PAST PRESENT to open February 22

Chris Potash
(610) 432-4333 extension 125
cpotash [at] allentownartmuseum [dot] org
31 North 5th Street
Allentown, PA 18101

For Immediate Release
January 28, 2015


PAST PRESENT to open in Museum on February 22

NINE ARTISTS recently were invited to study the Samuel H. Kress Collection at the Allentown Art Museum and to select one specific painting each from the Collection to engage with in a creative “conversation.” The artists formed seven teams and returned to their studios to begin imagining contemporary works that would respond to, build on, react against, etc. their Kress selections. The artists might use very different tools, techniques, and technologies than their counterpart Kress artists, but each identified a common interest that they shared with the artists of the past. In the seven installations that comprise the exhibition Past Present: Conversations across Time, on display in the Museum from February 22 through May 17, 2015, new media and Kress masterpieces foster conversations between the past and the present, among contemporary artists and Old Masters, and with Museum visitors. Although art always exists within its time and reflects the concerns and ideas of its day, Past Present demonstrates that there is much to be gained from a conversation with the past.

THE KRESS COLLECTION paintings used in this exhibition are a few of the many masterpieces given to the Allentown Art Museum by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation. These works were part of Samuel Kress’s remarkable collection of European Old Masters that graced his Fifth Avenue penthouse in Manhattan. The Samuel H. Kress Foundation donated his collection to the National Gallery and ninety other institutions including the Allentown Art Museum.

THIS EXHIBITION has been organized by The Third Barn ( and the Allentown Art Museum (

Pat Badt & Scott Sherk         Giovanni Agostino da Lodi
Alison Hall                            School of Rimini
Pinkney Herbert Paolo          Uccello
Creighton Michael                Paulus Moreelse
Jonsara Ruth &
Lorella Di Cintio                   Giovanni del Biondo
Sanford Wurmfeld                Canaletto



PAT BADT is a painter. Her work is inspired by location, filtered through experience and sensibility.
She lives in an old farmhouse along the Jordan creek, surrounded by apple orchards, low mountains
and the convergence of two creeks. Her work is about process, the putting down of paint through
the appropriate handwriting, right color, texture and scale. Pat Badt is Professor of Art at Cedar
Crest College. She has been the recipient of many awards and prizes including an NEA for painting.
Her paintings have exhibited in Brussels, New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and places between
and is included in collections at the American Embassy in Riga, Latvia, the Ruth Hughes Collection
of Artist Books at Oberlin College and Bryn Mawr College.

SCOTT SHERK is a sculptor who often works with sound. He has exhibited widely including exhibitions at the Katonah Museum of Art, the Allentown Art Museum, the Kim Foster Gallery NYC, and the Leslie Cecil Gallery NYC. His exhibitions have been favorably reviewed by the New York Times and ArtForum. His sound work has been released on CD by 3Leaves, and/OAR, and net releases by Stasisfield and Wandering Ear. Scott Sherk is a Professor of Art at Muhlenberg College where he has been a recipient of the Class of ’32 Research Chair and twice the Hoffman Research Fellowship.

GREGORY COATES was born and raised in Washington D.C. where he attended the Corcoran School of Art, won a scholarship to the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and later attended the Kunst Academie, Düsseldorf Germany. He has had numerous solo exhibitions in the US and internationally including Berlin, Vienna, London, Kyoto, and Capetown, South Africa. In addition he held numerous residencies that have informed his work including the Gas works, London, The Studio Museum in Harlem, Triangle Workshop, Capetown, SA and Upstate New York; Tacheles, Berlin and in recent years many visiting artist invitations to Japan. Coates’ international appeal is indicative of his global thinking. While strongly rooted in his own culture and heritage, his work addresses the aspirations of humanity. With a kind of street-smart savvy, he works within the tradition of High Modernism.

ALISON HALL derives her stitch-like monotone patterns and labor intensive graphite
structures from fragmented observations of old master paintings, claims dual kinship
in her methodology with her farmer and factory worker forebears in Virginia on the one
hand and Eastern meditation techniques on the other. Hall spends part of every year
in central Italy absorbing the ritualistic rhythms of the small Umbrian hill town of Todi.
Searching for patterns in tile floors, 13th century paintings and looking at the ancient
world through the lens of a contemporary artist. When she isn’t in Italy, Hall divides
her time between Roanoke, Virginia; teaching painting at the University of Virginia and
Brooklyn, NY. Exhibitions include SHFAP in NYC, John Davis Gallery in Hudson, NY,
the Taubman Museum of Art, The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and The William King
Museum. In 2011 she was the recipient of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Fellowship
in Drawing and the Bethesda Painting Award.

