Sol LeWitt, Wall Drawing 793A, first installation 1996, India ink and ink color wash.
If you enjoy art — or are trying to instill a love of art in your kids — then regional art museums are the way to go.
William Glackens, Portrait of Kay Lavelle, @1914, oil on canvas
The Allentown Art Museum was founded in 1934 by a group organized by noted Pennsylvania impressionist painter, Walter Emerson Baum; its collection includes more than 13,000 works of art.
C. Maxime, Fantasy Flowers, @1778, etching
Agreed, a regional museum might not have a Mona Lisa-caliber canvas or sport five different Monet’s, but they usually have a unique collection of significant works, often reflecting artists and movements focused on their geographic region.
Robert Reid, Cascading Brook, 1916, oil on canvas
The Allentown Art Museum follows that trend, with a significant collection of by works by local Pennsylvania impressionist artists.
Richard Joseph Anuszkiewicz, Converging Yellow Green, 1980, acrylic on canvas
In fact, a regional art museum provides a viewing experience that big-city and national museums do not: you can see an entire collection in a short time without collapsing from exhaustion.
Their collections are often creatively displayed and interpreted.
James Daugherty, Flight Into Egypt, @1920, oil on canvas
And it’s more likely you’ll remember what you’ve seen, because your brain isn’t overwhelmed by the sheer number of images.
Stephen Anonakos, The Room Chapel, Neon Behind a White Panel, 1983, white paint on wood with neon
Like other regional art museums, the Allentown Art Museum makes art accessible. It provides just three floors, running the gamut of Renaissance and Baroque paintings and sculptures and religious art to regional impressionists to contemporary sculpture. The museum even has a room from a Frank Lloyd Wright house.
The Virgin Annunciate, @1524, oil on panel, transferred to Masonite
It is well worth an afternoon visit — or several visits (why not??).
Mary Bauermiester, Untitled, 1965, river pebbles on fabric covered panel
Getting there: 31 North Fifth Street, Allentown, PA 18101
Hours: The Museum is open every day except Mondays, Tuesdays, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, Easter and July 4. Admission is free on Sundays. Wednesday – Saturday 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Sunday noon – 4 p.m.