New and Upcoming Exhibitions
- Notations/William Kentridge: Tapestries
Through April 6, 2008
In 2006, the Philadelphia Museum of Art acquired Office Love (2001), a large tapestry by the South African artist William Kentridge (born 1955), whose work encompassing drawing, video, sculpture and theater, has made him one of the most eloquent artistic voices to emerge in South Africa after the fall of apartheid. William Kentridge: Tapestries showcases 11 large-scale tapestries from a series conceived by and executed under Kentridge’s artistic direction between 2001 and 2007. On loan from public and private collections in Europe, South Africa, and the United States, the tapestries and 23 additional works—etchings, bronze sculptures, drawings, and an artist’s book—offer a rich context for the Museum’s Office Love, which is more than 11 feet high and 15 feet wide and is the largest of the tapestries on view. The exhibition reflects the development of Kentridge’s iconic images of a porter and the processional characters that represent the transitional conditions that have plagued South Africa in the aftershocks of the apartheid regime since the mid-1990s. The exhibition is the fourth and most ambitious of the Museum’s ongoing Notations series. Curator: Carlos Basualdo, Curator of Contemporary Art
Sponsors: Support for this exhibition is provided by the Philadelphia Exhibitions Initiative, a program of the Philadelphia Center for Arts and Heritage, funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts, and administered by the University of the Arts. Additional funding was provided by a generous gift from Dina and Jerry Wind.
Location: Gisela and Dennis Alter Gallery, 176 and Galleries 172 and 173
Catalogue: Co-published by the Museum and Yale University Press (118 pp.), William Kentridge: Tapestries is a sourcebook on Kentridge’s work in the medium, exploring the artist’s tapestries in relation to his work in other media and the connection between the tapestries and South African literature. It is the first publication to focus in depth on this relatively new facet of his wide-ranging oeuvre. The catalogue includes over 120 high-quality color reproductions, among them images of the related drawings and sculptures and documentation of the weaving process. It contains essays by Carlos Basualdo, South African writer and critic Ivan Vladislavić, the Italian art critic Gabriele Guercio, and Okwui Enwezor, a leading scholar on African art who is Dean of Academic Affairs and Senior Vice President at San Francisco Art Institute. It will be available for purchase online in the Museum Store at www.philamuseum.org or by calling 800 329-4856 ($35.00). Press Release | Press Images
- A Flute in the Forrest: Tales of a Young Krishna
December 22, 2007 - June 1, 2008
The inspiration behind countless works of art, Krishna is understood by Hindus in India and many parts of the world to be not only God, but man. This exhibition focuses on Krishna as a boy, bringing together 25 paintings from the museum’s collection—more than half of which are pages from the various 18th-century manuscripts of the Bhagavata Purana, a primary Hindu text that recounts Krishna’s life in detail. In addition to the paintings, the exhibition includes six sculptures, two ritual objects and two silk embroidered textiles, allowing visitors to explore the many facets of the Hindu god. Curator: Darielle Mason, The Stella Kramrisch Curator of Indian and Himalayan Art
Location: William P. Wood Gallery 227 Press Release | Press Images
- Marvels of the Malla Period: A Nepalese Renaissance, 1200 - 1603
December 22, 2007 - June 1, 2008
In the first ever exhibition devoted to Napalese art of the Malla Period (1200 - 1769) 25 rarely seen masterpieces from the Museum’s collection will offer an overview of this artistic “Golden Age.” The artists who created the dazzling works on display were primarily Newar—one of more than 30 ethnic groups in Nepal. The exhibition showcases primarily sculpture of various themes, ranging from period jewelry and dress to architectural motifs and religious icons. Curator: Katherine Anne Paul, Associate Curator of Indian and Himalayan Art
Location: Himalayan Art Gallery 232 Press Release | Press Images
- The Art of Lee Miller
January 26, 2008 - April 27, 2008
