James A. Michener Art Museum

138 South Pine Street
Doylestown, PA 18901

215-340-9800

In 1988, with the support of many dedicated citizens, the James A. Michener Art Museum opened as an independent, non-profit cultural institution dedicated to preserving, interpreting and exhibiting the art and cultural heritage of the Bucks County region. The Museum is named for Doylestown's most famous son, the Pulitzer-Prize winning writer and supporter of the arts who had first dreamed of a regional art museum in the early 1960's.

In November of 1999, the James A. Michener Art Museum publicly announced the largest single gift in the institution's history. Marguerite and Gerry Lenfest gave the Museum an extensive collection of fifty-nine paintings by important regional artists of the Pennsylvania Impressionist School. The museum is now home to a world class collection of Pennsylvania Impressionist paintings.

Ensconced in the Museum's walled, lush "back yard" is an outdoor gallery, the Patricia D. Pfundt Sculpture Garden. Sculptures are on view in a natural setting that pays homage to the Bucks County landscape which has inspired countless artists. The Museum hosts nationally touring special exhibitions and also showcases important regional artists.

History:
The massive stone walls and warden's house that make up the core of the Michener Art Museum today began as the Bucks County prison in 1884. After a century of use, the abandoned and antiquated buildings were being torn down when the County Commissioners agreed to preserve the historic landmark and lease the land and buildings to house the new Museum. After extensive renovation, the Museum opened to the public in September, 1988. Since then, there have been two separate expansions, in 1993 and 1996, which added modern gallery space and state-of-the-art storage facilities, plus an outdoor sculpture garden completed in 2000. Today, the old Bucks County jail, once a place of fear and despair, has been transformed into a welcoming center of culture and beauty... guarding the artistic soul of Bucks County.

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