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Wednesday, September 9, 2015 by The Press in Focus

Eyeing Baum: “Mystery & Magic, the Trompe L’oeil Vision of Gary Erse” opens with a reception, 6-8 p.m. Sept. 16 and continues through Oct. 17, David E. Rodale and Rodale Family Galleries, The Baum School of Art, 510 Linden St., Allentown. Erbe gives a gallery talk, 6 - 8 p.m. Sept. 23. Both events are free and open to the public. The exhibition sponsors are the Zelenkofske Family. Erbe will be guest and spotlight artist at The Baum School of Art Annual Gala in October honoring the Dent Family. Trompe l’oeil, translated from the French, means to “to fool the eye.” Erbe’s work, including “Celebrating an American Patriot” (oil on canvas, 30 in. by 40 in., 2014), above, inspired by trompe l’oeil masters, is a deliberate arrangement of his assemblages. Erbe’s paintings free objects from their natural surroundings via the illusion of levitation and through the juxtaposition of unrelated objects. Erbe, a self-taught oil painter, was born in Union City, N.J., in 1944 where he maintained a studio from 1972 - 2005. Erbe was an engraver from 1965 to 1970. He coined the term “Levitational Realism,” a break from traditional realism. He has a studio in Nutley, N.J. Erbe has had solo exhibitions at the New Jersey State Museum, New Britain Museum of American Art, National Arts Club, James A. Michener Art Museum, Woodmere Art Museum and the Salmagundi Club. Awards include the Butler Institute of American Art Lifetime Achievement Medal, 2003; Salmagundi Club Medal of Honor, 2007, and the National Museum of Sport Gold Medal, 2010. Gallery hours are: 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. Monday - Thursday; 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Friday, Saturday; closed Sunday. Information: baumschool.org 610-433-0032

Dutch masters: Many people have heard of the Pennsylvania Dutch (Pennsylvania Germans). But what about the Virginia and Maryland Dutch or the Midwestern Dutch? Historian Frank Whelan, above, will introduce these less-famous variations on Pennsylvania Dutch culture in his lecture, “Pennsylvania Dutch Journeys Across America,” 1 p.m. Sept. 19, Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum, 432 W. Walnut St., Allentown. The Pennsylvania Germans are so-called because they emigrated from Germany (mainly the Palatine region) to North America in the 1700s. “The Pennsylvania Dutch are among the most fascinating and industrious ethnic cultures in America. They spread their culture across the nation,” said Joseph Garrera, Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum Executive Director. In his presentation, Whelan will discuss how the Pennsylvania Dutch pioneered the American frontier, beginning in colonial days and continuing throughout the 1800s, migrating to Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio and further west. Whelan will also explore contributions the Pennsylvania Dutch have made to American culture as they acculturated themselves into mainstream America while retaining ethnic traditions. Information: 610-435-1074

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