EMS Steidle Collection on display at Michener Museum through Oct. 25

September 03, 2015

Fifty-four paintings from Penn State’s Earth and Mineral Sciences Museum & Art Gallery’s Steidle Collection of American industrial art are on display in an exhibition, “Iron and Coal, Petroleum and Steel: Industrial Art from the Steidle Collection,” at the James A. Michener Art Museum in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, through Oct. 25.

Named after Edward Steidle, dean of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences (EMS) from 1928 to 1953, the Steidle Collection includes more than 350 paintings, prints, drawings and sculptures depicting Pennsylvania’s mineral industries during the first half of the 20th century. The Steidle Collection of American industrial art is one of the permanent collections of the EMS Museum.

“Many of the paintings depict the workers, cityscapes, residences, working areas and modes of transportation of the time. They are important and beautifully crafted historical documents,” said Russ Graham, director for exhibits and senior research associate of collections for the EMS Museum.

The collection includes several pieces from acclaimed artists such as John Willard Raught, Aaron Gorson, Wilfred Readio and Rockwell Kent.

“This collection was started not only to depict the industries of the time, but to educate students as to the possibilities these industries could provide. Many of these industries have dwindled today, so these paintings are some of the few historical documents we have left showing that period of time in Pennsylvania,” said Julianne Snider, assistant director for exhibits and collections for the Earth and Mineral Sciences Museum & Art Gallery.

“Steidle’s Vision: Art as Education” lecture on Sept. 29

As part of the exhibition, Snider will present a special guest lecture, titled “Steidle’s Vision: Art as Education,” from 1 to 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 29 at the Michener Art Museum. The talk will focus on how the collection was used as both an aesthetic art collection and an educational tool.

“Dean Steidle was a visionary in many ways with regard to education and the mineral sciences and industries," said Snider. "Believing that learning could be enhanced through visual experiences, he integrated art and science through his use of the EMS art collection to show students different processes, jobs, tools and ways of life in the mineral industries, and to inform the public about the mineral industries. The EMS Museum continues to interweave art and science in various exhibits and programs.” 

The James A. Michener Art Museum is an independent, nonprofit cultural institution dedicated to preserving, interpreting and exhibiting the art and cultural heritage of the Bucks County region.

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Last Updated September 03, 2015