Doylestown's James Michener museum marks 25 years
DOYLESTOWN — In 1988, Doylestown native and Pulitzer Prize winner James A. Michener lent his name and support to a new art museum.
To be sure, the new museum was housed in a rather unusual space. Just a few years earlier, the building on Pine Street in Doylestown had been a prison.
Remnants of its former life are still visible, including the prison wall and the etched graffiti names of past inmates. But 25 years later, the James A. Michener Art Museum is thriving and growing.
To mark its silver anniversary, the museum is embarking on a series of events to honor its past and herald its future.
“This is a significant milestone. We wanted to renew and reinvigorate the museum,” said its director and CEO Lisa Tremper Hanover on Wednesday as she led a tour of the facility on Michener Art Museum Tribute Day.
The museum has designed a new logo and is using the catchphrase, “25 Years of Art at the HeART of Bucks County.”
Just in time for the big anniversary, the 35,400-square-foot museum has undergone renovations to the lobby and Nakashima Reading Room. Overgrown landscaping has been trimmed back to increase the museum's visibility.
Last year, the museum opened an education center and the Edgar N. Putman Event Pavilion, which is the largest self-supporting glass structure in the Northeast, according to museum officials. The bright, airy space is used for lectures, performances and special events.
The museum has a full calendar of events to mark its 25th anniversary. On June 15, the museum will hold a Founders Celebration. A public celebration is set for Sept. 21-22.
And in October, the museum will host royalty when Prince Albert of Monaco drops by for the opening reception for an exhibit honoring his late mother, Princess Grace Kelly.
In 2014, the Michener Art Museum will open a special exhibit featuring 25 pieces of art chosen by the public. Through November, visitors can choose three pieces of art from a selection of more than 100, some of which are rarely seen publicly. The top 25 vote-getters will be displayed beginning in February.
James Michener died in 1997.
“He would be proud of the evolution of the program,” Hanover said. “He would be proud the collections have grown.”
Looking toward the next 25 years, it is Hanover's hope that the museum is “seen as a great destination, not just a one-time visit” and that the community continues to embrace and support it.
Hanover also wants the museum to have a more global reach with other artistic genres from around the world displayed.
But more than anything, it is Hanover's wish “that the community maintains their pride in this institution.”
The Michener Art Museum houses more than 2,700 works, with a significant representation from local artists and Pennsylvania Impressionists.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Federal grand jury reviewing Liquor Control Board violations, sources tell Trib
- Bill that would end district-level review of homeschooling in Pennsylvania goes to Corbett
- Pa. town can keep Jim Thorpe’s body
- Justice blames feud for his ouster; chief of court admits he did seek to remove him
- Eric Frein lookalike: I keep getting stopped
- Sheriff’s sale delayed for historic Conneaut Lake Park
- State police have seized twice as much heroin this year as in all of 2013