Things to Do: Area museums reopen to public | Features

With the lifting of statewide restrictions due to COVID-19, area art museums are once again opening their doors to the public.

Allentown Art Museum will reopen at 11 a.m. on Friday, and it will be open through Sunday. Visitors are encouraged to reserve timed tickets for a two-hour visit. All visitors must wear face masks.

Only a couple weeks are left to see “New Century, New Woman,” which explores American women’s personal and political freedoms at the turn of the 20th century through the lens of fashion.

On display through Jan. 24, the exhibit looks at how many women challenged the expectation that their role should be limited to home and family.

Fashionable clothing in that era ranged from elaborate, feminine dresses to smart separates inspired by menswear. As women challenged norms of feminine behavior, many chose to dress stylishly in order to subvert stereotypes and advance their agendas.

Honoring the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in 2020, the exhibition offers a historical perspective on issues such as gender roles, fashion, and professional self-presentation that continue to resonate today.

On exhibit through April 25 is “Prints and Protest, 1960–1970.” During a decade when protests rocked the United States, many artists used printmaking as a tool for activism. “Prints and Protest” explores artists’ diverse responses to causes such as the Civil Rights and antiwar movements. The artists documented injustice, reflected on past tragedies, and called for political change. Drawn entirely from the museum’s collection, “Prints and Protest” highlights the powerful works of art inspired by the formative era in American history.

Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for seniors and students.


Reading Public Museum has also reopened the museum, planetarium and gift shop. They will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

Visitors must wear masks at all times.

The reopening is just in time to see two exhibitions that will end this weekend.


“Frida Kahlo: Through the Lens of Nickolas Muray,” which will end Friday, provides an intimate look at Frida Kahlo, Mexico’s most prolific and well-known female artist, through the photographic lens of her longtime friend and lover, Nickolas Muray.

In May 1931, Muray traveled to Mexico on vacation, where he met Kahlo, a woman he would never forget. The two started a romance that continued on and off for the next 10 years and a friendship that lasted until her death in 1954. Approximately 50 photographic portraits taken by Muray of Kahlo comprise the exhibition. The photographs, dating from 1937 to 1946, explore Muray’s unique perspective.

Ending Jan. 10 is “Top Secret: License to Spy Jan. 10,” which explores the science and technology of spying and espionage, including how to uncover a radio bug with an oscilloscope and using lasers to monitor conversations.

Visitors gather the intelligence needed to achieve their mission by breaking codes, uncovering microdots, using spy satellites and creating elusive disguises. Kids and adults alike are amazed by this behind the scenes glimpse of an undercover world that has been recreated with lifelike sets and activities.

Through Feb. 7, “Forever Forest” teaches children and adults how their everyday lives are connected to forests, through the ways they live, work, and play. It is the result of an official partnership with the Hardwood Forest Foundation and Omaha Children’s Museum, established to help transform the educational kit, The Truth About Trees, into an immersive and engaging learning experience.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $6 for seniors and students.

Godfrey’s presents Parlour Sessions

David Jacobs-Strain

Godfrey Daniels of Bethlehem presents its virtual “Parlour Sessions” on Thursday, featuring David Jacobs-Strain, a fierce slide guitar player, and a song poet from Oregon.

Jacobs-Strain is known for both his virtuosity and spirit of emotional abandon; his live show moves from humorous, subversive blues, to delicate balladry, and then swings back to swampy rock and roll. It’s a range that ties Jacobs-Strain to his own generation and to guitar-slinger troubadours like Robert Johnson and Jackson Browne.

The livestream series, which features a concert and conversation hosted by Dina Hall, is free to watch, but viewers are encouraged to “pay what you will” through the artist’s link. All proceeds benefit the artist.

The concert can be seen on Facebook or Godfrey Daniels’ YouTube channel.

Kutztown gallery opens exhibition on Haiti

Haiti group photo

In cooperation with Promart Haiti, New Arts Program of Kutztown is commemorating the 11th anniversary of the Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake that devastated much of Haiti with an exhibition and sale of original paintings curated by artist/poet Patricia Goodrich. The depth and diversity of Haitian art is deep and wide, ranging from impressionist landscapes, to realist portraits, to the unique Saint Soleil (voodoo) movement.

“Voices & Visions: Artists of Haiti,” which will open Jan. 15, honors the talent and resilience of Haiti’s artists who, because of their vision and artwork, elevate the lives of others along with their own. Among those exhibiting are internationally renown artists Marie Jose Nadal (-Gardere), co-author of La Peinture Haitienne, a seminal book about Haitian art of the 1930s and 1940s; naïve painter Gerard Fortune (193?-2019); and senior San Soleil artists Levoy Exil, Payas (Pierre Sylvan Augustin) and Maxan Jean-Louis.

Most of 47 artists represented live in the Port au Prince region. Many are members of the post-earthquake formed group Promart Haiti, founded by artist/diplomat Patrick Cauvin. In addition to making and exhibiting their own works, members hold art workshops for Haitian children.

To preview a selection of the exhibiting artists, go to Patricia Goodrich’s website.

The opening reception is 5 to 9 p.m. Jan. 15. New Arts Program is at 173 West Main Street, Kutztown.

West Reading holds 2nd Friday

Penn Avenue in West Reading

On the second Friday of the month, the West Reading shops and restaurants celebrate with “2nd Friday on the Avenue,” hosted by the West Reading Community Revitalization Foundation.

The event on Jan. 8 is a time to celebrate and recognize West Reading’s independent shops and locally owned restaurants.

From 5-8 p.m., the shops offer special promotions, refreshments and deals. At 5 p.m., stop by Willow Creek Brewing, 643 Penn Avenue, sample some brews and try the barbecue during its ribbon-cutting celebration.

The area restaurants are welcoming back indoor dining at 50% capacity, and many also offer delivery and takeout.

Visitors are advised to wear a mask and practice social distancing.

Also, the Sunday Winter Farmers’ Market at its new location at 500 Chestnut Street, at West Reading Borough Hall’s parking lot.

Get outside to celebrate the new year

Wildlands boardwalk trail

Wildlands Conservancy in Lower Macungie Township, Lehigh County, is holding a free outdoor event, “Get Out for Wellness: No Soup For You!” from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday.

Discover every trail at Dorothy Rider Pool Wildlife Sanctuary. Wear a mask, take water and snacks, and enjoy the company of fellow walkers at the safe, social distance of six feet, as you explore the wintery trails at the sanctuary. Prizes will be given to those folks who have been on 10 or more hikes in 2020.

The event is appropriate for all ages. Dress in layers for the weather. Wear comfortable shoes. The boardwalk along the Little Lehigh is appropriate for strollers and wheelchairs. There is a handicap accessible parking pad next to the trail.

There will be two groups of the hike to allow more people to attend.

The sanctuary is at 3701 Orchid Place in Lower Macungie Township.

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