The Genius Belt
- Publish Date: 11/12/1996
- Dimensions: 8 x 10
- Page Count: 192 pages Illustrations: 12 color/75 b&w illustrations
- Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-271-01672-6
- Paperback ISBN: 978-0-271-01673-3
- Co-publisher: James A. Michener Art Museum
Bucks County, Pennsylvania—the name conjures up images of colonial villages, pastoral vistas, and famous artists. Walking down the streets of Doylestown or New Hope in the 1930s or 40s, you might have glimpsed humorist Dorothy Parker at a lunch counter or satirist S. J. Perelman at the hardware store, not to mention Pulitzer-Prize-winning writers like Oscar Hammerstein, James A. Michener, George S. Kaufman, Moss Hart, or Pearl S. Buck. Thanks to cheap real estate, proximity to New York City, and the lure of country living, Bucks County became such a well-known haven for creativity that the New York media began to call it "the genius belt."
This book tells the story of Bucks County's rich artistic tradition: from the nineteenth-century's best-known primitive painter, Edward Hicks, to the turn-of-the-century birth of a major art colony along the Delaware River, to the influx of literary and theatrical figures during the Depression. A colorful introduction by James Michener begins with the renowned author's boyhood in Doylestown and recalls his delightful memories of the county's "golden years."
James A. Michener / Introduction: The Golden Years
1. Dorothy Herrmann / The Writers
2. Phil Johnson Ruth / Footlights and Fireflies: The Bucks County Theater Tradition
3. Cleota Reed / Henry Chapman Mercer and the Craft Tradition
4. Patricia Tanis Sydney / The Visual Artists
5. Brian H. Peterson / Afterword: A Brief History of the James A. Michener Art Museum
Appendix 1: St. John Terrell / "Revolutionary Theater" at Washington Crossing
Appendix 2: W. Lester Trauch / Memories of the Early Bucks County Playhouse
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