Allentown Art Museum


The Allentown Art Museum of the Lehigh Valley is an art museum located in the city of Allentown, Pennsylvania, in the United States. It was founded in 1934 by a group organized by noted Pennsylvania impressionist painter, Walter Emerson Baum. With its collection of over 13,000 works of art, the Allentown Art Museum is a major regional art institution. In addition, its library and archives of more than 16,000 titles and 40 current periodicals make it an important regional cultural resource.Founding of the museumThe "Allentown Art Gallery" was organized by Baum and opened in Allentown's Hunsicker School on March 17, 1934. With seventy canvases by local Pennsylvania impressionist artists on display, the gallery attracted major attention from the local and regional art communities. During the Great Depression, Baum was able to grow the collection through the Public Works of Art Project and through acquisitions and gifts. In June 1936, the City of Allentown granted the museum a permanent home in a Federal-style house located in the Rose Garden in Allentown's Cedar Park. The museum's first curator was local artist John E. Berninger, who lived with his wife on the museum's second floor.The Kress endowmentIn 1959, a gift of fifty-three Renaissance and Baroque paintings and sculptures from Samuel H. Kress (a native of nearby Cherryville, Pennsylvania) brought the museum to a new level. The Kress gift stimulated community visionaries and museum friends to purchase and refurbish a building, formerly the First Presbyterian Church (originally built 1902), suitable to house the new collection.


31 N 5th St
Allentown, PA


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