The Urasinus College News
Renaissance Puppets Complement Audubon at Ursinus' Berman Museum
May 19, 2006

COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. -- The Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College partners with the Renaissance Artist Puppet Company to stage an original performance, "Birds in History," in conjunction with the Museum’s special exhibition of John James Audubon’s engravings of the Birds of America. The performance will be June 10 at 8 p.m. in the Main Gallery.

There is a $10 charge for the program, and advance reservations are requested.

In a series of vignettes using various traditional puppet forms including shadow, table top, and bunraku style rod puppets, this eye- and imagination-catching performance will bring to life the cyclical history of extinction and evolution that has marked the colorful lives of such American birds as the Great Auk, the Carolina Parakeet (the only parrot native to Eastern North America), and the American Bald Eagle. The performance will feature original music as well as the original script and puppets created especially for this production. Parents should be aware that a discussion of extinction may be upsetting to younger children.

The Renaissance Artist Puppet Company's mission is to promote excellence in puppetry as a theatrical art form and as an educational tool by incorporating historical and cultural diversity along with quality performance techniques to tell our stories. The company is based in Norristown.

The presentation complements the exhibit, “To Follow Nature in Her Walks:” The Art and Environmentalism of John James Audubon, an exhibition of the four elephant folios of Audubon's Birds of America series of engravings, will be presented at the Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College from June 1 - August 13, 2006. It is a collaborative celebration with the John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove, the historic site of Audubon’s Pennsylvania residence from 1803 to 1806.

The installation will include individual framed images, proof plates marked by the artist for corrections, and original copper plates used in the printing of the volumes. The exhibit both celebrates the creative process of the artist and highlights environmental and preservation issues, an important aspect of Mill Grove's mission.

Also in conjunction with the Audubon exhibit, “Chasing Audubon: Denis Clavreul’s Journey in Watercolors,” will be at Mill Grove June 1 through Sept. 1. It focuses on wildlife and landscape images inspired by the artist following the footsteps of John James Audubon.

Mill Grove, at 1201 Pawlings Rd., Audubon, can be reached at 610-666-5593. Historic House/museum hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sun. 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Closed Mon. and major holidays. Admission is charged, grounds open 7 a.m. to dusk.

The Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Friday; noon to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; closed Mondays and college holidays. The museum is accessible to the physically disabled. Admission is free. Exhibitions and programs at the Berman Museum of Art are funded in part by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. The Berman Museum will be closed July 1 through 4.

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