If you are heading over to Bethlehem for Musikfest, this year you can also take a look at an interactive Sculpture Garden, set up for the first time for this week only as part of Musikfest. The eight sculptures will be on display through August 14th outside at the Handwerkplatz (near Luckenbach Mill, north Bethlehem). The Handwerkplatz features 50 artisans and their stands with their work for sale, along with glass blowing demonstrations. Food stands and music stages are nearby.
The Allentown Art Museum, 31 North Fifth Street, is once more offering free admission for the entire summer (through September 5, 2016). Three new exhibits are on display during the summer months; Our Strength Is Our People: The Humanist Photographs of Lewis Hine (through Oct. 2, 2016), Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art (through Oct, 2, 2016), and Hiroshige: Views of Japan (through Oct. 23, 2016).
Photographer Lewis Hine (1874–1940) saw his work as both art and a tool for social change. Beginning in 1905 he photographed immigrants at Ellis Island, hoping his sympathetic images would combat xenophobia. His interest in the lives of working class Americans led him to photograph immigrant steel workers and subsequently join the crusade against child labor. He smuggled his camera into textile mills and glassworks, capturing sobering images of kids at work that eventually led to the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. In the 1920s and 1930s, Hine turned his lens to the positive experiences of laborers, producing photographs that depicted skilled workers collaborating with modern machines. This determination to reveal the strength and dignity of people that many Americans viewed with scorn would characterize his photographic career.
The exhibit Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art;
…presents works in all media by seventy-one leading modern and contemporary artists. Artists featured reflect the diversity of Latino communities in the United States, showcasing artists of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, and Dominican descent, as well as other Latin American groups with deep roots here. Our America is organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
Hiroshige: Views of Japan contains woodblock prints from Andō Hiroshige’s (1797–1858) series The Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido Road, along with impressions from Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji and One Hundred Famous Views of Edo.
At the Schwenkfelder Library and Heritage Center, 105 Seminary Street, Pennsburg, admission is always free. Exhibits on display this summer include Upper Hanover Township: Celebrating 275 Years
(through October 2, 2016), Under the Spreading Boughs: Artists’ Views of Trees (a show and sale, through October 30, 2016), and Within and Withour: The Art of the Book
(through September 30, 2016);
Books take us to different times and places with the stories held within their pages through beautiful prose and inspiring ideas. The books themselves, as well, can be things of great beauty that can be appreciated as objects as well as their content. Visit the Heritage Center this summer for a glimpse of some of the extraordinary holdings in our library collection — from the exquisite gems of fraktur bookplates to carefully tooled book bindings and meticulously engraved illustrations, and much more. It will be a feast for the eyes of every bibliophile!
Michener Art Museum in Doylestown, PA does charge admission, but their current exhibits make it well worth the price. Two exhibits, Lloyd Ney: Local Color , which showcase “his paintings documenting life along the Delaware River, New Hope’s inhabitants, and ambitious, detailed plans for his ultimately never-realized legacy: a museum devoted to Ney’s own art in his home town” and Conversations in Photography celebrating “over 25 years of photographic programming at the Michener and simultaneously takes a look at a new generation of contemporary regional photographers” both close on September 11, 2016. Other exhbits at the museum this summer run into the fall months; Oh Panama! Jonas Lie Paints the Panama Canal (through Oct. 9, 2016) and the photography exhibit Unguarded, Untold, Iconic: Afghanistan Through the Lens of Steve McCurry (through Oct. 23, 2016).