May 15, 2019

“The Color of the Moon” At Michener Museum

“MOON RADIANCE”: This painting by Oscar Florianus Bluemner is featured in “The Color of the Moon,” on exhibit at the James A. Michener Art Museum in Doylestown, Pa., June 1 through September 8. It showcases more than 60 works that illuminate the relationship between art and lunar science.

On view June 1 through September 8 at the James A Michener Art Museum, “The Color of the Moon” showcases more than 60 paintings and works on paper that illuminate the long and enduring relationship between art and lunar science. The exhibition, featuring loans from museums and private collections throughout the U.S., coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission when American astronauts traveled across the skies to step onto the pitted surface of the moon in July 1969.

“The Color of the Moon” traces the positions, places, and phases of the moon across more than 150 years of art, and explores the romanticism of our relationship with the moon. The display is presented in three broad groupings: “Popular Moon from Myth to Destination,” ranging from mythological scenes of the goddess Diana by Samuel F. B. Morse to the Apollo 11 blast-off, painted by Jamie Wyeth as part of NASA’s art program; “The Romantic Moon from the Hudson River School to 20th-Century Modernists,” featuring moonlit towers by Thomas Cole and a shimmering abstraction by Arthur Dove; and “The Moody Moon from Forest Glades to the Open Sea,” with paintings by Edward Bannister, Ralph Blakelock, and George Inness, revealing the deep preoccupation with spirituality and moonlight at the end of the 19th century.

Co-curator Laura Vookles says, “The prevalence of the moon in American art speaks to its universal appeal; it is something that unites us across the globe. This attraction was explored by generations of artists who gazed upon the moon and later reaffirmed by astronauts looking back upon the fragile earth from space. Visitors will be awestruck by these views and by the beautiful paintings on display.”

“The magnificent works of art in ‘The Color of the Moon’ underscore how the romantic lure of this celestial body held an exorable pull for artists over generations,” says Kathleen V. Jameson, Michener Art Museum executive director. “We are delighted to celebrate the triumphant lunar landing 50thanniversary with this exquisite display.”

Featured artists include Susie M. Barstow, Albert Bierstadt, Oscar Bluemner, Charles Burchfield, Frederic Edwin Church, Joseph Cornell, Jasper Francis Cropsey, Arthur Dove, Sanford Robinson Gifford, Childe Hassam, Winslow Homer, George Inness, Roy Lichtenstein, Norman Rockwell, Edward Steichen, Henry Ossawa Tanner, and Marguerite Thompson Zorach.

Complementing the exhibition is a series of programs including a film series through a partnership with the County Theater; a lecture series; and a Star Party in collaboration with the Bucks-Mont Astronomical Association.

The Michener Art Museum is located at 138 South Pine Street in Doylestown, Pa. For more information, visit or call (215) 340-9800.