TribLIVE

| Neighborhoods

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

'Your Art Needs You!' at Westmoreland Museum of American Art

- These are some of the works on display as part of the 'Your Art Needs You!' exhibit at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greensberg. Courtesy of the Westmoreland Museum of American Art
These are some of the works on display as part of the 'Your Art Needs You!' exhibit at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greensberg. Courtesy of the Westmoreland Museum of American Art
- This painting is part of the 'Your Art Needs You!' exhibit at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greensberg and is part of the museum's collection: 'Closed for the Duration,' c. 1941, by Dorothy Lauer Davids, 1905-1980, oil on canvas, gift of Paul Davids. The painting needs $4,000 worth of conservation work. Image courtesy of the Westmoreland Museum of American Art
This painting is part of the 'Your Art Needs You!' exhibit at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greensberg and is part of the museum's collection: 'Closed for the Duration,' c. 1941, by Dorothy Lauer Davids, 1905-1980, oil on canvas, gift of Paul Davids. The painting needs $4,000 worth of conservation work. Image courtesy of the Westmoreland Museum of American Art
- This painting is part of the 'Your Art Needs You!' exhibit at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greensberg and is part of the museum's collection: 'Two Sisters,' c. 1925, by Alfred Henry Maurer, 1868-1932, oil on board, gift of the Westmoreland Society, 2000. This work has been 'adopted' through donations to pay for conservation costs. The adoption costs were $625 for the painting and $750 for the frame. Image courtesy of the Westmoreland Museum of American Art
This painting is part of the 'Your Art Needs You!' exhibit at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greensberg and is part of the museum's collection: 'Two Sisters,' c. 1925, by Alfred Henry Maurer, 1868-1932, oil on board, gift of the Westmoreland Society, 2000. This work has been 'adopted' through donations to pay for conservation costs. The adoption costs were $625 for the painting and $750 for the frame. Image courtesy of the Westmoreland Museum of American Art
- This work is part of the 'Your Art Needs You!' exhibit at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greensberg and is part of the museum's collection: Tavern sign board, circa 1815, probably New England, attributed to William Rice, 1777–1847, ard, c. 1815, paint on pine, Gift of Friends of the Museum. The sign needs $1,250 worth of conservation, and its frame needs $3,000 worth of conservation. Image courtesy of the Westmoreland Museum of American Art
This work is part of the 'Your Art Needs You!' exhibit at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greensberg and is part of the museum's collection: Tavern sign board, circa 1815, probably New England, attributed to William Rice, 1777–1847, ard, c. 1815, paint on pine, Gift of Friends of the Museum. The sign needs $1,250 worth of conservation, and its frame needs $3,000 worth of conservation. Image courtesy of the Westmoreland Museum of American Art
- This painting is part of the 'Your Art Needs You!' exhibit at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greensberg and is part of the museum's collection: 'Carnival,' 1947, by Milton Weiss, 1912-1995, oil on masonite, gift of the artist. The adption costs are $1,650 to cover painting conservation and $1,200 for frame conservation. Image courtesy of the Westmoreland Museum of American Art
This painting is part of the 'Your Art Needs You!' exhibit at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greensberg and is part of the museum's collection: 'Carnival,' 1947, by Milton Weiss, 1912-1995, oil on masonite, gift of the artist. The adption costs are $1,650 to cover painting conservation and $1,200 for frame conservation. Image courtesy of the Westmoreland Museum of American Art
- The Westmoreland Museum of American Art is in Greensburg. Courtest of the Westmoreland Museum of American Art
The Westmoreland Museum of American Art is in Greensburg. Courtest of the Westmoreland Museum of American Art
- Dr. Michael Nieland, at left, and his wife Lilli, of Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hill neighborhood, have adopted a sculpture in need of conservation that is on display in the 'Your Art Needs You' exhibition at Westmoreland Museum of Amercian Art in Greensburg. They adopted a bronze sculpture by Paul Wayland Bartlett called “Study for Courage Militaire.' The adoption involves paying for $3,200 in conservation expenses. Submitted
Dr. Michael Nieland, at left, and his wife Lilli, of Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hill neighborhood, have adopted a sculpture in need of conservation that is on display in the 'Your Art Needs You' exhibition at Westmoreland Museum of Amercian Art in Greensburg. They adopted a bronze sculpture by Paul Wayland Bartlett called “Study for Courage Militaire.' The adoption involves paying for $3,200 in conservation expenses.     Submitted
- These are some of the works on display as part of the 'Your Art Needs You!' exhibit at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greensberg. Courtesy of the Westmoreland Museum of American Art
These are some of the works on display as part of the 'Your Art Needs You!' exhibit at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greensberg. Courtesy of the Westmoreland Museum of American Art
- These are some of the works on display as part of the 'Your Art Needs You!' exhibit at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greensberg. Courtesy of the Westmoreland Museum of American Art
These are some of the works on display as part of the 'Your Art Needs You!' exhibit at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greensberg. Courtesy of the Westmoreland Museum of American Art

