Allentown Art Museum Announces Recent Acquisitions

PRESS RELEASE                                                                                       
For Immediate Release
April 23, 2012
Media Contact:
Chris Potash
(610) 432-4333 extension 125
cpotash [at] allentownartmuseum [dot] org


Allentown, Pa.—The Allentown Art Museum of the Lehigh Valley has acquired a number of new artworks in recent months to add to its extensive permanent holdings, which now include more than 17,000 pieces. “We’re always looking to collect works that we feel should be preserved for future generations and that will help us fulfill our mission today as an educational resource,” says Sofia Bakis, Coordinator for Collections and Exhibitions.

Recent acquisitions include a set of 12 German Passion prints that incorporate textiles and extensive hand painting. The prints, by Johann Bussemacher, were published in 1582 and 1583 and were based on a set of passion prints by J. Sadeler after designs by Martin de Vos. The technique of adorning devotional prints with fabric is called Spickelbilder (larded images). The prints were decorated by nuns to cater to the market for pious devotional images. Surviving examples are extremely rare. The only other known dressed prints from this series are in the Germanishches Nationalmuseum in Nuremberg, Germany; they have only five from the series, with fabrics but no hand coloring. The prints were offered by Helmut Rumbler, Frankfort, Germany, and are in remarkably good condition, with the colors appearing fresh. The Bussemacher acquisition was made possible with the generous assistance of the SOTA (Society of the Arts) Print Fund and The Rev. and Mrs. Van S. Merle-Smith Jr. Endowment Fund.

Another work acquired with the support of the SOTA Print Fund is a line engraving by the English poet, painter, and printmaker William Blake, titled With Dreams upon my bed thou scarest and affrighest me. The 17-inch-by-13-inch proof appeared as plate 11 in the first published edition of The Book of Job (1825).

Other recent acquisitions at the Allentown Art Museum of the Lehigh Valley include:


Thomas Birch, Mill at the Great Falls of the Lehigh at Stoddartsville, PA, late 1820s to 1830s, oil on canvas. Gift in Honor of Elliot J. Sussman’s Years of Service to AAM and the Priscilla Payne Hurd Fund.

John Clem Clarke, Pentimenti (bathers), 1990s, acrylic.

Hans Moller, Autumn Brilliance, 1975, oil on canvas; Forest, 1974, watercolor; Swiss Garden, 1980, watercolor.Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Michael Stamatakos.

John Opie, Pep Boys, oil on canvas; Ellen Nosé with Magus, oil on panel; State Park Pool, oil on canvas; Coleman Hawkins, Tenor Giant, oil on canvas; Girls’ Softball, Hellertown, oil on panel.

William Swallow, Floral Still Life, 1944, oil on canvas. Gift of Elliot J. Sussman.



Theo Anderson, #2 Machine Shop - Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, 2004, pigment print.

Josephine Sacabo, Amoroso Tormento [vida], from Oyeme Con Los Ojos (Hear Me With Your Eyes), 2011,photogravure. Gift of Verve Gallery of Photography.



Susan Opie, Untitled #1,bronze; Untitled #2, bronze; Making a Pie, bronze; Lady Pie, bronze; Sue Spinning Her Wheels, bronze; Lizard Pie #1 and #2, bronze; Exquisite Corpse #1 and #2, bronze; Crocs Bring Down Copter, bronze; Disaster: Truck Hits Elephant, bronze; Dinosaur Returns to Earth in a Volcano, bronze; Evolution of the Chair, bronze; Disaster: Tsunami and New York, bronze; Shoe and Hat, bronze.


Works on Paper

Wenceslaus Hollar, Young Negro and Young Negress, 1645, pair of etchings. Purchased through SOTA Print Fund.

Thomas Lias, Still Life, 1946, etching, proof; Fido’s Dream, 1946, etching; Plate for Fido’s Dream, 1946, copper plate; Chaste, 1949, engraving; Spatial Equilibrium, 1950, engraving; Plate for SpatialEquilibrium, 1950, copper plate. Gift of Paul K. Kania.

Giovanni Battist Piranesi, The Round Tower from the Carceri(Prisons), 1749 – 60, etching. Purchased through SOTA Print Fund.

Samuel Palmer, The Morning of Life, 1861–61, etching.Purchased through SOTA Print Fund.

Louise Pithoud, active in Demarteau’s studio, after Jean-Guillaume Moitte, Altar Sacrifice, 1790s, two small etchings with aquatint. Purchased through SOTA Print Fund.



Founded in 1934 by the teacher, painter and critic Walter Emerson Baum (1884–1956), the Allentown Art Museum of the Lehigh Valley has become the premier visual arts institution in the region, serving as an important cultural destination as well as a vital element in the economic revitalization of downtown Allentown and the surrounding area. The Museum’s newly renovated and expanded 48,900 sq. ft. facility showcases a growing collection of more than 17,000 works of art of international importance, allowing visitors to experience a broad spectrum of art representing diverse media, materials and techniques from an equally diverse range of countries and cultures. In 1974 the Museum received prestigious accreditation from the American Association of Museums and today remains one of just 299 art museums of the 15,000 museums nationwide accorded this status.



For forty-eight years the Society of the Arts (SOTA) has taken great pride in contributing to the educational, social and cultural life of the Lehigh Valley through volunteer service to the Museum. Members recognized early on that one measure of the quality of a museum is its collection of original prints, and so SOTA adopted the Print Fund as its primary focus for fundraising efforts.  So far nearly $700,000 has been contributed by SOTA for the acquisition of prints.