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Michener Seeking Bucks County, Pa., Painters

June 10, 1992

DOYLESTOWN, Pa. (AP) _ Author James A. Michener pledged on Wednesday to help a museum named for him collect more works by painters who put Bucks County on the artistic map.

″We have got to beat the bushes to find where they are so that we can have a first-class museum,″ the prolific 85-year-old author of ″Tales of the South Pacific,″ ″Texas″ ″Hawaii″ and other blockbusters said at groundbreaking ceremonies for a $1.65 million expansion of the Michener Art Museum.

″If a great Raphael came on the market, we wouldn’t be interested, but if a Daniel Garber appeared, we would have to think very carefully about it,″ Michener said.

Bucks County, just north of Philadelphia, was the site of an artists’ colony around the turn of the century known variously as the Pennsylvania Impressionist School and the New Hope School of Pennsylvania Impressionists, museum spokeswoman Linda Milanesi said.

Garber and Edward Willis Redfield were leading figures, as were Fern Coppedge and Walter Elmer Schofield. Edward Hicks came earlier; Helen Frankenthaler was prominent later.

All are represented in the museum, but many works remain in private hands, Milanesi said.

Michener grew up in a foster home in Doylestown and until recently had a home in nearby Tinicum Township. He now divides his time among homes in Texas, Florida and Maine.

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