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Étant donnés: 1° la chute d'eau, 2° le gaz d'éclairage . . . (Given: 1. The Waterfall, 2. The Illuminating Gas . . . )
August 15, 2009 - November 29, 2009
Marcel Duchamp’s enigmatic assemblage Étant donnés: 1. La chute d’eau, 2. Le gaz d’éclairage (Given: 1. The Waterfall, 2. The Illuminating Gas) has been described by the artist Jasper Johns as “the strangest work of art in any museum.” Permanently installed at the Museum since 1969, this three-dimensional environmental tableau offers an unforgettable and untranslatable experience to those who peer through the two small holes in the solid wooden door.
The True Artist Helps the World by Revealing Mystic Truths (Window or Wall Sign)
June 7, 2009 - November 22, 2009
*Location: Venice, Italy
Bruce Nauman: Topological Gardens is the official United States representation for the 53rd International Art Exhibition—La Biennale di Venezia. A three-part presentation in Venice, Italy, Topological Gardens exhibits works by Bruce Nauman in the U.S. Pavilion of the Biennale’s Giardini, as well as in spaces located on the premises of two of the most highly esteemed academic institutions in the city.
Buddha Vajradhara, Originating Deity of the Sakya Lineage
December 20, 2008 - November 15, 2009
The masterpieces in this exhibition encompass nearly a millennium of art from across the Himalayan region (centered on Tibet and Nepal) and from neighboring areas under its cultural influence.
June 6, 2009 - November 12, 2009
Icons of modernity and testaments to human achievement, skyscrapers rose to towering heights in major cities across the United States during the early decades of the twentieth century. More than fifty prints, drawings, and photographs chosen from the Museum’s collection demonstrate the many ways artists chose to portray the new giants in their landscape.
August 15, 2009 - November 7, 2009
This exhibition features several manuscript collections and institutional records that support research on Marcel Duchamp.
Woman's Dress: Bodice and Skirt
April 11, 2009 - November 1, 2009
The glamorous and cutting-edge fashions created in Paris have always inspired American dress. This exhibition explores the American experience abroad between 1850 and 1925. Such luxurious designs as the House of Worth and the classic elegance of Lanvin are being paired with American fashions based on these Parisian prototypes.
Window on the Promenade des Anglais, Nice
December 13, 2008 - October 25, 2009
Including 42 works total, 35 paintings and 7 sculptures, from the Museum’s collection and local private collections, this year-long installation celebrates the French Riviera’s mythic allure for modern artists.
Dead Troops Talk
November 21, 2008 - October 25, 2009
Arguably the last decade of the twentieth century started in 1989, with the fall of the Berlin Wall, and ended twelve years later, with the horrific attacks of September 2001. That extended decade witnessed some of the most profound and lasting transformation in society since the postwar period. This presentation of works from the Museum’s collection exemplifies the vast range of artistic practices during this time of profound transition, bringing together a diverse group of artists working in a variety of media
May 16, 2009 - September 20, 2009
This installation of twenty-three chairs is selected from an important group given to the Museum in 2007 by Jeanne Rymer, a retired professor and head of the Interior Design Program at the University of Delaware.
May 16, 2009 - September 20, 2009
This exhibition, drawn primarily from the Museum’s modern and contemporary design collection, features some thirty objects dating from the mid-1960s to the present.
Golden Fall
July 12, 2009 - September 13, 2009
Drawn from the collection of Charles K. Williams II, a distinguished archaeologist and Director Emeritus of the Corinth Excavations of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, this exhibition includes approximately 100 paintings, sculptures, watercolors, and drawings from the early decades of the 20th century.
Tsuitate Screen with Design of Golden Fox
December 6, 2008 - September 13, 2009
This exhibition offers one of the first surveys of Japanese crafts in all their rich diversity of media and techniques through the entire 20th century, from Japan’s first forays on to the international stage of World’s Fairs to the heady internationalism of the 1920’s and 1930’s, to the dynamic creativity of the post-WW II period and to the present.
Mummers Parade, Philadelphia
June 18, 2009 - September 7, 2009
Comprising more than 40 photographs from the Museum’s collection, this exhibition explores the manner in which photographers from the nineteenth-century through the present day have documented spectacular scenes and events along with the curious spectators who observe them.
February 28, 2009 - August 23, 2009
Daidō Moriyama is one of the most important and exciting Japanese photographers of our time, having made prolific, often experimental pictures of modern urban life since the 1960s. This exhibition showcases a group of approximately 45 photographs made in and around Tokyo in the 1980s, when Moriyama focused his mature aesthetic on the city with renewed intensity.
Woman's Ensemble: Cape, Bodysuit, Chaps, and Clogs
May 24, 2008 - August 23, 2009
Kansai Yamamoto is one of the founding fathers of Japanese contemporary fashion. Best known for his work during the 1970s and 1980s, his avant-garde designs are inspired by the colorful Azuchi-Momoyama period (1568-1600) and traditional Kabuki theatre. The exuberant Pop-like quality of his work contrasts with what is today associated with Japanese fashion, Zen-like simplicity and deconstructed silhouettes.
"Topiary" Lounge Chair
April 5, 2009 - August 23, 2009
In this exhibition, several works created over half a century by legendary outdoor furniture designer Richard Schultz are being presented by Collab and the Philadelphia Museum of Art on the Perelman Building's Cafe Terrace.
Tres Parisiens
April 11, 2009 - August 15, 2009
The fashion industry during 1850-1925 was a period of tremendous change and innovation. This exhibition, designed to complement Shopping in Paris: French Fashion 1850–1925, explores the world of fashion and consumer culture through printed publications. On display are books, periodicals, department store souvenirs, trade catalogs, and fashion plates from the Library’s collection of fashion-related material.