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

“Your Art Needs You!”

What: “Your Art Needs You!” exhibition.

When: Through Feb. 17. Museum hours are Wednesday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., with extended hours to 8 p.m. Friday. The museum is closed Mondays and Tuesdays.

Where: Westmoreland Museum of American Art, 221 N. Main St., Greensburg.

Admission: The suggested donation for museum admission is $5 for adults. Students with identification and children ages 12 and younger are admitted for free.

Details: Visit www.wmuseumaa.org, or call 724-837-1500.

By Natalie Beneviat
Monday, Jan. 21, 2013, 11:40 a.m.
 

For an art museum, it's not always about adding onto its collection but also preserving what it already owns.

The “Your Art Needs You!” exhibition, running through Feb. 17, is a way that the Westmoreland Museum of American Art is finding ways to fund conservation expenses for 133 pieces of art in its permanent collection.

By “adopting” a piece of art on display, individuals, businesses or groups can provide the financial assistance to return a worn or aged work closer to its original state, said to Barbara Jones, chief curator at the nonprofit museum, which is at 221 N. Main St. in Greensburg.

The exhibit also helps communicate a museum's often unrealized conservation needs.

“It's a good way to give the public an educational opportunity of what goes in a museum and the challenges we face,” Jones said.

In 2010, the museum had 537 pieces of its permanent collection surveyed by a conservator who relayed what, if any, restoration needs there were for each. Out of those, Jones chose 133 for the exhibition that she thought would be perfect adoptees.

The artwork, ranging from still lifes, portraits and landscapes to sculptures, is on display with documentation about what restoration each needs and its adoption cost, Jones said. Conservation assistance for pieces range from $275 to $16,000.

Each is listed with numbers indicating lower priority levels of one up to higher priority levels of four, she said.

Much of the exhibit features work by regional artists, such as artist Dorothy Lauer Davids of Greensburg, whose works include “Carnival at the Country Fair” and “Closed for the Duration,” according to Jones.

Many of these pieces have been donated by previous owners so they've been subjected to various environmental elements that affected their original state. Jones said pieces might have deteriorated through changes in temperature or humidity or perhaps by being outdoors.

For example, some had been in Pittsburgh homes during the active steel-industry days and need steel dust removed, she said.

“Things that need to be done are very detailed and time-consuming,” said Jones, who has been with the museum since 1995 and was promoted to chief curator two years ago.

For instance, “Portrait of Thomas McKean, 1776” by artist Charles Willson Peale has two conservation needs. The work needed by painting itself costs $6,750 at a Priority III level, Jones said. But like many others, its frame has some significant decorative qualities to it and also needs to be conserved at a cost of $8,500, though that is listed as a Priority I.

Because many of these pieces were given to the museum from personal collections, Barbara Ferrier of Greensburg, said, it's a great way to acknowledge these donors and to ensure the museum's important collection remains intact.

