January 04 – January 11 , 2007 Edition

James Michener To Be Remembered At Numerous Events

NEW YORK, NY/1/3/2007—On February 3, 2007, America’s beloved writer James A. Michener would have turned 100 years old. In recognition of this milestone, institutions across the country will celebrate with a variety of tributes, exhibitions, lectures, films and special events. In celebration of his life and career, Random House Publishing Group, Michener’s longtime publisher, will reprint his memoir The World is My Home on January 30, 2007 in paperback.

James A. Michener was a complex and gifted man who, in a sense, led many different lives. He is best summed up by the three words he chose for his epitaph: traveler, citizen, writer. His renown is mostly derived from the written word, as the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of more than forty books of both fiction and non-fiction, many of them bestsellers. He also was a “man of the world”—someone who spent the better part of his life educating himself about our planet through his constant travels. And he was a citizen in the best sense of the word: dedicated to having his life make a difference, through public service, philanthropy, collecting and numerous related activities.

James A. Michener Art Museum, Doylestown, Pennsylvania

The James A. Michener Art Museum is an independent, non-profit cultural institution dedicated to preserving, interpreting and exhibiting the art and cultural heritage of the Bucks County, Pennsylvania region. The Museum is named for Doylestown’s most famous son, the Pulitzer-Prize winning writer and supporter of the arts who had first dreamed of a regional art museum in the early 1960s.

James A. Michener: Traveler/Citizen/Writer, March 3-July 8, 2007, is a special exhibition that focuses on these three key aspects of Michener’s life using photographs, objects and paintings from the collection of the Michener Art Museum, including original artwork created by Michener as well as his maps, postcards, stamp collection and material from his service with NASA. This project commemorates the 100th anniversary of the author’s birth, and is curated by Stephen J. May, the author of the recent biography Michener: A Writer’s Journey.

Honolulu Academy of Arts, Honolulu, Hawaii

The Honolulu Academy of Arts is dedicated to the collection, preservation, interpretation and teaching of the visual arts, and the presentation of exhibitions, films and videos, performing arts and public programs specifically relevant to Hawaii’s ethnically diverse community. Michener donated 5,400 Japanese prints to the Academy.

Exhibition of Michener’s Japanese woodblock print collection (details TBA)

James A. Michener Center for Writers and the Blanton Museum of Art, University of Texas, Austin

James and Mari Michener left two legacies with The University of Texas at Austin: first, their extensive collection of 20th-century American art and support for the construction of a world-class museum building and, secondly, an endowment creating one of the country’s premier MFA programs in creative writing, now called the Michener Center for Writers (MCW). The Blanton Museum—Austin’s premiere visual arts institution—just this year moved to its impressive new home, named the Mari and James A. Michener Gallery Building. When the second building in its two-building complex opens in 2008, the Blanton will be the largest university art museum in the country. The museum and the MCW will collaborate on a series of events in January and February of 2007 commemorating the centennial of Michener’s birth.

On January 18, February 1 and February 15, the Blanton Museum’s Thursday night “Art Fix” series will feature programs focusing on the intersection of visual and literary arts, including mini-workshops on craft taught by MCW students and alumni.

On February 2, the Museum’s First Friday night “B scene” art party will honor the Michener legacy at The University of Texas with an evening of music, entertainment, special tours of the Michener collection—which includes artworks from many well-known mid-20th century painters such as Max Weber, Marsden Hartley, Thomas Hart Benton, Adolph Gottlieb, and Joan Mitchell—and a reading by writers in the MCW MFA program.

James A. Michener Society, international organization

The James A. Michener Society, formed in 1998, is composed of people who share a common interest in James Michener’s life and work. The Society aims to preserve the intellectual legacy of James A. Michener; ensure that future generations have full access to all of his writings; promote the exchange of ideas and information about his writings; encourage fellowship among readers of his writings; and inform devotees and members of the Society about recent publications and critiques of his writings.

The James A. Michener Society will hold its annual meeting at the University of Northern Colorado in October 2007.

Lincoln Center Theater, New York, New York

“South Pacific,” the smash musical by Rodgers and Hammerstein based on Michener’s Pulitzer-Prize winning book Tales of the South Pacific returns to New York City in March 2008.

Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania

A week-long celebration of the life and work of James A. Michener in spring 2007.

University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, Colorado

The James A. Michener Library at the University of Northern Colorado is the repository of Michener’s manuscripts, books, recordings, photographs and personal effects. Michener received his Master’s degree and taught at UNC in the 1930s and 1940s. He returned in the 1970s to work on his western novel, Centennial.

On February 2, the eve of Michener’s birth date, the University will host a reception for Robert Vavra Presents James Albert Michener, an exhibition of approximately 40 photographs. The exhibition is on view January 10 through February 14. Vavra was Michener’s personal photographer for over 35 years. A corresponding photographic history book, Michener’s the Name, published by the University Press of Colorado, will also be unveiled.

On March 9, the University will host a reception for the exhibit Artists Interpret James A. Michener: An Invitational Exhibit, on view February 21 through March 28. Local, regional and national artists have been invited to participate.

On October 5 and 6, the University celebrates the 35th anniversary of Michener’s dedication of the James A. Michener Library. The weekend also serves as the annual meeting of the James A. Michener Society. The weekend includes a Centennial discussion; a bus tour of the Pawnee Grasslands (a major locale for both the book and film); the opening of the permanent exhibition space for the James A. Michener Collection, a $120,000 project; a book fair with agents and publishers as special guest speakers; and a closing banquet.

James Michener, Inside Out is a one hour documentary film about the life and work of best-selling writer James Michener, produced through the University of Northern Colorado. This film is currently in production, to be premiered on television in 2007.