Art Association’s Permanent Collection to be Showcased

The Art Association of Harrisburg owns a “permanent collection” of works in a wide variety of media, by many diverse artists, but unfortunately the historic Governor Findlay Mansion does not have the space to permit the display of  the majority of these works on a daily basis. Visitors are familiar with the beautiful portrait of AAH  founder Mrs. Gertrude Howard-Olmsted-McCormick on prominent view in the front hall, and with other works displayed in the second-floor hallway, as well as in the Curator’s and President’s offices.  But many other treasures are stored in racks on the Mansion’s fourth floor.

From July 26 through August 29 the public will be in for a real treat when the galleries  at 21 North Front Street, Harrisburg, will be filled with pieces from the Permanent Collection.  The exhibition, sponsored by Kathy Marley-Dunbar,  will premiere on Friday, July 26, with a reception from 5 to 8 PM, hosted by Board Members Ade Bakare and Mariella Trosko. Music will be by Dan Dropko. AAH Curator Terrie Hosey will determine what will be included in the exhibition, and how it will be displayed.

The Permanent Collection was initiated in 1926 with Sir John Lavery’s donation of two of his paintings to the Art Association:  “The Window Seat at Wimbourne House” and “Lady in Black.” When the Art Association  acquired  a permanent home with  the purchase of the Governor Findlay Mansion in 1964,  donations to the Collection began in earnest.  An early contribution was the I.William Eppleman Collection, with works by a variety of  prominent non-local artists. Throughout the years both collectors and individual artists have made contributions to the Collection, including Margaret Brown; Barbara Sherman;  Charles “Li” Hidley; Spencer Nauman,Jr. (grandson of the AAH founder); Robert Fuller; J.Thomas Menaker, Esq.; and Jack Gross.

Included in the collection are 19th-century landscapes donated by Mr. J.Hoffer Detweiler  when the Mansion was purchased,  plein air paintings by Ira Deen and Walt Huber, and a photo-realist painting by Kathleen Piunti.  There is a handsome architectural-abstract painting by the late Wanda Macomber, and several unusual mixed-media works by the late watercolourist Nick Ruggieri.

Although space will not permit the exhibition of the entire Collection this summer, the works on view will give visitors an excellent taste of the exquisite and eclectic artwork owned by The Art Association of Harrisburg. The Collection continues to grow, with the  gradual acquisition of artwork pertaining to the Art Association and its heritage. It is hoped that someday, space will be acquired to permit the display of The Permanent Collection on a truly “permanent” basis!

NOTE: Dan Dropkin, the musician for the reception on July 26, plays a wide spectrum of American music, from jazz standards to swing, show tunes to blues. Of Native-American and Scots-Irish heritage, Dan also plays hauntingly-beautiful music on the Native-American flute.

Call 717-236-1432 or visit for more information. The exhibition will remain on view through August 29 during regular gallery hours: 9:30 AM-9 PM Monday through Thursday; 9:30AM-4 PM Friday; 10AM-4 PM Saturday; 2-5 PM Sunday. There is no admission fee to visit the gallery.