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CONTRIBUTED PHOTO Walker Evans, CONTRIBUTED PHOTO Walker Evans, "Bethlehem graveyard and steel mill, Pennsylvania" (1935, digital file from print, Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, FSA-OWI Collection)

AAM 'Black & White' party previews Kline, Evans exhibitions

Wednesday, October 3, 2012 by The Press in Focus

The Allentown Art Museum of the Lehigh Valley launches its fall lineup of exhibitions and events in its upstairs galleries with a "Black & White Preview Party," 6 - 8 p.m. Oct. 6.

The exhibits, opening Oct. 7, represent strong connections to eastern Pennsylvania.

Internationally-known Abstract Expressionist Franz Kline grew up in Lehighton, 25 miles north of Allentown. The exhibit, "Franz Kline: Coal and Steel," in the Scheller Gallery, emphasizes how the area's coal mines and railroads influenced his artistic vision.

Dr. Robert S. Mattison, guest curator and Professor of Art History at Lafayette College, explores the connection between Kline and the coal-region landscape, including train-related imagery, in his works executed in Pennsylvania and New York City.

"Franz Kline: Pennsylvania-New York: A conversation between Irving Sandler and Robert Mattison," is 1 p.m. Oct. 7 at the museum. Sandler is a contributor to CBS's "Sunday Morning" "60 Minutes."

"Walker Evans & The American Social Landscape Photographers" in the Rodale Gallery is a selection of black and white photographs that document the living conditions in Bethlehem, Easton and other Lehigh Valley locations during the Great Depression as well as the social changes experienced in the United States during the 1950s, '60s, and '70s.

Evans championed Robert Frank, Diane Arbus and Lee Friedlander. His presence is echoed in the works of other photographers in this exhibition, including Garry Winogrand, Stephen Shore, Bill Owens, Leon Levinstein and Judith Joy Ross. The photos on exhibit are from the collection of Lehigh Valley resident David Sestak.

Spectacular glass sculpture is seen in the Fowler Gallery in "The Lerner Contemporary Glass Collection," which are from the Allentown home of glass collectors Elaine and Leslie Lerner and on display on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Studio Glass. Twenty-one pieces of contemporary glasswork from such as Lino Tagliapietra, Sidney Hunter, Dante Marioni, and the collaborative team of Harvey Littleton and Kate Vogel are in the exhibit.

The family-friendly Art Ways Gallery, also upstairs at the museum, is showing "All Aboard," railroad and coal-mining signs, photographs, and artifacts in honor of Kline.