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George R. Anthonisen: Meditations on the Human Condition

George R. Anthonisen: Meditations on the Human Condition

Featuring over 40 bronze sculptures, maquettes, and frescoes on view both inside and outside the museum, this exhibition recognizes Anthonisen’s long and distinguished career in our regional arts community. George Anthonisen has lived and worked in Solebury, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, since 1971.

Anthonisen’s sculptures, informed by historical and current events, investigate the choices people make, and their capacity to destroy, to create, and to question. His sculptures are statements about familial relationships, mythology, and key historical events and people. Citing Auguste Rodin as a major influence, Anthonisen’s figures, filled with dramatic energy, create visual dialogues. He is known for his thoughtful content and for depicting the elegance and strength of the female form.

The story behind one of the sculptures, I Set Before You This Day, is notable: Haunted by the question of what he could have done to help others during World War II, a Holocaust survivor friend asked Anthonisen how he would interpret the trauma of genocide and the deliberate actions taken to save Jews from extermination. Over an 8-year period, Anthonisen developed several different versions of a sculpture representing the choice between sacrifice and self-preservation. He was inspired by the biblical verse Deuteronomy 30:19: “This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.” The completed bronze sculpture, I Set Before You This Day, displayed outside the Museum, features a group of figures depicted in various states of denial, distress, and action, reminding us of the risks taken and choices made to help or ignore human suffering.

The exhibit will be on view until October 13, 2024 at The James A. Michener Art Museum, Doylestown, PA.



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