Lee Miller (1907-1977) was one of the most original and ambitious photographers of the 20th century. She performed with unique success on both sides of the camera, starting her career as a fashion model in New York, working as a studio assistant to Man Ray in Paris, independently creating haunting, surrealist-inspired images as well as portraiture, and serving as a war correspondent during World War II. The Art of Lee Miller is a selection of more than 140 objects, mainly vintage photographs, celebrating Miller's remarkable life and her art, and how each reflected and influenced the other. Organized by the Victoria and Albert Museum on the occasion of the 2007 centenary of her birth, the exhibition spans her extraordinary career as a photographer and is the first complete retrospective, exploring her transformation from artist's muse to ground-breaking artist. Organizer: The Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Curator: Katherine Ware, Curator of Photographs
Location: The Berman and Stieglitz Galleries, ground floor
Itinerary: Victoria & Albert Museum, London (through January 6, 2008); Philadelphia Museum of Art (January 26 – April 27, 2008); San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (July 1 – September 21, 2008); Jeu de Paume, Paris (October 14, 2008 – January 11, 2009) Press Release | Press Images
- Fragile Demon: Juan Soriano in Mexico, 1935-1950
February 16, 2008 - May 11, 2008
This is the first U.S. exhibition in a major museum to focus on the early work of a pivotol painter in modern Mexican art. Soriano (1920 - 2006) has been cited as a bridge between the Mexican School of realistic painting of the 1930s and 40s and the internationalist avant-garde trends of mid-century. Fragile Demon will feature 16 works, including four owned by the Museum, which houses the most extensive collection of works by Soriano in the country. Also included are a handful of other important oils and gouaches from institutions including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Museo Soumaya in Mexico City, as well as the late artist’s estate. Although Frida Kahlo and Soriano represent very different aspects of modern Mexican painting, they knew one other, showed in some of the same exhibitions, and there are many interesting parallels and intersections between their works. Sponsor: This exhibition was made possible by Telcel, Fundación José Cuervo, and a generous anonymous donor.
Curators: Guest curator Edward J. Sullivan, New York University and Michael Taylor, the Muriel and Philip Berman Curator of Modern Art
Catalogue: In conjunction with the exhibition the Museum is producing an illustrated publication (60 pp.), which includes an essay by curator Edward J. Sullivan and the first-ever English translations of texts on Soriano by two distinguished Mexican writers, Octavio Paz and Carlos Fuentes. It will be available for $19.95 at the Museum Store or online or by calling (800) 329-4856.
Location: Modern and Contemporary Art gallery 181, first floor
- Frida Kahlo
February 20, 2008 - May 18, 2008
Organized in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the artist's birth, this touring exhibition devoted to the art of Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) will present approximately 40 paintings from the beginning of her career in 1926 until her death in 1954. Frida Kahlo is the first major presentation of the Mexican artist’s works in the United States in nearly fifteen years and Philadelphia is the only East Coast venue. The exhibition will feature Kahlo’s portraits, self-portraits, and still lifes. Painted in vivid colors and rendered in great detail, her figurative and fantastical paintings are filled with complex symbolism, which usually relates to her life. In her remarkably varied, often iconic self-portraits Kahlo continually reinvented herself in various guises. Such paintings as The Two Fridas (1939) demonstrate Kahlo’s intense self-examination while Henry Ford Hospital (1932) and The Broken Column (1944), among others, express her struggle with health problems throughout her life. Her tempestuous marriage to artist Diego Rivera was also reflected in many of Kahlo's best-known works. Organizer: The Walker Art Center in association with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The curators for the exhibition are Kahlo scholar and biographer Hayden Herrera, and the Walker’s associate curator, Elizabeth Carpenter.
