Celebrating its 40-year anniversary, the University Museum
opens the 2016–17 season on September 10 with Gilded Age to Great War: Milton
Bancroft and His Art. The exhibition will run through October 29, and
admission is free.
The exhibit relates the story of American artist Milton
Herbert Bancroft and the struggles and triumphs of his career from the late
19th century through World War I—a period of major social, cultural, and
artistic change in America and Europe. It is also the story of preserving his
artistic legacy for future generations.
Bancroft was born on January 1,
1866, in Newton, Massachusetts, near
Boston. He studied and taught at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the
nation’s oldest museum and art school. Located in Philadelphia, it continues to
be an important training ground for painters and sculptors.
Bancroft also studied at the art
academies of Paris before establishing a career as a muralist and portrait
painter in New York City. Bancroft was one of a select number of architects,
painters, and sculptors engaged to create works for the magnificent
Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco of 1915.
As America prepared to enter
World War I, Bancroft designed posters that promoted industrial preparedness,
recruited nurses for the Red Cross, and encouraged enlistment in the Navy. In
1918, he worked with the YMCA to prepare
relief stations for American troops in France and design posters promoting the
YMCA’s support for American soldiers there.
Bancroft brought back some 200
drawings from the French war zones, and several will be on display in the
University Museum, along with studies for his Panama-Pacific murals and other
art works. Over the past four years, 11 Bancroft paintings and nine drawings
received conservation treatment to clean and restore the century-old works.
This anniversary exhibit includes an art collection that is
one of the Museum’s earliest acquisitions. The art
and items from the Bancroft Manuscript Group in IUP’s Special Collections and
University Archives trace Bancroft’s career and reflect some of the art
movements and events of his time.
Curated by Donna Cashdollar and
Harrison Wick, support for the conservation project and this exhibition comes
from the National Endowment for the Arts, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts
through the Pennsylvania Rural Arts Alliance, private donations, the Student
Cooperative Association, the College of Fine Arts, and other sources at IUP.
The exhibition will open with a
free public reception on September 10 from 6:00 until 8:30 p.m. Museum
hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, 2:00–6:30 p.m; Thursday, noon–7:30 p.m.; and Saturday, noon–4:00 p.m.
For more information on this and
other related events or to schedule a tour, please contact Leslie Kluchurosky
Paintings: By Milton Bancroft: “Bancroft Children” (above) and “Woman With Book”