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Ali and Elvis: Exhibition of American Icons at the James A. Michener Art Museum
Muhammad Ali, c. 1970, Gordon Parks, courtesy of the Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York, N.Y.
DOYLESTOWN, PA.- Elvis is in the house and Ali is in the ring. Two of our nation's most well-known icons—"the King of Rock 'n' Roll" and "the Greatest"—meet at the James A. Michener Art Museum in Doylestown, Pa., February 19 through May 15. Ali and Elvis: American Icons, features two photography exhibitions: the Smithsonian's Elvis at 21 and art2art's Muhammad Ali: The Making of an Icon. Elvis at 21 is sponsored nationally by HISTORY™.

Elvis at 21: Photographs by Alfred Wertheimer
Freelance photojournalist Alfred Wertheimer was hired by RCA Victor in 1956 to shoot promotional images of recently signed 21-year-old recording artist Elvis Presley. Wertheimer's instincts were to "tag along" with the artist after the assignment and the resulting images provide us with a look at Elvis before he exploded onto the scene and became one of the most exciting performers of his time.

Elvis at 21: Photographs by Alfred Wertheimer was developed collaboratively by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery and the Govinda Gallery. Elvis at 21 will travel to museums around the country through 2013.

Wertheimer had unparalleled access and documented Elvis on the road, backstage, in concert, in the recording studio and at home in Memphis, Tenn. "Colonel" Tom Parker, Elvis' manager, restricted contact just a short time later. The photographs document a remarkable time when Elvis could sit alone at a drugstore lunch counter.

"Henri Cartier-Bresson was known for photographing the decisive moment, that moment when everything falls into place," said Wertheimer. "But I was more interested in the moments just before or just after the decisive moment."

Wertheimer was up close to capture a flirtatious encounter with a young woman backstage in Richmond, Va. He was in the New York City recording studio on the historic day Elvis recorded "Don't Be Cruel" and "Hound Dog." Both songs hit No. 1 on the charts, the first and only time a single record would achieve this distinction.

Wertheimer also joined Elvis after the recording session as he traveled home to Memphis by train. One image shows Elvis as just part of the crowd surrounding a lunch vendor on a train platform during a brief stop on the 27-hour trip. The anonymity he had during this stop was short-lived; the trip followed a busy few months when Elvis appeared on the television shows "Stage Show," "The Milton Berle Show" and "The Steve Allen Show." The photographs of a concert in Russwood Park on his return to Memphis show a young man who now had to have a police escort to get through the crowd of fans between his car and the stadium.

Muhammad Ali: The Making of an Icon chronicles the life and times of the now-iconic figure who was simultaneously the most beloved and most reviled man in boxing and who still engenders a strong emotional response from people almost 50 years after his initial rise to public prominence.

Cassius Clay entered into American public consciousness as a fun-loving, family- oriented, clean-living and patriotic young man. "From his early years as a fast-talking young boxer, to his courageous stance at the forefront of the anti-Vietnam War movement, to his most recent role as a respected spokesman for Parkinson's disease, Muhammad Ali's charismatic and often outrageous personality makes a profound impression on everyone he meets," says Hava Gurevich, curator, Muhammad Ali: The Making of an Icon.

The exhibit, organized by art2art, provides a glimpse of rarely seen moments of his personal life as well as more famous episodes from his career. These images not only illustrate the enormous changes that he went through—from a patriotic Olympic champion to a draft-resisting member of the Nation of Islam to a figure of racial reconciliation—but also show that Ali's gregarious, funny and likable personality remained intact even as a super-charged political atmosphere swirled around him.

Ali's story is one of an American hero who has come full circle in the hearts and minds of people throughout the world, and features more than 50 photographs by such distinguished photographers as Annie Leibovitz, Gordon Parks and Art Shay that capture Ali's positive public image. Although his braggadocio and vanity flouted conventional ideas about sportsmanship, the overall sense was that Ali was a "good kid" who valued family and community and was using boxing to earn a share of the American Dream.