Sponsor: The national tour is made possible by Bank of America and Fundación Televisa. Major support for the national tour is provided by Margaret and Angus Wurtele and the Fundación/Colección Jumex. Additional support is provided by Craig Baker. Major lenders to the exhibition include the Museo Dolores Olmedo and the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection of Modern and Contemporary Mexican Art. The exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the U.S. Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities. Additional support is provided by the National Council for Culture and the Arts (CONACULTA) and the National Institute of Fine Arts (INBA), Mexico. In Philadelphia, the exhibition is also made possible by Aetna. Additional support is provided by The Pew Charitable Trusts, The Robert Montgomery Scott Fund for Exhibitions, The Kathleen C. and John J. F. Sherrerd Fund for Exhibitions, The Women's Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and by Frida's Friends, a group of generous individuals. Promotional support provided by NBC 10 WCAU and Amtrak.
Curator: Michael Taylor, the Muriel and Philip Berman Curator of Modern Art, and Emily Hage, Project Curatorial Assistant
Location: Dorrance Special Exhibition Galleries, first floor
Itinerary: Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (through January 20, 2008)
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia (February 20-May 18, 2008)
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco (June 14–September 16, 2008) Press Release | Press Images
- Colonial Philadelphia Porcelain: The Art of Bonnin and Morris
March 8, 2008 - June 1, 2008
Between 1770 and 1772, the city of Philadelphia was home to an ambitious and complex commercial and artistic undertaking that mirrored attitudes of American independence that were flowering throughout the city and the colonies at the time. Two partners -- Gousse Bonnin, an Antiguan-born émigré from England, and George Anthony Morris, a native Philadelphian -- launched the American China Manufactory, located in the city’s Southwark section, now the site of the Navy Yard. This landmark exhibition features the rare surviving works of art from their remarkable manufactory, which produced the first commercially produced porcelain made in America. During its two years of operation the firm produced tablewares that were based on stylish English prototypes that, because of the difficulties and expense required to produce the fine wares, are characterized by their diminutive size and slight flaws in the soft-paste porcelain body and glaze. Wares surviving from the factory’s production are referred to today as “Bonnin and Morris” in honor of the two proprietors. Colonial Philadelphia Porcelain: The Art of Bonnin and Morris will bring together for the first time the rare known surviving examples of their porcelain and some large-scale shards unearthed in archeological digs. Sponsor: This exhibition is supported by The Kathleen C. and John J. F. Sherrerd Fund for Exhibitions, the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, The Center for American Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and generous individuals.
Curator: Alexandra Alevizatos Kirtley, Associate Curator of American Art
Location: European Art Gallery 287, anteroom, second floor Press Release | Press Images
- Transcending the Literal: Photographs by Ansel Adams
March 8, 2008 – August 17, 2008
More than 20 years after his death, Ansel Adams (1902-1984) remains one of the world’s most beloved and widely-exhibited American photographers. Comprised of more than 40 photographs selected from the Museum’s extensive holdings of the artist’s work, this exhibition focuses on Adams’s less-familiar landscapes to explore the artist’s innate understanding of graphic form and balanced design. Adams frequently compressed space and manipulated scale, stressing form and tone over the purely objective depiction of nature. Transcending the Literal reflects Ansel Adams’s sophisticated engagement with photography’s ongoing interplay between reality and abstraction. Curator: Kathrine Ware, Curator of Photographs and Julia Dolan, Horace W. Goldsmith Fellow
Location: The Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building, The Julien Levy Gallery Press Images
- Turned and Thrown: English Pottery 1600-1820 from Local Collections
March 29, 2008 - July 27, 2008
Fifty exceptional objects borrowed from local collections are assembled here to celebrate the inventiveness and ingenuity of anonymous potters active in England from the end of the 17th century to the early decades of the 19th century. The works reflect the growth of what began as a craft industry and ultimately became ceramic production on an industrial scale that supplied markets from Europe to the New World. The materials and techniques represented range from tin-glazed Delftware to salt-glazed stoneware and cream-colored earthenware. Produced in many cases under the harshest conditions for strictly utilitarian purposes, these wares are today valued by collectors for their idiosyncratic potting and naïve, sometimes whimsical, decoration. Curator: Donna Corbin, Associate Curator of European Decorative Arts
Location: Gallery 277a Press Images
- Fashioning Kimono: Art Deco and Modernism in Japan
April 26, 2008 - July 20, 2008
