Herman Silverman

Herman Silverman


DOYLESTOWN, PA — The board of trustees and staff of the James A. Michener Art Museum are deeply saddened by the death of Herman Silverman, a Bucks County businessman and philanthropist whose passion for art and the local community propelled him to serve as a leading force in creating what is now the Michener Art Museum. Mr. Silverman passed away on Wednesday, May 31 at the age of 97.

James A. Michener – left – with Herman Silverman – right – at 1988 opening of the Michener Art Museum. Photo by Frank Pronesti

In the late 1980s, Mr. Silverman convinced the County Commissioners to allow him to transform the former Bucks County Prison in Doylestown into an arts center that would showcase regional historical and contemporary art. He then persuaded his close friend James Michener, the world-famous writer who grew up in Doylestown, to donate his name and major financial support to the new institution. Over the past thirty years, the Michener Art Museum has evolved into a thriving visual arts institution and cultural center that welcomes 135,000 visitors each year.

“Herman had remarkable vision and a deep, longstanding commitment to making art publically accessible,” said Louis E. Della Penna, chairman of the Michener board of trustees. “He changed for the better the landscape and lives of so many people in Bucks County.”

“Herman will be profoundly missed,” added Gregory Church, president of the Michener board of trustees. “But his generous spirit and countless contributions will resonate at the Michener for decades to come.”

Michener Director and CEO  Lisa Tremper Hanover agreed. “Even at 97, Herman was deeply engaged in the arts and the Michener,” she said. “He was very proud of what the museum has become, and never missed an opportunity to converse with visitors or compliment the staff. We will all feel his absence acutely.”

About the James A. Michener Art Museum

The James A. Michener Art Museum collects, preserves, interprets and exhibits American art, and promotes the work of nationally and internationally known Delaware Valley artists of all eras and creative disciplines. The museum presents exhibitions that explore a variety of artistic expressions and offers diverse educational programs that develop a lifelong involvement in the arts. The James A. Michener Art Museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.

The Michener Art Museum is located at 138 South Pine St., Doylestown, PA. The Museum is open Tuesday through Friday, 10:00 am – 4:30 pm; Saturday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm and Sunday noon – 5:00 pm. For more information, visit MichenerArtMuseum.org or call 215.340.9800.