Françoise Gilot Portrait of Muriel Berman with Flowers, 1970 Acrylic; Board, 52 x 39 in. n/a / P2112013

A to Z: Highlighting the Berman Collection

October 20 - January 12, 2014 / Opening reception, October 19th, 4 – 7 pm  

A to Z: Highlighting the Berman Collection is an alphabetically arranged selection of artworks—a wry reflection on the limitations inherent in the traditional chronological presentation of works of art. 

With more than two dozen pieces drawn from the Berman collection of nearly 1,400 works, the exhibition reveals the depth and breadth of the holdings of the Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College. The exhibition will feature the works of such 20th-century artists as Alexander Calder, Mary Cassatt, William Glackens, and Andy Warhol, and is being organized by the Berman Museum’s new Director Charles Stainback, Ursinus professor of art history Matthew Shoaf, and an interdisciplinary mix of Ursinus students.

The exhibition celebrates the generosity of Philip and Muriel Berman in founding and supporting the Museum, and illustrates the role the arts can play in enriching higher education.   



Holly Trostle Brigham: Dis/Guise

October 20 - December 22, 2013 / Opening reception: Oct. 19th, 4 – 7 p.m.
Artist Gallery Talk: November 3rd at 2 p.m.

The Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College is organizing the first major museum exhibition for Philadelphia artist Holly Trostle Brigham. 

The exhibition, titled Holly Trostle Brigham: Dis/Guise, will be on display at the Berman Museum from October 20 to December 22. Following its Berman showing it will travel to the Luther Brady Art Gallery at The George Washington University where the artist earned her M.F.A. in Painting.  


A public opening will be held Saturday, Oct. 19, from 4 to 7 p.m. Brigham will give a public gallery talk on Sunday, Nov. 3, at 2 p.m.  

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalog with an introduction written by Brandon Brame Fortune, Senior Curator at the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, and an essay jointly written by Dr. Ferris Olin, Ph.D., and Judy Brodsky, co-founders of the Institute for Women and Art at Rutgers University.  Olin and Brodsky write, “Brigham’s interaction with art history subverts time and the limitations of being one person.  As an artist she lives the lives of many women through centuries past as well as occupying the present.” 

The exhibition is comprised of twenty-four works of art, primarily life-sized watercolors and including oil paintings and a multimedia, three-dimensional work.  A number of works will be on loan from private collections and include several that have never been seen in public. 

Brigham’s Seven Sisters series, a suite of self-portraits depicting the artist in the guise of women artists throughout time, will appear in its entirety for the first time. The artists represented are Sophonisba Anguissola, Artemisia Gentileschi, Maria Sibylla Merian, Judith Leyster, Elisabeth Vigee LeBrun, Tamara de Lempicka, and Frida Kahlo.  Three of the seven paintings are now in private collections in New York and Pennsylvania.  

Brigham’s current work, Seven Sisters II, showcases the creative output of nuns, and will be represented by portraits of Plautilla Nelli, Santa Caterina of Bologna, and Henritte DeLille.  A separate but related project is an installation piece, Hildegard’s Box.  Hildegard of Bingen was a nun and mystic who wrote plays and music and oversaw the production of illuminated manuscripts. The outside of the box is covered with three painted scenes from Hildegard’s life: entering the convent as a young girl and being confined for a time in a small room; one of her plays containing a struggle between the Virtues and the Devil for the Soul; and the 19th-century exhumation of her body in order to authenticate it prior to moving her remains to the new cathedral dedicated to her.  The box is surmounted by a portrait of the artist as Hildegard and a Vanitas depiction of dead Hildegard.  The interior of the box houses fabricated relics and plays music by Hildegard as well as contemporary music.  

Brigham’s commissioned work will be exemplified by a portrait of Heather Rodale of the Rodale Press family.  Called “Heather as Healer,” it has a Native American theme.  Just as Brigham depicts herself in the guise of women artists, nuns, and mythological subjects, the model for the baby in this portrait is the artist’s daughter, Flora. Brigham’s eldest child, Noble, appears as a human-headed pupa in “Zephyr, Angel, Wings and Me,” a portrait of the aviatrix Amelia Earhart. 


Barbara J. Zucker Stone Hill October l: Sunlit, 2002, acrylic on canvas, 36” x 36”Barbara J. Zucker

January 27 to March 23, 2014 / Opening reception, January 30, 2014

Ursinus alumna and local artist Barbara Zucker has long been a friend of the Berman Museum of Art. Barbara enjoys painting “…nature’s story constantly intrigues me [It] fills me with a sense of nature’s mystery, power, and beauty.” Her paintings, grouped by series, vary by style and medium, but always illustrate vivid variations of nature’s natural colors, shapes, and textures. The Berman exhibition will be a 40 year retrospective of the prolific artist’s career and will over 85 works in the Berman expansive galleries.




Only Connect: A Conversation About Image and Word

Brian Peterson Interior Light

Photographs and Texts by Brian H. Peterson
January 21 through March 9, 2014 / Opening reception, January 30, 2014   
Only connect, says the English writer E. M. Forster in his novel Howards End. Forster’s insight into the need for connection in our lives is also a directional beacon for a view of art that was beautifully expressed by the American photographer and teacher Minor White: "The most valuable part of my photographs is what they bring me about the people who respond to them."

In this unusual exhibition, photographer Brian H. Peterson has selected a smorgasbord of pictures and prose that explores his spiritual life and the art and practice of photography. Also a curator and critically-acclaimed author, Peterson has chosen excerpts from his two published memoirs, The Smile at the Heart of Things (2009) and The Blossoming of the World (2011), creating an exhibition that explores the connections between word and image in his own work.  At times, Peterson will be at the Museum to only connect with museum visitors.

Diary of the One Swelling Sea

Garrett Hope + Jill McCabe Johnson + Corinne Dushesne
March 21, 2014 through May 16, 2014 
Opening reception and artist lecture, March 20  4:00-7:00pm

Upper Gallery

In this interdisciplinary exhibit, visual artist Corinne Dushesne, composer Garrett Hope (of the Usinus Music faculty) and poet Jill McCabe Johnson respond to one another’s work through insight, interpretation and the inspiration of new works to create a multi-layered experience of image, language and music. Hope, a bassist, and composer, has been featured in live performance and film. Duchesne is a Canadian artist whose work has been exhibited in Europe, North America and Asia, and Jill McCabe Johnson is director of Artsmith, which supports arts education, and has received four Pushcart Prize nominations for her writing. 

Annual Student Exhibition 2014

April 16 – May 16, 2014
Opening Reception, April 16, 2014  3:00 - 5:00 p.m.