Bucks County Herald

Michener Art Museum hosts educators' open house

CONNIE WRZESNIEWSKI



Teachers Beth Hartwick and Denise Schmidt, from Truman High School, view posters offered by Michener Museum education department for schools and teachers.

The James A. Michener Art Museum, Pennsylvania State Education Association, Mideastern Region (PSEA/MER) and the Council for the Advancement of Public Schools hosted an Open House for public school teachers who are members of PSEA, on Thursday, March 15, featuring the current exhibition, “Magical & Real: Henriette Wyeth and Peter Hurd, A Retrospective.”

The event, designed to showcase the Michener’s offerings to teachers in order to enhance education opportunities for students from throughout Bucks and Montgomery counties, included a guided tour of the museum and opportunities to learn more about resources and programs for elementary, middle and high school teachers.

Attendees learned about Michener’s onsite and offsite school programs and how they support national, state and Common Core standards along with STEAM – Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math – in education.

The open house also included an in-depth gallery talk by docent Kate Putnam, a former teacher. The talk was given on the current exhibit “Magical & Real: Henriette Wyeth and Peter Hurd, A Retrospective.”

The teachers discovered first-hand how illustrator N.C. Wyeth, Henriette’s father, with his stern attitude toward mixing marriage and career for his prodigy daughter, feared her art would be impeded by marriage.

They also were informed of Henriette’s bout with polio in her youth, her extensive bills incurred at Bonwit Teller and her equally stubborn approach to her 1929 marriage to Peter Hurd, who she met on a train on his way to West Point from his home in Roswell, N.M.

Adrienne Neszmelyi-Romano, director of interpretation and innovation, opened the meeting with an overview of what teachers were to expect. She advised the group about educating students through the use of state-of-the-art curriculum resources and the outreach program, which uses visuals for the classroom.

“We offer teaching posters, pre- and post-visit curriculums and the popular traveling trunk program,” said Neszmelyi-Romano. “Students will learn about the different art movements, artists and styles.”

Neszmelyi-Romano also announced to the group the availability of the additional Pfundt Gallery sculpture exhibition and free busing (more to come later) with gratitude for PSEA and CAPS support.

“We are very grateful for the partnership with PSEA and CAPS and their support of the program, as well as promoting our school and teachers’ programs to the community,” she said.

Neszmelyi-Romano turned the meeting over to Alan Malachowski, president of PSE/MER, who spoke of the opportunities to gain credit through the open house for those interested in completing Act 48.

“There is so much here that ties in with your curriculum,” said Malachowski. “We are pleased to continue partnering with the Michener Museum to offer these open houses. We always have a huge turnout. It brings arts alive to our students and (lets) teachers know about the resources that are available in the community.”

Following the program, curriculum consultant/adjunct faculty member Devon Meves gave a workshop on Curriculum Connection to Language Arts with hands-on activities and brainstorming techniques.

Docents Barbara Rabson and Gail Scafuro were also in attendance to answer questions and give guidance.

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