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Veils of Color: The Paintings of Philadelphia artist Elizabeth Osborne at the Michener

Equinox II, Elizabeth Osborne
Detail of Equinox II by Elizabeth Osborne(2009), oil on canvas. Veils of Color Exhibit at the James Michener Art Museum. Photo by Wayne Stratz.

To get a postcard about a show entitled Veils of Color ensures I will be wanting to go.  Elizabeth Osborne‘s oil paintings are on display until November 15, 2015 at the James Michener Art Museum in Doylestown, PA.  In University of Pennsylvania alumni profile,  the author quotes Philadelphia Inquirer critic Edward J. Sozanski’s praise for Osborne’s “Dionysian commitment to vibrant, saturated color.”  Yes, vibrant, saturated color.  I felt like I was stepping into sunshine, and in fact, some versions of these paintings have figurative versions, with a woman sitting at a window.

Detail of Equinox II by Elizabeth Osborne(2009), oil on canvas. Veils of Color Exhibit at the James Michener Art Museum.
Detail of Equinox II by Elizabeth Osborne(2009), oil on canvas. Veils of Color Exhibit at the James Michener Art Museum. Photo by Wayne Stratz.

She was born in 1936, and grew up in Lansdale, where I now live.   I was taken with the fact that she taught at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts(PAFA) from 1963-2011, teaching into her 70’s. She recorded an oral history interview with the Senior Artists Initiative, and organization that heartens me by its existence.  In addition to oil painting, she has work in watercolor and printmaking.

I realized that I had seen her work at both the Woodmere and the Berman Museum of Art at Ursinius.  I like to imagine that her veils of color saturating the Philadelphia area, appearing all around me, and that her legacy of teaching will continue to move outward.

Veils of Color: Juxtapositions and Recent Work by Elizabeth Osborne,

Curated by Kirsten M. Jensen, Ph.D., Gerry & Marguerite Lenfest Chief Curator, James A. Michener Art Museum

July 25 through November 15, 2015
Fred Beans Gallery

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