Fairy tales of wonder and magic abound in cultures throughout history and around the world. These stories intertwine identifiable elements—including quests, objects, heroes/heroines, and creatures—into narratives that are rich with symbolism and meaning. Fairy tales are not meant only as entertainment for young children; for millennia they were used to teach unique spiritual and social lessons to people of all ages. Wolves, Magic Mirrors & Spinning Wheels: The Anatomy of Fairy Tales weaves the Everhart Museum’s collection of natural science and historic artifacts together with contemporary art to illustrate how fairy and folk tales are archetypal stories that allow for ongoing inspiration and interpretation in popular culture.
Fairy tales began as stories told through oral tradition thousands of years ago, emanating from all social classes, to communicate and share wisdom to enable people to survive and overcome a dangerous and challenging world. Fairy tales (and folk tales) are found incultures all over the world, with recognizable elements of challenges, hardships, helpers, and heroes and heroines; these motifs are tied to myths and ancient belief systems. These stories have withstood the test of time because they embody collective truths about how to transcend the human experience, and work through inner conflict. Artists and writers continue to interpret and reinterpret fairy tales. They also rework the stories to instill new meanings, often from the perspective of other characters found in these iconic narratives. With their ancient lineage, fairy tales continue to inspire human audiences as symbolic stories with meaningful interpretations of how to navigate the difficulties one finds in the world. Each age and generation imbues their contemporary mindset on the formats of these stories, inventing and reinventing the narratives to make premium impact on society, culture, and history.
Lenders: George & Co. Diamond Jewelers, Jonathan LeVine Gallery, Kim Foster Gallery, Lackawanna Historical Society, Betty and Bob Smith, Steamtown Blueprint & Copy Center, Susquehanna County Historical Society, Wayne County Historical Society, Private Collection
Artists: Jennifer Avery, Patricia Bellan-Gillen, Yudi Chen, Anne Connell, Keith Garcia, Jodi Harvey, Paul Hazelton, Dan Hernandez, Kelly Jelinek/Little Stag Studio, Jessica Joslin, Andy Kehoe, Jessica Lagunas, Corwin Levi, Caitlin McCormack, Jana Nieves/Bel Bête, Juan Oficio, Jessica Palmer, Rachel Perry, Lucho Pozo, Constance Slaughter, Debra Smith, James Swainbank, Mara Trachtenberg, Kitty Wales, Stephanie Williams
Pagnotti Enterprises, Inc. and Lackawanna Insurance Group
Complementing the Everhart Museum’s Summer/Fall fairy tale exhibit, Fairy Tale Remix: Community Art at the Everhart showcases area residents who created artworks inspired by their own new and unique modern fairy tale. These artists used the key components found in the fairy tale genre, such as a hero/heroine, magical animal(s), magical object(s), villain, fairy or monster, fool, witch or wise man. Through these collaborative efforts, the Everhart nurtures creativity and showcases artistic excellence in the community.
The Everhart Museum of Natural History, Science & Art has the largest public collection of artworks by John Willard Raught, the first recognized regional landscape artist from Northeastern Pennsylvania. In commemoration of Scranton’s 150th, the Everhart Museum will open a special exhibition of paintings, including new acquisitions and artworks from local collectors.
Born in Dunmore on September 9, 1857, and trained in New York and Paris, Raught grew up surrounded by the contradictory landscapes of the burgeoning coal industry and the pastoral agricultural communities of the region. Raught applied his skill of painting en Plein air (outdoors) to pleasant rural settings around Scranton as well as painting portraits of prominent citizens and businessmen. Raught witnessed many developments in the region throughout his lifetime. Rural landscapes often changed to accommodate the coal mining industry which had its zenith in the earliest part of the 20th century. His artworks embody the masterful, light-infused compositions of the Impressionists, as well as the simple and industrial dichotomy of the landscape of anthracite coal country.
Underwriting for this exhibition was provided by the Robert Y. Moffat Family Charitable Trust. Lenders include, Anthracite Museum, Lackawanna Historical Society, Ruth and the late Patrick Gerrity, Dr. Timothy and Dorota Kearney, Bernard McGurl and Maria Santomauro, and two private collections.
The Lackawanna Historical Society has shared an LHS Journal article about Raught’s coal breaker paintings here.
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