Anne d'Harnoncour
April 25, 2009 - July 19, 2009
Anne d’Harnoncourt (1943–2008), the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s late and beloved Director who served the Museum and its audiences for four historic and transforming decades, reveled in the art of all ages and cultures. This exhibition celebrates Anne, her passion for art, and her drive to share creativity’s treasures with all.
Portrait of Dr. Samuel D. Gross (The Gross Clinic)
August 2, 2008 - July 19, 2009
The Museum welcomes two masterpieces made for Philadelphia by two of nineteenth-century America’s finest artists, Thomas Eakins and Augustus Saint-Gaudens. Close contemporaries and friends, they both trained in Paris and traveled in Europe before returning to the United States about 1870 to begin distinguished careers. Sharing a belief in the expressive power of the human body as a subject for modern painting and sculpture, they developed different styles.
Kusha Kills Lakshmana
October 1, 2008 - June 28, 2009
What makes a king or noble honorable? How does a hero act? The seven illustrations in this exhibition come from manuscripts created in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries under the Safavid rulers of Iran (Persia) and the Mughals of India. Each demonstrates a feat of heroism or an act of justice befitting a good Islamic ruler.
Portrait of an African Official
December 20, 2008 - June 28, 2009
During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the royal painting workshops of the Mughal emperors introduced to the Indian subcontinent a type of portraiture based on accurate renderings of physiognomy and individualized facial features. This new, more naturalistic manner of representing the human figure was at the same time highly idealized and formulaic.
Collage 1
March 20, 2009 - June 21, 2009
Live Cinema/Tim Hyde focuses on the work of the Brooklyn-based artist whose video and photographic practice investigates the relationship between architecture, temporality and visuality. Taking the architectural urban context as a point of departure, Hyde strives to capture the inconspicuous changes in its details as well as the place it holds in the mental landscape of its inhabitants.
August 31, 2008 - June 14, 2009
Among the some thirty pieces in this installation are a number with views of Philadelphia landmarks including the Dam and Water Works on the Schuylkill River, the Bank of the United States and the Philadelphia Library Company building.
The Large Bathers
February 26, 2009 - May 31, 2009
This exhibition explores the vital role of Paul Cézanne in the history of modernism and as an extraordinarily rich resource for artists into the twenty-first century.
Groundhog Day
January 29, 2009 - May 3, 2009
A painter of profound imagination, skill, and staying power across seven turbulent decades, the late Andrew Wyeth was both admired and criticized for the tenacity of his realist approach and the unabashed emotion in his paintings. He produced some of the most famous and haunting images of the twentieth century. Celebrating Wyeth’s extraordinary life and work, this installation consists of two paintings and seven drawings.
The Triumphal Arch of Maximilian I
January 31, 2009 - April 26, 2009
Grand Scale assembles more than forty oversize and multi-part woodcuts and engravings from United States collections. Except for an exhibition of giant Renaissance woodcuts in the 1970s, this is the first exhibition in more than 100 years to explore the origins of this genre in printmaking with works by some of the most important artists and printmakers of their day.
Rooster "Six-Pack"
November 1, 2008 - April 19, 2009
This exhibition highlights a selection of purchases, gifts, and bequests since the year 2000—a group so varied it encompasses the Museum’s departments of American art, costume and textiles, East Asian art, and European decorative arts.
Two Blacks, White and Blue
October 3, 2006 - April 8, 2009
The paintings in this exhibition illustrate the significant changes in the work of Ellsworth Kelly during a formative period, when the artist experimented with strategies that would prove to be instrumental to his artistic development.
Lewis Residence
November 8, 2008 - April 5, 2009
This exhibition explores for the first time how a decade-long residential commission for Peter Lewis in Lyndhurst, Ohio (1985-1995), gave Frank Gehry a unique opportunity to experiment, and in the process, achieve the formal and technological breakthroughs that have made him one of the most influential architects of our time.
"Hands" Quilt
August 16, 2008 - March 1, 2009
This exhibition includes thirteen examples by leading Southern quilt makers. The collection was formed between 1981 and 1983 while Ms. Torrey was conducting fieldwork on African American quilt-making with Maud Southwell Wahlman.
Prices of Cabinet and Chair Work, Philadelphia, 1772
July 3, 2008 - February 22, 2009
In 1772, a group of Philadelphia master cabinetmakers published Prices of Cabinet and Chair Work, a 36-page book listing furniture forms and their decorative variations, retail prices for furniture in mahogany and walnut, and the wages to be paid to the journeymen who made the furniture. This exhibition features furniture that is delineated in the book of prices, including three large case pieces with the three types of tops, or "heads", from least expensive to most expensive: flat, pitch pediment, and scroll pediment.
September 6, 2008 - February 1, 2009
This visually bold exhibition of more than thirty photographs brings together two contemporary artists, Bill Armstrong and Milan Fano Blatný, whose work has been inspired by the ancient form of the mandala.
October 3, 2008 - January 11, 2009
This installment of Live Cinema focuses on the video work of Italian artist Anita Sieff. Inspired by filmmakers such as Ingmar Bergman, Jean-Luc Godard, and Luchino Visconti, Sieff explores in non-linear narratives the interactions between disparate characters bestowed with allegorical qualities.
STAR BRAND SHOES "kaleidoscope"
October 14, 2008 - January 4, 2009
James Castle: A Retrospective marks the first comprehensive museum exhibition of the work of James Castle, an artist who, despite undergoing no formal or conventional training, is especially admired for the unique homemade quality combined with an acute visual sensibility that characterizes his work.

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