In early November, two monumental works by sculptor George R. Anthonisen were installed on the grounds of the James A. Michener Art Museum in Pennsylvania. Give Us Grace and Caryatid were placed at prime locations at the Doylestown museum.
The two sculptures are the most recent additions of the museum founded by the Pulitzer Prize winning author, James A. Michener (1907-1997). The museum is dedicated to showcasing 19th and 20th century art as well as that of local Pennsylvania artists. More than half a dozen bronzes by Anthonisen are now included in the Bucks County museum’s permanent collection.
Anthonisen’s association with the museum began very nearly at its inception, in 1988, with the installation of I Set Before You This Day, Anthonisen’s tribute to Holocaust rescuers and survivors. The installation of the two newest sculptures – almost thirty years later – completes a concept the artist had for the three works of art from beginning. “As a whole, they make a statement about the human family,” begins Anthonisen. “The universality of family and the community as an extension of family; an acknowledgment that good and evil dwells within each of us and that we have the personal choice to be constructive or destructive; and the recognition of the diversity of religious beliefs and ethnic groups who make up our communities.”
The acquisition was a year in the making by the Collections Committee of the James A. Michener Art Museum, its curator Kirsten Jensen, and was funded by art patrons. The three works are displayed at the entrances of the museum so that the dialogue of the human condition continues with every visitor to the galleries. “I am very pleased with the placement of the bronzes,” states Anthonisen. “I believe these three works are the linchpin of my career and I’m glad they can be seen publicly.”
George and Ellen Anthonisen
with Give Us Grace