The Wolfsonian Institution Acquires Two Lenson Mural Studies for Its Permanent Collection
We are delighted to report that the Wolfsonian Institution in Miami Beach (a division of Florida International University) has just added two Lenson mural fragments to its permanent collection. They depict scenes from the Spanish Civil War and incorporate the same imagery that Lenson created for a series of lithographs that he completed in the 1930s that were sold to raise funds to support the Republican forces that were battling Generalissimo Franco.
These works, with their political agenda, are entirely appropriate for inclusion in the Wolfsonian. The Mission Statement of that organization is:
"The Wolfsonian uses objects to illustrate the persuasive power of art and design, to explore what it means to be modern, and to tell the story of social, political, and technological changes that have transformed our world. It encourages people to see the world in new ways, and to learn from the past as they shape the present and influence the future."
The artist would have been thrilled to have these two powerful works arrive at the Wolfsonian which, incidentally, owns five other Lenson works, including a full-size working drawing of his mural "Mining" which he created for the U.S. Post Office in Mount Hope, West Virginia.
Other institutions that own Lenson works include The Butler Institute, The Jersey City Museum, The Johnson Museum of Cornell University, The Maier Museum of Art, The Montclair Art Museum, The Newark Museum, The Noyes Museum, The Princeton University Art Museum, The Rhode Island School of Design and The Smithsonian Institution.
Watch Now: Art Historian Kate Ogden and Barry Lenson Discuss the Art of Michael Lenson at the Noyes Museum
Michael Lenson's "Where Are We Now?" Draws Attention at the 2015 Armory Show in New York and Is Acquired by the John and Susan Horseman Collection
We are thrilled to report that prominent art dealer Jonathan Boos chose to display a Lenson painting, "Where Are We Now?" in his booth at the Armory Show in New York in March.
"Where Are We Now?" is one of the largest and most important paintings that Lenson painted, and certainly the most important one that emerged from his moral outrage at the proliferation of nuclear weapons. The painting shows a city - probably New York - in the aftermath of a nuclear attack. To the left, a man (mankind?) struggles to free himself from a cage of his own creation. Hungry, accusing children reach out for fruit that is too contaminated to eat. Scavengers roam the landscape in the background. The face of a Neanderthal-like man hovers in the ruins of a building to the right - did mankind evolve only to destroy itself with nuclear arms? In the center of the composition we see a woman and child, oddly depicted in dark shadow - are they about to die, or have they died already?
Lenson created other paintings that equally expressed his outrage with nuclear bombs, including "Expulsion" and "Bikini," a painting that superimposes a leering face on the mushroom cloud that erupted over an early H-bomb test on Bikini atoll.
We are thrilled to have seen this extraordinay painting so prominently displayed, thanks to Jonathan Boos. And yes - it did attract a crowd.
The Jonathan Boos display at the 2015 Armory Show - Michael Lenson's "Where Are We Now?" is at the left.
"Where Are We Now?" by Michael Lenson
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"The Kite Flyers" by Michael Lenson in its beautiful new installation
This is what happens when two art collectors acquire a Lenson and then design a room around it!
Two art collectors who live up in Maine just built themselves a gorgeous new bungalow. To them, it made perfect sense to design the focal point of their living room - the mantle - around the measurements of their beloved Lenson painting, "The Kite Flyers," which they have owned for many years. (They own several other Lenson works too, let us mention.)
We just wanted to show you how spectacularly well it all worked out - for the collectors, for their home, and for the Lenson work, which dates from the late 1940s.
Want to Know Michael Lenson Better? Read His Book of Autobiographical Short Stories
In 1960, Michael Lenson took a sabbatical from painting and wrote The Walk and Other Stories, a collection of illustrated autobiographical short stories that are modeled on incidents from his own life.
We are pleased to announce that the collection is now available as a Kindle edition. CLICK HERE to order now. If you are fascinated by this artist - and why shouldn't you be? - you will want to download a copy.
New Book Showcases Lenson's Murals in the Essex Mountain Sanatorium
Lenson's immense 1936 murals in the cafeteria of the Essex Mountain Sanatorium in Verona, New Jersey, were destroyed many years ago. But now they have come to life again, thanks to a new book by historian Richard Kennedy about the Sanatorium and its history. The pictures of the mural that you'll find in this book are about the best anywhere. CLICK HERE to visit the Amazon.com ordering page for this wonderful new book.
Catalog of Lenson's Recent Exhibition at the Butler Institute Is Now a Kindle Edition!
We're pleased to announce that the complete catalog of Lenson's recent exhibition "Time, Place and Substance" is now available as a Kindle book. CLICK HERE to order your copy now.
Lenson Inducted into Hall of Fame in Nutley, New Jersey
We are thrilled to report that Michael Lenson was inducted into the Nutley Hall of Fame on November 17th, 2013! Nutley is the suburban town where he lived and painted between 1941 and his death in 1971. Reginald Marsh, Charles Hawthorne, and many other important American artists lived and painted in Nutley too.
CLICK BELOW TO SEE A VIDEO OF THE RECENT LENSON RETROSPECTIVE AT THE BUTLER INSTITUTE
The Preservation of Lenson's Murals in Weequahic High School Is on Hold
In August of 2011, art conservator Andrew Bertolino installed protective Lucite panels over portions of Lenson's "Enlightenment of Man" murals in the lobby of Weequahic High School in Newark. This marked the first stage of what we hope will be a complete restoration of these murals to be completed during the next year.
Lenson's "Enlightenment of Man" murals, which are one of the most important installations of public art in New Jersey, were painted in 1939. They show the progress of art and thinking from the stone age through contemporary times.
The restoration is being underwritten largely by The Weequahic High School Alumni Association. But more funds are needed before these murals can be preserved and restored.
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Two Lenson Works Displayed through the U.S. State Department's Prestigious Art in Embassies Program
When Ian Kelly was recently appointed U.S. Ambassador to the U.S. Mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, he and his wife Francesca began to select a group of American paintings that would form an exhibition in their embassy home in Vienna, Austria. They requested two Lenson works, which are currently on display. They are "Early Tuesday Morning" and "Portrait of an Artist." We're delighted that two Lenson paintings sere selected for inclusion in this prestigious State Department program.