Michener Art Museum

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Past Exhibitions

Making Magic: Beauty in Word and Image

November 3, 2012 – March 31, 2013
Fred Beans Gallery

Exhibition sponsored by members of the museum's
Corporate Business Partner Program.

Presenting Sponsor
The Corporate Business Partner Advisory Board

Bucks County Herald

Additional Support
Bruce Norman Long Interior Design

"What respite from her thrilling toil Did Beauty ever take—But Work might be electric Rest To those that Magic make" —Emily Dickinson

Beauty. We all know what it means—as long as we don't think about it too much. It's a combination of qualities that pleases the senses or intellect. It's in the eye of the beholder...and it's only skin deep. We have beauty marks, beauty shops, beauty queens, beauticians, and beauty sleep. Stuff that's new, bright, clean, being born, blossoming, or happy is beautiful; stuff that's old, dull, dirty, dying, withering, or sad is not beautiful. The prevailing wisdom in academic circles says it's a cultural construct that has no intrinsic meaning. Yet creative people have been obsessed with beauty since the cave painters of prehistoric France and Spain, and continue to claim it for themselves using techniques both familiar and unconventional. Organized by the Michener Art Museum and drawn in part from the Michener's collection, this exhibition explores beauty not through aesthetic discourse but through the eyes and ears of contemporary artists. From the endless ways of seeing beauty, the exhibit loosely defines four overlapping types–lyrical, corporeal, transforming, and empathic–and explores these ideas using the work of photographers and poets from the Philadelphia region. Through word and image, this unusual exhibition takes a fresh look at an ancient concept, and also invites viewers to share their own thoughts about what is beautiful in their lives.

Download the PDF below to enjoy the poetry of Making Magic from the comfort of your living room.

Image: Lisa Tyson Ennis (b.1961). Fishing Weir, Study VII, Campobello Island, 2010, Toned gelatin silver print, 14 x 14 inches, Collection of the artist.

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