Cassius Clay began boxing in 1954 after his bicycle was stolen in his hometown, Louisville. He wanted to learn the sport in order to beat up the culprit when he found him. Although he never figured out who took the bike, 10 years later Clay would be the heavyweight champion of the world.

The 1960s and 1970s were super-charged political times, and Ali became one of the most important symbols of his generation. Following his 1964 title win over Sonny Liston, he announced that he belonged to the Nation of Islam. In 1966, following his reclassification as draft-eligible for military service in Vietnam, he publicly opposed the war. As a result of his defiance, Ali was barred from boxing for three-and-a-half years and was convicted for draft evasion. By the time he reclaimed the championship in 1974, Ali was idolized by millions of people around the world.



Last Week News

February 19, 2011

New York Graffiti Art of the 1980s from The Scharpff Collection at Kunstmuseum Stuttgart

Irish Artist Jim Fitzpatrick Bids to Copyright Revolutionary Che Guevara Image

King Tutankhamun's Stolen Dad Found; Egypt Sites to Reopen on Sunday

Exhibition of Recent Paintings by New Jersey-Born Pat Steir at Cheim & Read in New York

The Museum of Modern Art Announces a Retrospective of Cindy Sherman for 2012

A Collector's Eye: Cranach to Pissarro Exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool

Sylvester Stallone Opens Retrospective Exhibition at Galerie Gmurzynska

Quinn's Auction Galleries to Present International Array of Fine and Decorative Art on March 5

Pobeda Gallery Presents "Face to Face" the First Exhibition of Georgian Photography in Moscow

First Major Exhibition in More Than Thirty Years to Examine Tipis of Plains Peoples

Cooper-Hewitt Museum Presents "Set in Style: The Jewelry of Van Cleef & Arpels"

Metro Pictures Presents Croatian Artist David Maljkovic's Latest Works "Recalling Frames"

Paris Photo Announces New Venue in 2011 and Julien Frydman as Its New Director

Rare Anti-Communist Comics at Heritage Auctions

Sotheby's February Series Realises $394 Million: The Highest Total Achieved in London

The Other King's Speech Goes Under the Hammer at Bonhams

$55,813 Carved Ivory Vase Tops Garth's Decorative Arts Auction

Jouin Manku Designs Installation for "Set in Style" Exhibition

February 18, 2011

The Belvedere in Vienna Dedicates Comprehensive Show to Austrian Artist Egon Schiele

The Museum of Modern Art Announces a Retrospective of Cindy Sherman for 2012

A Collector's Eye: Cranach to Pissarro Exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool

Sylvester Stallone Opens Retrospective Exhibition at Galerie Gmurzynska

Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum Presents "Set in Style: The Jewelry of Van Cleef & Arpels"

Metro Pictures Presents Croatian Artist David Maljkovic's Latest Works "Recalling Frames"

Paris Photo Announces New Venue at the Grand Palais and Julien Frydman as Its New Director

Quinn's Auction Galleries to Present International Array of Fine and Decorative Art on March 5

Pobeda Gallery Presents "Face to Face" the First Exhibition of Georgian Photography in Moscow

First Major Exhibition in More Than Thirty Years to Examine Tipis of Plains Peoples

Stefano Cagol's Stockholm Syndrome (always with you) at Priska C. Juschka Fine Art

Alan Cristea Gallery Presents German Artist Christiane Baumgartner: Reel Time

Oscar-Nominated Costumes on View at Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising

Barnes Foundation Move Opponents Go Back to Court

Fondazione Forma per la Fotografia Presents the Exhibition "Dies Irae: Photographs by Paolo Pellegrin"

Moore College of Art & Design Receives Largest Endowment Gift In School's History

The Courtauld Gallery Presents Life, Legend, Landscape: Victorian Drawings and Watercolours

Egyptian Antiquities Authorities Say They Found Fourth Stolen Pharaonic Treasure

London's Natural History Museum: Earliest Human Skull-Cups Made in the UK

Akbar Padamsee Masterpiece From 1960 to Lead Sotheby's Indian Art Sale in New York

