Academy Art Museum Announces 60th Anniversary Events

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Denyce Graves

The Academy Art Museum in Easton, MD is celebrating its 60th anniversary year with a series of exciting events, including an Anniversary Exhibition, an Anniversary Gala featuring Denyce Graves, a Public Birthday Party and Public Art Event, and its Annual Craft Show and Members’ Exhibition. The Museum invites all audiences to celebrate its 60th anniversary, honoring the past and celebrating the future.

Known originally as The Academy of the Arts, the Museum was founded in 1958 by a group of Talbot County residents who included among others first president A. Brittain “Britt” Banghart, a painter who studied with N. C. Wyeth, and Lee Lawrie, a German émigré most famous for his 1937 Art Deco “Atlas” sculpture at Rockefeller Center in New York City. According to Ben Simons, Director of the Academy Art Museum, “In its six decades, the Museum has undergone two major building expansions, was reborn in 1999 as the “Academy Art Museum,” and in 2003 achieved accreditation by the American Alliance (then Association) of Museums. Since that important moment, the Museum has mounted shows from its growing Permanent Collection, hosted loan exhibitions from the National Gallery of Art, the Walters Art Museum, the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Art Gallery of Ontario and many other sister institutions. It has also presented annual Members and Student Exhibitions and community-partner shows.”

On April 21, 2018, the Museum will showcase a representative range of treasures and selections of its holdings in other media, including painting, photography and sculpture in a new exhibition, “AAM @ 60: The Diamond Exhibition – Part I.” A Members’ Reception will be held on Friday, April 20 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. The exhibition, which will be on display through July 8, 2018, will represent the creative genius of artists from Europe and the United States, spanning from the seventeenth century to the present and will be accompanied by a special anniversary catalogue. “AAM @ 60: The Diamond Exhibition – Part II” will be held from July 28 through October 14, 2018.

The Museum’s 60th Anniversary Gala on June 2, 2018, will feature acclaimed Mezzo Soprano Denyce Graves, recognized worldwide as one of today’s most exciting vocal stars. Graves continues to gather unparalleled popular and critical acclaim in performances on four continents. USA Today identifies her as “an operatic superstar of the 21st century.” Graves will be accompanied by Laura Ward a pianist and Artistic Director of Lyric Fest, a unique vocal recital series in Philadelphia. Cocktails and dinner will be held at the Museum following Graves’ performance at the Avalon Theatre.

The Museum’s 60th Anniversary will continue with a 60th Birthday Party, featuring a participatory public art installation in the courtyard, to be held on September 15, 2018; followed by the Academy Art Museum Craft Show, “Dazzled!” to be held on October 19 through 21, 2018; and its Members Exhibition, with the suggested theme of “60” and held for the first time during the holiday season.

Cathy McCoy, Chairman of the Museum’s Board of Trustees, comments, “There is so much to celebrate in this six-decade journey. The Museum’s arts educational programming for children and adults, a centerpiece from the start, continues to flourish, with over 4,300 students and 50,000 visitors of all ages enjoying our rich, community-based offerings annually.”

For further information about the Museum’s 60th Anniversary events, call Damika Baker, Director of Development, at 410-822-2787.

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