As a museum on the campus of a liberal arts college, The Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art fosters a greater understanding of the place of the visual arts in the learning process and in society at large.
BMA’s eclectic collection is an important resource for teaching and outreach to both college and community audiences. Ensuring the integrity, preservation, and interpretation of these artworks and artifacts for subsequent generations is an ongoing responsibility sustained in public trust.
The Berman supports the educational mission of Ursinus College across all disciplines, presenting innovative exhibitions and programs that delve into the broader world of ideas. For the campus audience and beyond, the museum aims to create an atmosphere conducive to curiosity and exploration: an accessible, welcoming space that nevertheless challenges viewers to think critically.
We welcome you to a new year and a refreshed outlook as we continue to provide you access to our exhibitions and programming through our website and social media channels. We especially wish to draw your attention to featured artist Katie Merz and her smokestack mural, Live the Questions – executed in September to honor the legacy of the Ursinus Class of 2020 – and to curator tours of our current exhibitions, as well as artist interviews, conversations and other educational forums. Soon, we will unveil a more dynamic interface for sharing our virtual exhibitions via the Kunstmatrix platform, which will provide 3D models of our installations within the Berman Museum’s distinctive galleries. In the meantime, all of our digital platforms are readily accessible to you so please follow us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and here on our website.
In addition to our virtual offerings, we have maintained our ambitious exhibition schedule, physically installing our exhibitions for the benefit of our campus community. Since August 2020, the Berman Museum’s galleries have taken on new life as socially distanced classroom spaces, keeping our building a vibrant presence on campus. We look forward to welcoming back our general public audience in June 2021.
Presently, our Upper Gallery features the exhibition Shannon Collis: Strata, co-curated by students and faculty of the Curatorial Practices seminar, the capstone of our Museum Studies minor. The intensive two-semester Curatorial Practices seminar experience includes building relationships with working artists, developing a cohesive installation, thoughtful research and writing, and creating interpretive programming. Artist Shannon Collis worked diligently with our students to bring Strata to life. The result—an immersive multi-screen sculptural projection with surround sound—explores the persistence of the natural landscape in the face of industrial exploitation. Throughout the spring, student curators will present online programs in conjunction with the exhibition.
Beginning in March, we will present photographs and video by artist Kris Graves in our Baldeck-Hollis project space. The exhibition Testaments is built around 80 portraits that comprise The Testament Project, for which Graves cedes to his subjects control over brilliantly colored lighting that illuminates and seemingly radiates from their faces. The resulting portraits—collaborative endeavors between artist and subject—underscore the power of self-representation for relating contemporary Black experience. Testaments also features photographs from several of the artist’s other remarkable bodies of work.
As is customary, the Annual Student Exhibition 2021 opens in late April to showcase the tremendous works of our studio art students. For Art majors, the ASE marks the culmination of four years of Ursinus studio experience. This year’s exhibition will again include expanded online content and a printed catalogue to celebrate our students’ achievements.
Please refer to our website for information about and access to these lively offerings.
We remain grateful for your continued support and look forward to welcoming you back into our galleries in early summer.
Our best wishes,
Lisa Tremper Hanover, Interim Director of Operations
Deborah Barkun, Ph.D., Creative Director
The Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. Approximately 3-4% of museums nationwide have earned this distinguished recognition, which certifies that the Berman Museum of Art operates according to professional standards, manages its collections responsibly and provides quality service to the public. https://www.aam-us.org/