Exhibition of New Work by Michael Riedel on View at David Zwirner Gallery

Street Artist Banksy's Graffiti Lands in Los Angeles Ahead of Oscars Ceremony

Marilyn Monroe Pin-Up Amazes at $83,000+ in $4.1+ million Illustration Art Event

Scottish Splendour and Belgravia Elegance Meet at Christie's in March Sale

James Cohan Gallery Presents Second Solo Exhibition by Japanese-Born Artist Hiraki Sawa

Aspen Art Museum Presents Artist Mark Manders's Museum-Wide Parallel Occurrences

Phillips de Pury & Company's London Contemporary Art Evening Auction Totals $8,725,040

February 17, 2011

Exhibition of Pablo Picasso's Artistic Development in Paris on View at Van Gogh Museum

The Courtauld Gallery Presents Life, Legend, Landscape: Victorian Drawings and Watercolours

Egyptian Antiquities Authorities Say They Found Fourth Stolen Pharaonic Treasure

London's Natural History Museum: Earliest Human Skull-Cups Made in the UK

Akbar Padamsee Masterpiece From 1960 to Lead Sotheby's Indian Art Sale in New York

Exhibition of New Work by Michael Riedel on View at David Zwirner Gallery

Street Artist Banksy's Graffiti Lands in Los Angeles Ahead of Oscars Ceremony

Marilyn Monroe Pin-Up Amazes at $83,000+ in $4.1+ million Illustration Art Event at Heritage Auctions

Scottish Splendour and Belgravia Elegance Meet at Christie's in March Sale

James Cohan Gallery Presents Second Solo Exhibition by Japanese-Born Artist Hiraki Sawa

Aspen Art Museum Presents Artist Mark Manders's Museum-Wide Parallel Occurrences

Alan Cristea Gallery Presents German Artist Christiane Baumgartner: Reel Time

Oscar-Nominated Costumes on View at Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising

B.B. King Museum Announces New Executive Director

Group Raises $50,000 for RoboCop Statue in Detroit

Saint Louis Art Museum Files Federal Lawsuit to Keep a 3,200-Year-Old Mummy Mask

Amon Carter Museum's Director of Education Named National Educator of the Year

Exhibition Explores the Influence of Music on Contempory Art in NY and Birth of "Remix Culture"

Private Collectors Make Fantastic Donations of Photographic Art to Moderna Museet

Andy Warhol Self-Portrait Fetches $17 Million at Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Auction

Hungarian Government Asks United States Court to Reject Looted Art Lawsuit

20th Century Decorative Art & Design Works Dazzle Christie's New York Auction

Sao Paulo Biennial Foundation Appoints Curator for its Forthcoming Edition

President Barack Obama Lauds Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipients

ARCOmadrid 2011: Newfound Optimism and Energy for the Contemporary Art Market

Heritage Auctions to Host Auction Benefitting the Smithsonian's National Numismatic Collection

Sotheby's will Offer The Robert Rubin Collection Of African Art at Auction in New York

Contemporary Works of 60 African Artist from 15 Countries Across the Continent on Sale at Bonhams

National Portrait Gallery Presents the First Major Exhibition in Over 30 Years Devoted to E.O. Hoppé

Works from the Museum of Prints and Drawings Berlin, on Display at Kunstmuseum Bonn

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February 16, 2011

ARCOmadrid Opens 30th Edition with Works of Art Between the Ordinary and Extraordinary

Tate Offers a Fresh Assessment of the History of Watercolour Painting in Britain

Sotheby's February 2011 Contemporary Art Evening Auction Realises $71,051,252

Exhibition in Valencia Marks the Centenary of the Birth of Artist Roberto Matta

20th Century Decorative Art & Design Works Dazzle Christie's New York Auction

Sao Paulo Biennial Foundation Appoints Curator for its Forthcoming Edition

President Barack Obama Lauds Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipients

Shane Guffogg's At the Still Point Series on View at Leslie Sacks Fine Art in Los Angeles

The American International Fine Art Fair Closes with Record Attendance and Strong Sales

Union Square Hospitality Group Announces Forthcoming Cafe at The Whitney: Untitled

