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Bethlehem, Pa. October 13, 2005—Payne Gallery at Moravian College is displaying some of its most unusual works in a new exhibit titled “Seldom Seen: The Other Permanent Collection.” The exhibit, which runs from October 13 to November 20, contains many pieces from the college’s extensive art collection that are normally unable to be shown because of size, presence, or fragility. The College has collected art since its founding in 1742, and the items on display include Chinese scrolls, rare books, and other items not fitting into a specific category.
Among the highlights of the exhibit is “Haymaking,” a lithograph by Jackson Pollock that is one of his depression-era works, executed in the regionalist style. During the 1930s, Pollock worked for the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and as a student of the muralist Thomas Hart Benton. Later he would become famous for his abstract expressionist action paintings.
Other highlights of the show include bronzes by portraitists Thomas Eakins and John Singer Sargent. The Eakins bronze is an Impressionistic relief of mythological figures, and stands in contrast to his usual portraits and paintings of rowers on the Schuylkill River. Eakins was director of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia. Sargent’s sculpture depicts Victory awarding a wreath. He is best known for his portraits of the wealthy during the Gilded Age.
The exhibit also features two lithographs by Andrew Wyeth and photographs by Edward Sheriff Curtis. Wyeth is widely known for his work in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, but the female nudes that are the subject matter of these pieces were painted in Maine. They use the artist’s characteristic muted colors. Curtis photographed Native Americans throughout North America with great compassion. His work, much of which was subsidized by J.P. Morgan, drew praise from Theodore Roosevelt for its awareness of the Native Americans’ dwindling numbers and fading culture.
Payne Gallery is located on the Priscilla Payne Hurd Campus of Moravian College, in Historic Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The Gallery is open 11 a.m.- 4p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. The gallery is closed Mondays, major holidays and during school breaks. Admission and parking are free, and the Gallery is wheelchair accessible. For more information, call the Art Department at 610 861-1680 or visit the Gallery on the web at http://home.moravian.edu/public/art/gallery/.