soldiers and Sailors and the Politics of Place" American Art Journal ( vol. 29, nos. 1 and 2; 1998)
Joan M. Marter: The Pennsylvania Academy: In this Academy, 1976, Joan Marter, "Contemporary American Art at the Academy", pp. 229-258
McCombs, Douglas. 2002. " Western Pennsylvania Folk: Art from the People." Western Pennsylvania History 85 (Winter 2002-2003): 10-20.
Milo M. Naeve: "An Aristocratic Windsor in Eighteenth-Century Philadelphia" American Art Journal ( vol. 11, no. 3; 1979)
Judith Hansen O'Toole: American Art Review "Valley of Work: Scenes of Industry in Western Pennsylvania" February-March 96
Judith Hansen O'Toole: American Art Review " George Luks: The Watercolors Rediscovered" June-July 95
Judith Hansen O'Toole & Carla S. Herling: "Treasures from the Westmoreland Museum of American Art" American Art Review January-February 1999 (Volume XI, Number 1)
Judith Hansen O'Toole with Kevin O'Toole: "Still-Life Painting in Southwestern Pennsylvania" American Art Review July-August 2001 (Volume XIII, Number 4)
Brian H. Peterson: "Impressionism Comes to Bucks County" American Art Review September-October 2002 (Volume XIV, Number 5)
Michael William Schantz: American Art Review "Woodmere Art Museum, The Artists' Museum," April-May 94
Michael William Schantz: "The Pennsylvania Impressionist Legacy" American Art Review September-October 2005 (Volume XVII, Number 5)
J. Daniel Selig: "A Visit to the Reading Museum, Part I" American Art Review January-February 1974 (Volume 1, Number 2)
Darrel L. Sewell: "Three Centuries of Philadelphia Artists" American Art Review May-June 1976 (Volume III, Number 3)
Mark Thistlethwaite: The Pennsylvania Academy: In this Academy, 1976, Mark Thistlethwaite, "The Artist As Interpreter of American History", pp. 99-120
Lori Verderame: "Bucks County Artists" American Art Review November-December 2000 (Volume XII, Number 6)
David Wilkins: "The American Painting Collection at the Sarah Scaife Gallery, Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh" American Art Review March-April 1975 (Volume II, Number 2)
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