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Michener Art Museum announces Paul Evans: Crossing Boundaries and Crafting Modernism

DOYLESTOWN, PA-The Michener Art Museum is organizing the retrospective exhibition Paul Evans: Crossing Boundaries and Crafting Modernism, on view March 1 through June 1, 2014.

Opening in the Michener’s PatonlSmithlDella Penna-Fernberger Gallery, this first retrospective of Evans’ work will include more than 60 works, spanning the artist’s entire career with choice examples of his early metalwork and jewelry, collaborative pieces made by Evans and Phillip Lloyd Powell during the 1950s and 1960s, as well as a comprehensive selection of Evans’ studio work. The show will also include examples of Evans’ sculptures as well as work he produced for Directional Furniture Company along with a selection of studio craft work by his contemporaries.

“This first comprehensive survey of Paul Evans’ work will document his dynamic career, evolving from metalsmith to furniture maker to designer, along with his unremitting new approaches to metal, and his shifting focus from the New York craft world to the national world of design,” said Constance Kimmerle, Curator of Collections at the Michener. “Evans’ significant achievements demand that his work be written into the larger history of furniture design, and our upcoming Evans exhibition project promises to be a fitting tribute to this creative and prolific designer of unique studio furniture.”

Conceptualizing furniture as sculpture and abstract composition, designer-craftsman Paul Evans (1931-1987) established a reputation as a creative designer of unique sculpted metal furniture. Constantly experimenting with new materials, technologies, and designs, his shop operated much like an industrial laboratory, and his highly innovative experimental approaches to metal have attracted an international following, especially in the past decade.

The Pew Center for Arts and Heritage has awarded major grants for the project; and its support has made it possible to assemble an exhibit team and group of writers for the accompanying publication (Paul Evans: Crossing Boundaries and Crafting Modernism) that includes Edward Cooke, Professor of American Decorative Arts, Yale University; Glenn Adamson, the newly appointed director of New York’s Museum of Arts and Design; Gregory Wittkopp, Director, Cranbrook Art Museum; Robert Slifkin, Assistant Professor, Modern and Contemporary Art, New York University; Helen W. Drutt English, Founder/Director, Helen Drutt: Philadelphia; and Kimmerle.

The exhibition is accompanied by a short-form documentary that includes interviews with Evans’ shop workers, family members, and such contemporary collectors of Evans’ work as Lenny Kravitz.

The James A. Michener Art Museum is located at 138 South Pine St., Doylestown, Pa. Museum hours: Tuesday through Friday, 10 am to 4:30 pm; Saturday 10 am to 5 pm; Sunday noon to 5 pm. Admission: members and children under 6, free; adults $15; seniors $13; college student with valid ID $11; ages 6-18 $7.50; under 6 free. Advance tickets will be made available. For more information, visit or call 215-340-9800.