Permanent Collection - Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art

Galleries of Artistic Journeys
Artistic Journeys is a section of the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art focusing on how individual and world events of the 20th century shaped the careers for a family of artists. Abraham Rattner, was a figurative expressionist who became one of the country’s leading colorists; his second wife, Esther Gentle, was a printmaker, sculptor and painter; and Allen Leepa, son of Esther Gentle, is a noted author, art critic and prize-winning abstract expressionist painter.

Museum DocentsRattner: The Early Years
This gallery serves as an introduction to Abraham Rattner’s early life – from his birth in Poughkeepsie NY to his artistic training at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington DC and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia. The artwork featured in this gallery was created before 1920, and includes portrait studies, life drawings and life studies.

Rattner: The Paris Years
After a traveling fellowship to Europe to study art, Rattner settled in Paris where he exhibited in famed salons and was associated with the avant-garde - especially through surrealist artists known as the Minotaure group. This gallery features some of Rattner's salon and surrealist work and his drawings and watercolors of the 1920s and 1930s.

Rattner: New York
Rattner returned to the United States because of the conflicts of World War II. Upon his return, he became recognized as a superb colorist and one of America’s leading avant-garde artists of the time. He exhibited at prestigious galleries and collectors sought his works. However, this period of Rattner’s work also reflects two tragic events – World War II and the death of his wife, Bettina Bedwell Rattner.

Rattner Contemporaries
During his career, Rattner interacted with many leading figures of 20th century European and American art, literature and culture. This gallery features art pieces that were personal gifts from friends such as Le Corbusier, Marc Chagall and Henry Moore. Half of this gallery is devoted to the 50-year friendship between Rattner and author Henry Miller – including Rattner’s drawings from his trip with Miller from New York City through the mid-Atlantic and southern states, featured in Miller’s book, The Air-Conditioned Nightmare.

LRMA West ElevationRattner: Painter of the Tragic
Allen Leepa, Rattner’s stepson and biographer, described Rattner as "painter of the tragic," responding to the inhumanity of world events in the 20th century. After World War II, Rattner used religious subject matter taken from the Bible’s Old and New Testaments to express his concern for the human condition. The works in this gallery feature Old Testament images of Job and Ezekiel, references to nuclear annihilation in the Cold War, and reminders of the Holocaust.

Rattner: Major Commissions & Late Works
During the end of his career, Rattner sought architectural commissions and explored artistic mediums that broke from the traditional role of a painter. This gallery contains Rattner's stained glass, mosaic and tapestry designs, which share space with his paintings, graphics and works on paper.

Esther Gentle: Expressions
Esther Gentle (1899-1991) was an independent artist who didn't conform to any particular contemporary art movement. Though her whimsical sculptures are her best-known work, Gentle worked as a painter and printmaker.

Dr. Allen LeepaLeepa: Abstract Dialogues
This gallery features Allen Leepa, an artist, educator, author and philanthropist committed to abstraction and art as spiritual expression - a fact that is pivotal to understanding his work. This gallery features work Leepa created in high school, paintings he showed in major exhibitions and large masterworks that explore theories of visual perception.

North Gallery/South Gallery
These two areas, separated by a rotating, 28-foot wall, feature the museum's changing exhibitions. The South Gallery will feature student exhibitions, while the North Gallery will feature traveling exhibitions, collectors' exhibitions, interpretations of art of the 20th century and themes focusing on regional artists.



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