The Japanese kimono is admired worldwide for its elegant, distinctive silhouette. Though quintessentially Japanese, the kimono form has influenced fashion designers everywhere. Fashioning Kimono: Art Deco and Modernism in Japan features 100 kimono created in the late nineteenth and early-to-mid twentieth centuries – one of the most dynamic periods in the history of Japan’s national costume. The exhibition includes formal, semi-formal, and casual kimono, haori jackets, and under-kimono worn by men, women, and children. While many of these garments reflect historical continuity in designs and techniques, many more illustrate a dramatic break with aspects of kimono tradition, as themes and designs from Western art began to predominate over historical Japanese references. Organizer: Art Services International, Alexandria, Virginia
Curator: Kristina Haugland, Associate Curator of Costume and Textiles
Location: The Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building, Joan Spain Gallery Press Release | Press Images
- Calder Jewelry
July 12, 2008 – October 19, 2008
This exhibition focuses on the artist’s jewelry, which functions as sculpture on a small scale while retaining thelinear yet three-dimensional aspect of the monumental mobiles for which Alexander Calder (1898 - 1976) is known. Calder Jewelry will consist of approximately 100 objects—necklaces, bracelets, pins, earrings and crowns. The parts that comprise each piece are hammered, shaped, chiseled and composed to mimic sculpture. Photographs of Georgia O’Keeffe, Angelica Huston, and other incorporated into Calder’s jewelry are included in the show, giving the audience a sense of the social dimension surrounding his work. Organizer: This exhibition is co-organized by the Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, Florida, and the Calder Foundation, New York.
Curator: Elisabeth Agro, Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Decorative Art
Location: The Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building, Exhibition Gallery Press Images
- Curious and Commonplace: European Popular Prints of the 1800s
May 31, 2008 - August 24, 2008
Little Red Riding Hood’s ravenous wolf appears side-by-side with a magical machine that transforms imperfect husbands and wives into ideal couples. A natural disaster competes for attention with miraculous apparitions and serial murders in riveting prints based on sensational news reports. These images are among more than 100 works selected from the Museum’s rich collection of popular prints that recover a forgotten world of fantastic and familiar imagery and stand out as the forerunners of the souvenir posters and electronic video games of today. Visitors will be treated to works of art on paper created in the major centers of popular print production in continental Europe during the 1800s and ranging from images of fairy tale heroines and patron saints to popular song sheets and children’s alphabets. Published in a variety of languages, such edifying and entertaining prints were sold on street corners and in shops all across Europe and could be found in every household, city tavern and village schoolroom. Although originally distributed by the thousand, surprisingly few fine examples survive today since most were produced on cheap paper and discarded over time. Their production ran the full gamut from crudely cut woodblock prints to refined chromolithography. They vary dramatically between austere black-and-white specimens and swank, candy-colored delights. The extensive repertory includes such categories as natural history and toy theaters, specifically intended to engage the minds and imagination of children. Curators: Kevin Kriebel, the Dorothy J. del Bueno Curatorial Fellow in the Department of Prints, Drawings and Photographs, and John Ittmann, Curator of Prints
Location: The Berman and Stieglitz Galleries, ground floor
- African-American Quilts from the Ella King Torrey Collection
The Ella King Torrey Collection of African American Quilts includes 13 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. Among its highlights are an appliquéd “word quilt” by the Mississippi artist Sarah Mary Taylor (born 1916) and one of her “hand” quilts, a version commissioned for the film The Color Purple. Two quilts in the collection are by Taylor’s mother, Pearlie Posey (1894 – 1984), who in 1980 followed her daughter’s lead and began created rainbow-hued figurative appliqué quilts. Curator: Dilys Blum, Curator of Costume and Textiles
Location: The Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building, Joan Spain Gallery Press Images
- Gee's Bend: The Architecture of the Quilt
This traveling exhibition takes a fresh look at the quilting tradition in Gee’s Bend, Alabama, and introduces new artists and motifs in works ranging from the early twentieth century through 2005. It examines the resurgence of interest in quilting in the Gee’s Bend community, presenting newly discovered quilts from the 1930s to the 1980s along with more recent work by established quilters and the younger generation they have inspired. It documents the development of key quilt patterns—housetop, courthouse steps, flying geese, and strip quilting—through outstanding examples. Sponsors:This exhibition is supported by a MetLife Foundation Museum and Community Connections grant, and by The Pew Charitable Trusts. Organizers: This exhibition is organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and Tinwood Alliance, Atlanta.
