Michener Art Museum permanent collection seen through community perspectives

The James A. Michener Art Museum (Doylestown, PA) presents “(re)Frame: Community Perspectives on the Michener Art Collection,” on view June 18, 2022 – March 5, 2023.

The exhibition is a museum-wide initiative inviting multiple viewpoints based on culturally specific interpretations. Applying new lenses to Michener’s collection, guest curators and visitors will explore artworks’ social and environmental contexts beyond academic Euro-American art history.

“Each person’s personal experience, cultural background, and professional and scholarly interests influence how they understand a work of art and we want to embrace these varied interpretations,” Laura Turner Igoe, Michener’s Chief Curator, said. “There are many ways to look at an artwork.”

Eight guest curators — Joe Baker, Reg Hoyt, TK Smith, and youth members of Doylestown’s Rainbow Room — have selected works from the Michener’s permanent collection to reveal new stories about identity and the environment in the Delaware Valley region. Historical and contemporary art selected by the curators include works by Diane Burko, Daniel Garber, Elaine Galen, Alan Goldstein, Richard Kemble, Harry Leith-Ross, Joan W. Lindley, Jan Lipes, Tim Portlock, Herbert Pullinger, Edward W. Redfield, William A. Smith, Robert Spencer, Dox Thrash, and William Earle Williams, some of which have never before been on view.

Several stations throughout the Museum’s galleries invite visitors to share their own interpretations and what they would like to see at the museum in the future. 

Guest Curator Bios

Joe Baker is an artist, educator, curator, and activist who has been working in the field of Native Arts for the past thirty years. He is an enrolled member of the Delaware Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma and co-founder executive director of Lenape Center in Manhattan.

Baker is an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s School of Social Work in New York and was recently Visiting Professor of Museum Studies at Colorado College, Colorado Springs, Colorado. He serves as a board member for The Endangered Language Fund, Yale University and on the Advisory Committee for the National Public Art Consortium, New York and cultural advisor for the new CBS Series, “Ghosts.”

Baker graduated from the University of Tulsa with a BFA degree in Design and an MFA in painting and drawing, and completed postgraduate study, Harvard University, Graduate School of Education, MDP Program. 

Reg Hoyt is an Associate Professor at Delaware Valley University. He has been a faculty member at DelVal since 2006, where he is co-chair of the Animal Biotechnology & Conservation Department and the founder and Chair of the DelVal One Health Working Group.

Hoyt has over 25 years of experience in zoos and conservation, and he currently serves as president/CEO of Forest Partners International, a conservation nonprofit. He is also involved in the World Conservation Union, the American Society of Mammalogists, the Pennsylvania Biological Survey, the Pennsylvania State Wildlife Action Plan Advisory Committee, the Society for Conservation Biology, The Wildlife Society, and the Pennsylvania One Health Taskforce.

He earned his BA in Biology from Nasson College and his MA in Museum Science and Biological Sciences from Texas Tech University. 

TK Smith (He/ Him) is a Philadelphia-based curator, writer, and cultural historian. His curatorial projects include Roland Ayers: Calligraphy of Dreams, the 2021 Atlanta Biennial exhibition Virtual Remains, and Zipporah Camille Thompson: Looming Chaos. His writing has been published in Art in America, the Monument Lab Bulletin, and ART PAPERS, where he is a contributing editor. In 2021 he was the invited inaugural writer at the Vashon Artist Residency, and he was a 2022 recipient of an Andy Warhol Writers Grant.

Currently, Smith is a doctoral student in the History of American Civilization program at the University of Delaware, where he researches art, material culture, and the built environment. 

The Rainbow Room is an educational and empowering program for LGBTQIA+ youth and allies, sponsored by Planned Parenthood Keystone, and rooted in the Doylestown community since 2002. For information about the Rainbow Room follow them on social media: @ PPRainbowRoom.

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