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Greshville Antiques and Fine Art will present the Annual Berks County Art Show on Oct. 7 through 14.
Valerie and Kurt Malmberg, owners of Greshville Antiques and Fine Art, will display the local works of art in their renovated 18th century stone barn. A collection of over 125 pieces of art by a diverse group of artists from Berks County will be exhibited and offered for sale during this eight-day event. Included in this show are museum quality works of art, circa 1850-1940, many having been purchased from private collections. These paintings have been gathered over the last year and held for display at this show.
Included in this year’s show is a painting of birds by Francis D. Devlan (1835- 1870). Devlan, an outstanding and accomplished artist, died at the young age of 35 and is known for his landscapes of the local countryside. This rare painting has been in a private collection for over 25 years.
Another highlight of this year’s show is a large collection of early paintings by Frederick Spang (1834-1891). Several of these were painted in the first years of his return from the Civil War, where he fought with the 15th Pennsylvania Regiment of the 160th Pennsylvania Volunteers.
These include both fascinating still lifes and landscapes, rich in color and detail.
Ben Austrian (1870-1921) born and raised in Reading, is renowned for his paintings of chicks. Included in this year’s show is a unique set of five hand signed/hand titled prints. Along with his winsome oil paintings of chicks, Austrian produced fabulous prints of puppies, kittens, and chicks.
Many of the paintings included in the show are from private collections, such as a never before offered collection of exceptional landscapes by Christopher H. Shearer (1846-1926). These paintings hung in a Mt. Penn home since the early 1920s, possibly being purchased directly from the artist himself. Shearer was a strong promoter of the arts in Berks County and supported the movement through an association with the Oscar Woerner Art Gallery. Shearer was also instrumental in the development of the Reading Public Museum and Art Gallery, convincing the founder, Dr. Levi Mengel, to incorporate a painting gallery within the institution.
Kurt and Valerie Malmberg, owners of Greshville Antiques and Fine Art, have been researching Berks County artists and their works for over 25 years. They are considered the leading authorities and appraisers of Berks County Art, assisting auction houses, institutions, appraisers, and collectors in evaluating and purchasing this rediscovered regional art.
The “Annual Berks County Art Show” evolved many years ago through the Malmbergs’ interest in local artists and their works from the turn of the century. Through this endeavor, their intention has been to enlighten and educate the public about the industrious and creative colony of artists who were part of the cultural explosion in Reading 100 years ago. With a growing national interest in American art and antiques, many of Berks County’s local treasures have been stripped from this area. This show offers the local art enthusiast a chance not only to learn about and enjoy his/her local heritage, but also a prime opportunity to invest in it.
The event averages 2,500 to 3,000 visitors. The opening day is the most popular day, with competitive buying, and an attendance of “who’s who” in the antique and fine arts community. This year should be no exception. It’s the only show of its kind.
The show and sale will be at Greshville Antiques and Fine Art, located on Route 562, near Boyertown. All of the paintings exhibited in this show will be available for purchase and are guaranteed as represented. Along with the collection of Berks County art, the gallery also carries a collection of 19th and 20th century American and European art, and quality American and European clocks and furniture.
For more information, contact Valerie Malmberg at Greshville Antiques and Fine Art at 610-367-0076, visit the website at www.greshvilleantiques.com, or follow them on Facebook.