Through September 18, 2022

Scheller and Rodale Galleries

What treasures might be lurking in storage at the Allentown Art Museum? We invite you to experience Eclectic Collecting, 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.

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

Eclectic Collecting explores the changing goals that have informed the Museum’s collecting priorities past and present, and offers opportunities for visitor responses as well as playful participation.

Images in graphic at top, clockwise from left:
Jack Earl (American, born 1934), Where Are My Slippers?, 1979, whiteware with china paint. Allentown Art Museum: Gift of Todd Volpe on behalf of Judith and Edward Volpe, 1983. (1983.52); Italian, Mules, late 1960s, leather. Allentown Art Museum: Collection of Ellie Laubner, 2009. (2009.12.2016 a,b); Greek (Classical Period), Lekythos (oil flask), ca. 470 BCE, terracotta, black figure. Allentown Art Museum: Gift of Kate Fowler Merle-Smith; Japanese, Netsuke, late 19th–early 20th century, carved ivory. Allentown Art Museum: Gift of Sadie Stauffer, 1998. (1998.22.5); American, Scottie Dog Pin, 1930s–40s. Allentown Art Museum: Collection of Ellie Laubner, 2009. (2009.12.1589);  German, Tankard, 1600s, silver-gilt. Allentown Art Museum: Bequest of Mrs. Eugene L. Garbaty, 1993. (1993.26.6).


Eclectic Collecting is supported through the generosity of Senator Pat Browne and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Bernard and Audrey Berman Foundation, and the Leon C. and June W. Holt Endowment.