Click here to enjoy viewing the BCIU Art Collection. Read further for the history of the AET Board.
The artwork displayed in our hallways is part of a 60 year-old collection originally known as the “Bucks County Traveling Art Gallery.” This collection was a project spearheaded in the 1940’s by former Bucks County Schools Superintendent, Charles H. Boehm and other local educators and artists. One Sellersville artist, Walter Emerson Baum, donated over a dozen paintings and assisted Dr. Boehm in collecting local artwork for the Traveling Art Gallery.
The purpose of creating a “Traveling Art Gallery” for schools was to expose children to the New Hope School of Art, which was a part of the Pennsylvania Impressionist period and was recognized by artists worldwide.
A dedication ceremony was held on September 26, 1949, at the Bucks County Playhouse in New Hope. Approximately 70 paintings were dedicated to the gallery. Many local dignitaries, including Pearl S. Buck, attended the Pageant of Bucks County Art, and regional superintendents were on hand to assist the unveilings. The Doylestown High School Band and the Bristol High School Choir provided entertainment for the evening.
Since 1949, the collection has grown to over 350 pieces including works by Walter Emerson Baum, Fern Coppedge, Daniel Garber, Charles Hargens, Edward Redfield, George Sotter, Ben Solowey, Walter Schofield, Maximilien Vanka, and many other Bucks County artists. The majority of the artwork was donated with additional pieces being added to an existing artist’s collection by the Intermediate Unit and the now defunct County Office of Education. In 1989, due to the growing value of the collection, the Arts Education Trust Board was formed for the purpose of overseeing the collection and acts as an agent for the Bucks County Intermediate Unit Board of Directors. In 1996, an agreement was made with the James A. Michener Art Museum, Doylestown, Pennsylvania, to house and to provide security for those pieces not on display at the Bucks County Intermediate Unit.
Over the years, the paintings visited all 13 districts in Bucks County; however, storage, security, and transport issues became difficult to manage limiting the number of paintings going to the schools. In 2001, a pilot program designed to get the art back into the schools was made possible by a legislative grant sponsored by Senator Conti. The pilot program was called, Art on the Move, and re-ignited the mission of the Traveling Art Gallery. Since that time, Art on the Move has been a collaborative effort, supported by various grants, between the Bucks County Intermediate Unit and the James A. Michener Art Museum.
Contact Information: Dr. Edwina Frasca-Stuart, 215-348-2940 Ext.1410 or email@example.com