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Bucks County Council for the Arts records


Held at: James A. Michener Art Museum Archives [Contact Us]138 South Pine Street, Doylestown, PA, 18901

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the James A. Michener Art Museum Archives. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Bucks County Council on the Arts (BCCA) was established on October 30, 1973 to foster, promote and coordinate support for the arts in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Charter members included Selma Bortner, Richard Bullock, Kay Renninger, Florence Schaffhausen and Herman Silverman. The BCCA sponsored exhibitions and programs, published a newsletter, and developed an archive on more than fifteen hundred artists. The Council operated the Rodman House Gallery at Easton and Almshouse roads in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. Opened in 1978, the Rodman House was the permanent home of the Bucks County Fine Arts Collection. On April 20, 1983, BCCA's bylaws were revised to reflect its new name: Bucks County Council for the Arts. In 1985 the Bucks County commissioners approved the building of an art museum using the site of the recently closed Bucks County Prison in Doylestown. BCCA was charged with running the institution and its collected works became part of the museum's collection. The museum opened to the public in 1988 as the James A. Michener Arts Center (now known as the James A. Michener Art Museum).

Bucks County Council for the Arts records, 1973-1995 (bulk 1974-1986), consist of administrative and financial records, photographs and slides, scrapbooks, performing arts files, and other materials.

Administrative materials include minutes, 1973-1986; correspondence, 1980s; committee agendas and reports; collection inventories and other records; materials from exhibitions and programs hosted by BCCA, including planning materials, press and publicity materials, and ephemera; documents relating to events and exhibitions in which BCCA participated and organizations with which BCCA was involved; materials relating to the Rodman House's opening and its exhibitions, 1978-1987; personnel records; long range planning materials; guest books, 1978-1985; and other materials.

Financial materials include checks, bank statements, sales records, ledgers, budgets, insurance materials, grant funding materials and research proposals, and other financial papers.

Photographs in the collection are primarily of BCCA events. There are also photographs of individual artists. There are approximately 1,850 slides of artworks by approximately 660 artists, primarily from Bucks County, circa 1970-1980. There are also slides from Rodman House events and BCCA activities.

There are also BCCA newsletters, 1978-1980; scrapbooks, 1974-1978, undated; press releases and newspaper clippings, circa 1975-1980s; materials from Smithsonian surveys, 1978, 1984, 1989; pamphlets, surveys, and other documents related to performing arts; and other materials.

Performing arts files include materials on thirty-seven different Bucks County performing arts groups and related organizations, including Warminster Symphony, Lower Makefield Society for Performing Arts, Langhorne Players, New Hope Performing Arts Festival, Bucks County Playhouse, Chamber Arts Guild Doylestown, Cantata Singers, and other groups.

A more detailed finding aid, biographical note, or inventory for this collection may be available on-site.

This collection consists of multiple accessions, including ARC2010.5, ARC2010.6, and ARC2010.23. ARC2010.23 was a gift of Dr. Richard Bullock in May 2010. Dr. Bullock was chairman of BCCA from 1975 to 1978.

Summary descriptive information on this collection was compiled in 2014-2016 as part of a project conducted by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania to make better known and more accessible the largely hidden collections of small, primarily volunteer run repositories in the Philadelphia area. The Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories (HCI-PSAR) was funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

This is a preliminary finding aid. No physical processing, rehousing, reorganizing, or folder listing was accomplished during the HCI-PSAR project.

In some cases, more detailed inventories or finding aids may be available on-site at the repository where this collection is held; please contact James A. Michener Art Museum Archives directly for more information.

James A. Michener Art Museum Archives
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Sarah Leu and Anastasia Matijkiw through the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories using information provided by the James A. Michener Art Museum Archives
This preliminary finding aid was created as part of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories. The HCI-PSAR project was made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
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