For the past 6 months or so, I have been feverishly slaving away in the digital darkroom realm for a substantial exhibit at the State Museum of Pennsylvania, located in Harrisburg, the state capital.
Now that I am done with my part in the exhibit, I figure I have the time to make an announcement about it here on the forum... of course, what they don't say in the public announcement on the PA museum site is the most important part; the modern photographs are all 4x5 color work, taken by me over the course of the last four years. There are also some archival photos from the National Archives in Washington DC, and there are some artist's original pieces and documents as well.
Many of the images are very large, with several being life-size, which puts them at about 14' wide.
A COMMON CANVAS:
PENNSYLVANIA'S NEW DEAL POST OFFICE MURALS
Opening November 23, 2008 through May 17, 2009
In 1933, the administration of newly elected President Franklin Roosevelt launched an ambitious program to place murals and sculptures in post offices across the country. To coincide with the national 75th anniversary of the New Deal, The State Museum of Pennsylvania brings together these same artworks for the first time in this special exhibition to offer a common canvas of Pennsylvania that has faded from the landscape, but not from memory.
This exhibit includes photographs, color studies, archival images, and original artwork associated with some of the 88 artworks commissioned for Pennsylvania post offices between 1933 and 1942. Although the artworks are widely dispersed across Pennsylvania, they represent a treasure trove of public art and a unique portrait of Pennsylvania society and culture circa the Great Depression. Each artwork, whether a mural or sculpture, aimed to capture something intrinsically important about the Pennsylvania community in which they were to be installed. Given the Commonwealth’s legacy as a manufacturing state, industries such as coal and steel are recurring motifs, but the collection also reflects other traditions as well: agriculture, glass making, lumbering, historical events/individuals, Native Americans and a variety of town and streetscapes.
This exhibition, co-curated by the State Museum's Dr. Curt Miner, Senior Curator of Popular Culture, and by State College native David Lembeck, represents the first public exhibition of Pennsylvania’s collection, and will offer visitors a rare opportunity to glimpse, in one venue, what it likely the Commonwealth’s largest public art collection.
There will be a reception on Sunday the 23rd, and I will be there to attend. Anyone nearby is invited to come up to see the exhibit.