PINKNEY HERBERT’s work is inspired by the two places where he spends
studio time, New York City and Memphis, TN. His work allows the funky
raw history of Memphis to collide with the energy of New York City. His
work exhibits this collision when he draws into painting, allowing intuitive
impulses to surface and meet head-on with the ever-changing conflict
between the emotional and the cerebral. He draws imagery from art history,
architecture and urban imagery, maps, signals, water, music and digital
technology. Mr. Herbert was born in Charlotte, NC. He received his BA
from Rhodes College and his MFA from the University of Memphis.
Mr. Herbert is the recipient of Fellowships from the National Endowment
for the Arts, the Tennessee Arts Commission, and USIA-Arts America.
He has participated in numerous art exhibitions throughout the US, Europe,
Japan, and Southeast Asia. His art is in the permanent collections of the
Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans Museum of Art, Memphis
Brooks Museum, and the Arkansas Arts Center. He is a fellow and board
member of the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (VCCA), Amherst,
VA, and VCCA-France, Auvillar, France. He is the founder and director of
Marshall Arts, an alternative gallery established in 1992 in Memphis, TN.

CREIGHTON MICHAEL’s work investigates such facets of drawing as material composition, process and its relationship with emerging patterns and drawings association with other marking systems including musical notation, short hand and calligraphy. Through the application of multiple marking systems within a particular piece he explores the recurrent spaces separating gesture and language while studying the dialogue between mark and pattern as the traditional boundaries of drawing continue to expand. An alumnus of the University of Tennessee, Creighton Michael received his M.A. in art history from Vanderbilt University and a M.F.A. in painting and multimedia from Washington University. He is a recipient of a Pollack Krasner Foundation grant, a New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship in sculpture and a Golden Foundation for the Arts award in painting. His work is in various public and private collections including the National Gallery of Art and The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.; Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Brooklyn Museum, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia and Hafnarborg Museum, Iceland.

LORELLA DI CINTIO has been educated in Canada, United States, and Europe in the fields of Interior Design, Architecture, and Philosophy in Media and Communications. Her research and practice focuses primarily on design activism and the social and political positions undertaken by designers. She is the founder of The Design Activism = Change Initiative.

JONSARA RUTH is a designer, artist, educator and the founding director of the MFA Interior
Design program at Parsons The New School for Design. In 2012, Jonsara founded Salty Labs to
lead collaborative design projects with the mission of elevating human experience and improving
environmental health. Projects span installations, interior design of public spaces, furniture design
and manufacturing.

SANFORD WURMFELD was born in Bronx, NY and lives and maintains a studio in New York City. He has exhibited worldwide in solo and group exhibitions including Tibor de Nagy Gallery, Galerie Denise Rene, Susan Caldwell Gallery, Karl Ernst Osthaus-Museum (Hagen, Germany), Mucsarnok Kunsthalle (Budapest, Hungary), Talbot-Rice Gallery (Edinburgh, Scotland), Neuberger Museum (Purchase, NY), and Ewing Museum Gallery (Knoxville, TN). Wurmfeld has lectured and written extensively on the history of color, painting, and abstraction. He has received awards from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, City University of New York, and Dartmouth College. Wurmfeld’s work is included in collections worldwide, including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum (all New York), Karl Ernst Osthaus-Museum, Sprengler Museum (both Germany), and Espace de l’Art Concret (France), among others.


THE ALLENTOWN ART MUSEUM is a proud member of the family
of eighteen regional museums nationwide that have received more
than six hundred European masterworks from the Samuel H. Kress
Foundation. From 1927 until his death in 1955, businessman Samuel
Kress amassed one of the most important private collections of
European Old Masters, which originally was displayed on the walls
of his two-story Italianate penthouse, prominently located on
Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue facing the Metropolitan Museum of Art,
to which he was a major contributor. In 1929, Samuel established
the Kress Foundation, where his brothers Claude and Rush joined
him on the Board of Trustees. In 1941, in keeping with his philanthropic
mission, the Foundation donated more than four hundred objects
(of an eventual two thousand) to help inaugurate the National Gallery
of Art in Washington, D.C. However, Kress had a grander idea: to
create a number of “miniature” National Galleries throughout the land
for Americans everywhere to have access to genuine historical art.
The Kress Foundation ultimately would donate more than thirtyone-
hundred works of art to ninety museums, colleges, and other
institutions in thirty-three states, from New York to Hawaii, as well
as Puerto Rico. One of these was the Allentown Art Museum, to
which Samuel Kress—who was born in nearby Cherryville, Pennsylvania—
generously gifted fifty paintings, three sculptures, and eight
frames, which came to the Museum in 1960 and 1961 and reflect the
spectrum of Renaissance and Baroque art.
The Museum’s Kress Collection includes a fine selection of Italian,
Dutch, Flemish, and rare German paintings as well as works of early
European sculpture. Since the initial Kress gift, the Museum has
supplemented its strength in these areas by acquiring some forty
additional works of art, including an impressive selection of seventeenth-
century Dutch and Flemish paintings.
(The complete story is available in The Samuel H. Kress Memorial
Collection at the Allentown Art Museum of the Lehigh Valley, published
in 2012 by the Allentown Art Museum.)

For information or images on PAST PRESENT contact Chris Potash at cpotash [at] allentownartmuseum [dot] org