The Holy Experiment: Violet Oakley Mural Studies

Dec 8, 2007 - Mar 30, 2008

James A. Michener Art Museum

138 South Pine Street
Doylestown, PA 18901

Time: call for hours
Phone Number: 215-340-9800 x 133
Contact: Keri Smotrich
Website: http://www.michenermuseum.org/
Description:

 


 


A significant piece of Pennsylvania's history comes to the James A. Michener Art Museum in Doylestown this winter. The Holy Experiment: Violet Oakley Mural Studies, featuring thirteen original oil on canvas studies for murals in the Governor's Reception Room of the Pennsylvania Capitol Building in Harrisburg, is on view from December 8, 2007 through March 30, 2008 in the Museum's Pfundt Gallery. Each mural, according to Oakley, depicts events that influenced Quaker ideology, William Penn's life and his search for freedom, peace and acceptance. This exhibition is augmented by a bust and photographs of the artist and a prized pair of her earrings.


 The commission to paint these thirteen murals for the Governor's Reception Room, which was awarded to Oakley in 1902 and completed in 1906, signaled not only her status as a major Pennsylvania artist but also was a milestone in the history of American art. It was the largest public commission awarded to a woman in the United States to that date. With this series, titled The Holy Experiment, Oakley garnered a gold medal in 1905 from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and significant national recognition throughout her career.


This exhibition, made available through the auspices of the Pennsylvania Capitol Preservation Committee, Harrisburg, is comprised of the original studies for all thirteen murals. Eleven studies were recently acquired from the Initiatives of Change. Two are drawn from the holdings of the Pennsylvania State Senate Chamber. The exhibition is augmented by a bust and photographs of the artist, a prized pair of her earrings, and a publication on her life and work






image


 


Violet Oakley (1874-1961), Culmination of Intolerance and Persecution in the Civil War: Development of the Puritan Idea, 1902-1906, Oil on canvas, H. 17.75 x W. 31 inches, Collection of the Pennsylvania Capitol Preservation Committee.
Event Type: Exhibition