January 3 through 6, 2022, the Allentown Art Museum invites you to participate in a bracket-style online vote to select an object you want to see in the upcoming exhibition Eclectic Collecting: Curiosities from the Vault.

About the Exhibition

Like most museums, we are only able to exhibit a small fraction of our collections at a time. With over 20,000 objects in our holdings, spatial limitations are a factor—as well as the need to limit light exposure for fragile materials.

Eclectic Collecting: Curiosities from the Vault is a delightful romp through some of the lesser known areas of our collection. From gemstones and seventeenth-century German tankards to ancient Pompeian oil jars, this exhibition celebrates wonderful and unusual artworks that don’t often make it on display.

More on the Voting

Beginning January 3, 2022, the public will be invited to vote on a preferred object from each of three pairs of works (more on the works below) on each day leading up to January 6. On January 6, the top three objects will advance, where a second vote will select a favorite object for inclusion in the exhibition.

Voting can be done on all of our social media channels or through this online form.

About the Art

The most eclectic pieces were carefully selected from our collection for you to vote on. Get to know more about the stories behind the art:

The text on John Gill’s Embroidery is actually a note from a Connecticut insane asylum that reads “Feb 11, 1887 wrought for me, Fred Gardner by John Gill in the 42nd year of his age while unjustly & unlawfully confined in Danvers Lunatic Hospital for more than 4 years past. Be that as it may John Gill has yet the manly courage to say here to him that is turned out but not to them that turned him out but may the devil turn them inside out for their help in turning out from there [sic] house & home two innocent human beings, respectfully JTK.”

A leading figure in the Funk Art movement, David Gilhooly embraced playful and humorous subjects to undercut the seriousness associated with fine art—his work, Funk Puppy, is the Funk Art piece in our collection.

Human and Horse Skeletons was part of a series of animal skeletons Andreas Feininger photographed for LIFE Magazine, which ran in the October 6, 1952 issue.

Intrigued by the expressive face of his daughter, Jacob Epstein sculpted a series of portraits in the first few years of her life that captured her changing moods, bringing us the sculpture Portrait of Peggy Jean.

Sculptor Jack Earl’s subjects are derived from his imagination and from the ordinary lives of the people in his Ohio community. Earl admires the storytelling character of 18th and 19th century porcelain figurines made by the renowned German factory, Meissen, and his work—like Where Are My Slippers?—follows in that tradition.

With dreams upon my bed thou scarest and affrighest me with Visions, a print by William Blake, depicts long-suffering Job wrestling—both literally and figuratively—with his understanding of God.