Named for Doylestown's most famous son, the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer James A. Michener, this museum was founded in 1988 with a regional focus, housing a collection of Pennsylvania impressionist paintings. An ongoing interest is the collection and exhibition of the work of art-furniture makers and designers working in the Bucks County area, such as George Nakashima.
The James A. Michener Art Museum will bring to light an untapped aspect of the Philadelphia region's artistic heritage with an exhibition of painter and photographer Charles Sheeler's little-known fashion photography created for Condé Nast between 1926 and 1931—a body of work that significantly informed the aesthetic vision of one of American modernism's founding figures. Trained in an impressionist approach to landscape painting, Sheeler experimented early in his career with compositions inspired by European modernism before developing a linear, hard-edged style now known as Precisionism. While working in this mode, he produced powerful images of the Machine Age: skyscrapers, factories, and locomotive engines. Through a collection of paintings, photographs, Sheeler's own textile designs, and mannequins styled in original fashions that replicate his photographic strategies, the exhibition and catalogue will enable visitors to make connections between Sheeler's photographic experimentations at Condé Nast and how the artist translated this work into the industrial paintings and photographs that established his career.
*Additional unrestricted funds are added to each grant for general operating support.*