Private Collectors Make Fantastic Donations of Photographic Art to Moderna Museet

Looking at Music 3.0 Explores the Influence of Music on Contempory Art in NY and the Birth of "Remix Culture"

Amon Carter Museum's Director of Education Named National Educator of the Year

Outstanding Selection of Modern Drawings at Swan Galleries' Work on Paper Auction

Property From The Life and Career of Musician Slash to Be Sold By Julien's Auctions

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Frick Collection Exhibition Considers Rembrandt Through the Eyes of Two Collectors

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First Major Retrospective of the Artist Arman Presented by Museum Tinguely

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Denver Art Museum's Petrie Institute of Western American Art Reaches Endowment Goal

Smithsonian American Art Museum Invites Public to Vote on Games to be Featured in "The Art of Video Games" Exhibition

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February 15, 2011

Madrid's Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza Presents an Exhibition Devoted to Jean-Léon Gérome

Egypt's Antiquities Minister Zahi Hawass Says Some Objects Looted from Museum Found

Bas-Relief of a Sacred Character Discovered by Mexican Archaeologists at El Tajin

Frick Collection Exhibition Considers Rembrandt Through the Eyes of Two Collectors

Milwaukee Art Museum Offers a Fresh Perspective on Frank Lloyd Wright with New Exhibition

150 Archaeology Graduates Protest Against Egypt's Antiquities Chief Zahi Hawass

Venetian and Flemish Masters from the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp on View in Brussels

Prince Philip: Celebrating Ninety Years at the Drawings Gallery in Windsor Castle

American Master David Smith Featured in Exhibition at the Phillips Collection in Washington

Researchers Say Slaves Hid African Charms on Colonial Greenhouse in Maryland

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New Work by Los Angeles Native Artist Laurie Frick at Edward Cella Art + Architecture

"The Kiss" by Gustav Klimt Named Most Romantic Oil Painting for Valentine's Day 2011

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International Survey of Experimental Film, Video and New Media at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

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Royal Peek-a-Boo: Kate's Sheer Dress to Be Sold

Surface/Tension: New Work by Kitty Kraus, Dan Shaw-Town and Gedi Sibony at Lisson Gallery

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Anthony McNerney Appointed Head of Contemporary Art at Bonhams

Babe Ruth, Jimmie Foxx, Ty Cobb and Dozens of other Rare Autographed Baseballs at Heritage Auctions

February 14, 2011

Egypt's Antiquities Minister Zahi Hawass Says Some Objects Looted from Museum Found

Galerie Max Hetzler Presents a Small Retrospective of Major British Artist Bridget Riley

Picasso: Guitars 1912-1914 Examines a Moment of Radical Experimentation in 20th Century Art

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Philbrook Museum of Art Features Exhibition American Streamlined Design: The World of Tomorrow

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Prince Philip: Celebrating Ninety Years at the Drawings Gallery in Windsor Castle

American Master David Smith Featured in Exhibition at the Phillips Collection in Washington

Researchers Say Slaves Hid African Charms on Colonial Greenhouse in Maryland

The Fundación Juan March Presents "Cold America" Geometrical Abstraction in Latin America

14th International Sculpture Objects & Functional Art Fair to Open April 14-17, 2011

A Table from the Sea's Edge by Silas Birtwistle on Display in Liverpool's World Museum

Virginia Museum and The Martin Agency Use Technology to Reach Picasso Enthusiasts

ArtPrize 2011 Registration Dates Announced

The Knoxville Museum of Art Presents Nine Video Works by Filmmaker Peter Sarkisian

The Jewish Museum Presents 'The Line and the Circle' Video Installation by Sharone Lifschitz

The Signal Gallery Presents First Group Show 'Mixed Doubles'

Masterpieces to Appear in the Upcoming Art Revolution Taipei 2011

Treasures of Heaven: Saints, Relics and Devotion in Medieval Europe on view at the Walters Art Museum

Romancing the West: Alfred Jacob Miller Exhibition Opens at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Sotheby's London February Wine Sale To Feature Superb Wine Collection

Best of the West Awards Recognise the Work of the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum

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