Captivated by color? Contemporary art? Jazz? Join us for the unveiling of our three exciting new summer exhibitions, opening the first weekend of June. The celebration begins on Friday night May 31 with a special member-only Preview Party from 6 until 8 p.m. On Saturday and Sunday, the exhibitions are open to all, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., with free admission and free guided tours of Scarlet Poppies and Ultramarine Butterflies: The Language of Color on June 1. On June 2 at 1 p.m., join us for an exhibition curator tour with Elaine Mehalakes. We hope to see you there!

Scarlet Poppies and Ultramarine Butterflies: The Language of Color

Joseph Stella, (American (born Italy), 1877 – 1946), Tropical Floral, c. 1928, Oil on canvas. Philadelphia Museum of Art: Gift of Charles K. Williams, 2023 (109-2023-1)

In his book Werner’s Nomenclature of Colors (1814), Scottish painter Patrick Syme sought to create a reference for use in the arts and sciences. With color samples attached, it proved practical and portable. In fact, naturalist Charles Darwin used it during the collecting expeditions that led to his theory of evolution. Drawing inspiration from these early works on color nomenclature, this exhibition presents a selection of artworks in which color predominates. From the abstract echo of the sound of Orphism to the chemical chroma of cyanotypes, visual artists’ explorations of color contrasts and simulations remind us of the unique way each of us sees the world, and the opportunity we have to impart that vision through words, images, and their interpretation.

This is one in a series of American art exhibitions created through a multi-year, multi-institutional partnership formed by the Philadelphia Museum of Art as part of the Art Bridges Cohort Program.
Scarlet Poppies and Ultramarine Butterflies: The Language of Color is generously supported by Crayola, Rick and Michelle Stringer, the Martin Guitar Charitable Foundation, and the County of Lehigh.Crayola_logo



Marcus Jahmal: Higher Animals

Marcus Jahmal (American, b. 1990), Polar Express, 2024, Oil on canvas, © Marcus Jahmal, image courtesy the artist and Anton Kern Gallery, New York.

Marcus Jahmal is best known for his large-format paintings of evocative scenes populated by figures seemingly pulled from his subconscious and set within cryptic, dreamlike narratives. Employing bold colors and incorporating a loose patchwork of art-historical references, Jahmal’s paintings have a sumptuousness and visual rhythm to them that is less to be decoded than experienced and felt. In this new suite of paintings and drawings, many of which are presented publicly here for the first time, the artist distills these cultural traditions of animal representation and display to interrogate something more fundamental about the human condition.


Structure and Lyric: Prints by Stanley Whitney

Stanley Whitney (American, b. 1946), Untitled, 2016, sugar lift aquatint and open bite. Allentown Art Museum: purchase, gift of Paul K. Kania, 2022. (2022.8.1.1)

Characterized by improvisational mark making, Whitney’s compositions contrast lyrically drawn and brushed lines against a structure of horizontal registers. While these freehand grids recall the blocks of Roman and Egyptian ruins that influenced the artist’s explorations of abstract space and density, their not-quite-geometric forms are filled with linear life.


The exhibition program at the Allentown Art Museum is supported through the generosity of the Bernard and Audrey Berman Foundation and the Leon C. and June W. Holt Endowment.

The exhibition Opening Preview Party is sponsored by