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News Release

Exhibit to Celebrate 30 Years of Priscilla Payne Hurd’s Contributions to Art at Moravian College

Program to exemplify benefactor’s vision for Payne Gallery and its mission

Bethlehem, Pa., November 5, 2012—Thirty years ago Priscilla Payne Hurd challenged Moravian College and Payne Gallery to build upon what she had started. The 2012-13 academic year celebrates 30 years of exhibitions at Payne Gallery—over 200 shows later and the Gallery is still going strong. The exhibit, Celebrate, Celebrate, marks the 30 Year that the Frank E. and Seba B. Payne Gallery has been the jewel in the Priscilla Payne Hurd Center for Music and Art, the arts complex that crowns the historic Hurd Campus of Moravian College. Made possible by the extraordinary vision and generosity of Priscilla Payne Hurd, the gallery is an unusual asset for a small college, indeed, for any educational institution. It is also one of Bethlehem’s treasures. The exhibit will run from Thursday, November 8 to Tuesday, December 18. The opening reception will be held on Thursday, November 15 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. in the Gallery. Admission is free of charge and the public is welcome.

The exhibit will be accented by the recent gifts to the permanent collection. “Priscilla Payne Hurd's most recent acquisitios for the Payne Gallery is a group of six paintings including four Philadelphia Ten artists, one of her personal favorites, W. E. Schofield, and an artist that had so far eluded us, George Sotter,” said Professor Diane Radycki, director of the Payne Gallery. “With the recent acquisition of Sotter's, Ottsville House, we now round out Moravian College's permanent collection.”

With the addition of this collection, Moravian College achieves several milestone benchmarks for the Payne Gallery's 30th Anniversary. Moravian's collection is the second largest Pennsylvania Impressionist collection in the country, rivaled by only the Michener Art Museum in Doylestown. Moravian also now has the largest collection of female Pennsylvania impressionists known as the Philadelphia Ten. And finally, Moravian's collection by the artist Walter Schofield is the largest and most comprehensive collection in the country.

Payne Gallery’s collection focuses on the early Pennsylvania Impressionists: Daniel Garber, Edward Redfield, W. Elmer Schofield and Walter Baum, among others.

From the rare early paintings of Mark Rothko to The Square Piano in Rural Pennsylvania 1769-1830 to technical drawings from the Smithsonian in Washington to the installation last year of three monumental sculptures by Steven Tobin on both Main and Hurd campuses, Payne Gallery has shown many impressive exhibits over its 30 years

“Our long list of collaborators includes museums both close and far—virtually every museum in the Lehigh Valley to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian, the National Gallery in Washington, and the Jewish Museum in Prague, just to name a few,” Radycki continued. “Throughout the academic year the gallery will be celebrating—and we invite you to begin celebrating with us, with this anniversary exhibition of highlights from the permanent collection.”

Moravian College encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. Anyone who anticipates needing any type of accommodation or who has questions about the physical access provided should contact Kathi Roman at Katro@moravian.edu or 610-625-7880.


Fashioned out of what had originally been a small gymnasium, Payne Gallery was built in 1911 to allow post-Victorian young ladies of the distinguished Moravian Seminary to perform their "physical culture" exercises. Over time, however, the gymnasium fell into disuse. In 1963, the Art Department set up studio classes there. Then in 1982 the former gymnasium was converted into the Frank E. and Seba B. Payne Gallery. The gallery, named in honor of Priscilla Payne Hurd’s parents, was made possible by her extraordinary generosity. In 2001 the interior of the gallery was renovated to Smithsonian exhibition standards.

Payne Gallery is located on the Priscilla Payne Hurd Campus of Moravian College, in historic Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Payne Gallery is open 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. daily except Mondays, major holidays, and college breaks. Admission and parking are free, and the Gallery is wheelchair accessible. Bethlehem is sixty miles north of Philadelphia and ninety miles west of New York City.

Moravian College is a private, coeducational, selective liberal arts college located in Bethlehem, Pa. Tracing its founding to 1742, it is recognized as America’s sixth-oldest college. Moravian partners with students to build a strong foundation for their futures. Visit the College’s Web site at www.moravian.edu.