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Reading Public Museum opens 100 Years and Counting

Reading Public Museum presents 100 Years and Counting an exhibition on view May 25, 2013 through Saturday, September 14, 2013.

100 Years and Counting includes sections dedicated to The Museum’s founder, Levi Mengel, the history of the collections and of various buildings The Museum has occupied over the years, and a look at its early donors and patrons, including Irvin F. Impink, Henry K. Janssen, Gustav Oberlaender, and Ferdinand Thun. Historical photographs, texts and headlines from early newspaper clippings, and objects from the early days of the institution will be featured in the show.

In March 1913, Mengel advanced the idea of incorporating an Art Department as part of The Museum, “which changed the character of the museum from a school museum to a public institution.” The addition of fine art ushered in a name change; The Museum became known as The Reading Public Museum and Art Gallery. Local artist, Christopher High Shearer served as a consultant in the department and recommended purchases and the acquisition of paintings and sculptures. The earliest works of art to enter the collection in the nineteen-teens were a combination of paintings by locally well-known painters, artists who exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia, European artists of the Düsseldorf School, and works by old masters.