“This is an opportunity for us who are participating to give back. We are ensuring that their gifts are being preserved,” said Ferrier, 69, who is on The Community Foundation board of Westmoreland County.

She adopted three etchings on paper by Pittsburgh-born artist Henry Ossawa Tanner, who lived from 1859 to 1937, that were gifts of Dr. John J. McDonough and are titled “Return to the Tomb,” “Christ Walking on Water” and “The Mosque.” The total adoption amount was $1,200.

If it were not for the direction of Joan McGarry, the museum's director of education and visitor management, Ferrier said, she might have not chosen those particular works. But McGarry relayed the background of the works and artist, who Ferrier learned, is one of the most distinguished African-American artists of the 19th century and also reached rare international acclaim.

“I understand why it was selected as a Priority I,” Ferrier said.

McGarry said the works by Tanner are “truly a treasure,” as well as those of other artists featured at the museum. All the collections can provide various educational aspects for visitors, she said.

“We seek to try and educate anybody that comes in here,” said McGarry, who has been with the museum for two years.

She said art is a medium that is “extremely accessible and approachable” for anyone to enjoy; thus, conservation is important.

“If we take care of them now, they'll be around for a long, long time,” said McGarry, of Pittsburgh.

Dr. Michael Nieland and his wife, Lilli, of Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hill neighborhood, are frequent visitors to the museum and have adopted a bronze sculpture by Paul Wayland Bartlett called “Study for Courage Militaire,” a Priority I at an adoption cost of $3,200.

Michael Nieland said the “impressive” statue must have suffered outdoor weathering, thus, affecting its coloring. He said Bartlett did many important sculptures, including a well-known statue of the Marquis de Lafayette.

“I think conservation and restoration is the less glamorous part of museum presentation. But it's terribly important,” said Nieland, 74.

He encourages others to go to The Westmoreland.

“It's an easy 40-minute drive to Greensburg and well worth the reward of seeing the wonderful collection.”

Greensburg residents Sande and Rich Hendricks are adopting an oil on canvas by Joseph Woodwell titled “Boat Dock,” Sande Hendricks said.

It's a Priority II piece, and the $350 adoption cost will fund a new frame, Jones said.

Sande Hendricks, who originally is from Los Angeles, said she and her husband, who is from Long Island, N.Y., appreciate the artist's use of sea scenery in his work.

“It's just a wonderful piece of art,” said Sande Hendricks, who is a professional sculptor.

Those who adopt a piece of art will have a special wall label for one year near the artwork. The pieces all will be displayed in their conserved state after the museum “hopefully” reopens in early 2015 after a major remodeling and expansion, Jones said.

It's scheduled to close in August.

All donors will be recognized in the annual report, said Jones, of Greensburg. Also, each will receive a certificate of adoption for the chosen object or objects, she said.

Even if someone cannot afford to adopt a piece, donations of any size are appreciated and can be made to the museum's general conservation fund, Jones said. Those donating $50 or more will receive a complimentary copy the museum's permanent-collection catalogue, she said.

Jones, 60, said she hopes at least 50 percent of the exhibited works will be adopted.

Adopter Ferrier, who is 69, said she also is participating because she wants to these collections to continue so she always can enjoy museum.

“I plan on living the next 30 years,” she said. “I want this place to be active and have everything.”

Natalie Beneviat is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Big plays cost Steelers defense in 43-19 preseason loss at Bills
  2. Steelers notebook: Tomlin mum on Bryant suspension
  3. Happ’s strong start, Ramirez’s homer pace Pirates past Rockies
  4. Holgorsen’s defensive decisions have WVU headed in right direction
  5. Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Fischer open to interest rate hike
  6. Pitt star running back Conner remains grounded despite success
  7. College football preview: ACC
  8. Pitt’s cancer institute marks 30 years with eye toward future
  9. Patience serves as virtue amid pitching prospect Glasnow’s quest for majors
  10. Rossi: Beleaguered Steelers need MVP from Big Ben
  11. Starting 9: Pirates place renewed emphasis on nabbing base-stealers