Allentown Art Museum

Allentown, PA



Sea: Scene: See: Seen


Open July 17 through September 19, 1999 in the Rodale Gallery, the Allentown Art Museum's Sea:Scene:See:Seen exhibition offers an alluring view of water-worlds: ocean, beach, lake and river. In the 13 works comprising the exhibition, artists react powerfully and personally to water, whether encountered in man-made settings or in nature. Organized by Peter F. Blume, Director of the Allentown Art Museum, the exhibition features paintings from the Museum's collection. The artists represent a variety of cultures, time-frames and locations, thereby granting the exhibition an eclectic perspective on man's interaction with, and respectful admiration for, waterscapes.

Included in the exhibition is a recently acquired painting by Frederick Judd Waugh (1861-1940),Tropic Seas (c. 1928) which garnered the artist his third (among five) consecutive Popular Prizes at the 1936 Carnegie International Exhibition. In contrast to Waugh's swelling ocean and black rocks, Hans Mollers' (b. 1905) 1972 Sunset, Monhagan is a melting sherbet of colors. (left: Milton Avery,Coney Island, 1933, oil on canvas, AAM, 1994.20)

Bathers, painted in 1921 by German Expressionist Erich HeckeI (1883-1970), is juxtaposed with river-bathers painted by Randall Exon (b. 1956) in his 1996 Expansion.. Milton Avery's Coney Island of 1933 sympathetically parodies the recreational practices of New York urbanites during the 1930's Depression, while John Opies' (b. 1936) Night Swimmers (1983) candidly captures the reflective and refractive qualities of water as his characters enjoy a dip in an internally-lit swimming pool. John Marin (1870-1953), and Will Barnet (b. 1911) also present the natural attractions of waterscapes supplemented by the creativity inspired by their energy. Richard Blossom Farley (1875-1954), and Wolf Kahn (b. 1927) are also represented in this exhibition.

Making an encore appearance in Sea:Scene:See:Seen after a six-year respite, a delicate four-panel screen made by Japanese embroiderer Seizaburo Kajimoto represents the pinnacle of technical and artistic achievement of the early 20th century. It took eight months for Kajimoto and three assistants to produce this unparalleled virtuoso work displayed at the Panama-Pacific International Exhibition held in San Francisco in 1915. The marvelous craftsmanship behind the screen's blend of 250 different shades of silk makes the stitchery difficult to distinguish from a masterfully executed painting.

Read more in Resource Library about the Allentown Art Museum.

For further biographical information on selected artists cited in this article please see America's Distinguished Artists, a national registry of historic artists.

rev. 10/18/10

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