PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — At Ursinus College in Collegeville, you don’t have to be a student to walk into the Berman Museum for a lesson in art.
“Even if it’s a work finished a hundred years ago, they continue to make you think,” said museum director Charlie Stainback.
The Montgomery County college has collected thousands of permanent pieces inside and out, but there’s always something new.
One of their current exhibits, Real Estate, explores architecture from the ordinary to the historic.
Artists Constantin and Laurene Leon Boym created bonded nickel miniatures of prominent locations they call Buildings of Disaster. “In this case here, we have everything from the Taj Mahal to the Superdome to the Pentagon, the World Trade Center,” Charlie said. “It’s very detailed.”
On another wall, artists Kate Ericson and Mel Ziegler display glass paint jars of creams, whites, and reds (and in one jar, black) in an unfamiliar pattern.
“I don’t know why I love this wall yet, but it has captivated me. My interest is piqued. What is this?” Meisha asked.
“Essentially, it’s a map,” Charlie said, “a map of the Washington Mall, of all the various buildings.” Each building is represented with a jar of matching exterior paint color labeled with the paint’s name, such as Coconut Cake or Taffy White. The black paint represents the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall.
Filip Dujardin’s photographs of buildings are really digital paste-ups. “These are not real buildings,” Charlie said.
“Digital,” Meisha said. “I would not have guessed that. They’re quite amazing.”
“He’s an architectural photographer,” Charlie explained. “He then takes the pieces for the various buildings to create these new, sort of amazing structures.”
Photographs by Andrea Robbins and Max Becher show shantytowns in Georgia, built by Habitat for Humanity to show how poor people live around the world.
“These are actually constructed so people can get a sense of what it’s like to live in an impoverished situation,” Charlie said.
“That’s absolutely incredible,” Meisha said.
A hole in a wall caught Meisha’s eye. “That little hole in the wall right over there. What is that?”
“I’m not going to tell you,” Charlie said. “I’m going to have you walk over there and I’ll meet you over there.”
Meisha peered in. “Oh, wow!” Inside was a diorama created by Patrick Jacobs: a bedroom window overlooking the Brooklyn neighborhood of Gowanus Heights.
“Essentially, it’s a little sculpture in the wall. It’s three-dimensional, scaled down,” Charlie said. “I can’t get my eyes off it because it’s so fascinating.”
If you love art, you’ll have to visit The Berman Museum of Art. It will never look the same twice.
“Every time I look at it, even if it’s the same picture, I have a different emotion,” Meisha said.
“I have the exact same response,” Charlie said, “and I think that comes from displaying and looking at great art.”
The Berman Museum of Art, located at 610 E. Main Street, Collegeville, PA 19426, is open 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.