Curators: Dilys Blum, Curator of Costume and Textiles and Kathleen Foster, The Robert L. McNeil, Jr. Curator of American Art
Location: Dorrance Galleries Press Release | Press Images
- James Castle (1899 - 1977): A Retrospective
James Castle (1899 – 1977) is among the many artists who have received growing attention over the past few decades for producing remarkable bodies of work without undergoing formal or conventional training. By all accounts deaf from birth, Castle drew over and over again the living rooms, kitchens, bedrooms, barns, sheds, and chicken houses that were his familiar milieu, often combining elements of different locales from memory and introducing surprising juxtapositions of imaginative forms – such as architectonic or totemic “trees” – into these literal renderings of his everyday life. A great deal of the artist’s imagery is rooted in his rural surroundings, especially in the interiors and exteriors of the various structures on the three small farms in Idaho that the Castle family occupied successively during James’s lifetime. He is especially admired for the unique homemade quality of his works and the acute visual sensibility that characterizes his drawings, colored wash pieces, handmade books, “word, sign, and symbol” works, and cardboard paper constructions. This will be the first comprehensive museum exhibition of Castle’s work. Sponsor:Initial funding for this exhibition is provided by The Henry Luce Foundation and generous individuals.
Curator: Ann Percy, Curator of Drawings
Location: The Berman and Stieglitz Galleries, ground floor Press Images
- Thomas Chambers (1808-1869), American Landscape and Marine Painter
In the first major survey of his work, this exhibition will seek to define the artist’s style, which, until recently, has only been represented in surveys of “folk art.” The exhibition will include approximately 60 objects borrowed from public collections throughout the United States, among them 40 paintings by Chambers and 20 related prints and paintings by his contemporaries. Together, these works will allow audiences to explore Chambers’ role in the development of popular landscape painting in 19th century America. Curator: Kathleen A. Foster, The Robert McNeil, Jr., Curator of American Art and Director of the Center of American Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Press Images
- Cézanne: Then and Now (working title)
mid-February – mid-May 2009
Paul Cézanne (French, 1839 – 1906) is considered by many to be the father of Modernism and an inspiration to 21st century artists, including Picasso and Matisse. The exhibition will feature over 40 paintings and 20 watercolors and drawings by Cézanne, thoroughly exploring the evolution of his career. Additionally, his work will be displayed alongside paintings by 19 artists whose styles reflect, both visually and poetically, the impact of Cézanne's extraordinary legacy. Among the artists whose work will be included are Max Beckmann, Georges Braque, Pierre Bonnard, Charles Demuth, Alberto Giacometti, Arshile Gorky, Marsden Hartley, Jasper Johns, Ellsworth Kelly, Fernand Léger, Brice Marden, Henri Matisse, Piet Mondrian, Giorgio Morandi, Pablo Picasso, Liubov Popova, and Jeff Wall. Sponsor: This exhibition is made possible by ADVANTA.
Curator: Joseph J. Rishel, The Gisela and Dennis Alter Senior Curator of European Painting before 1900, and Senior Curator of the John G. Johnson Collection and the Rodin Museum at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
Location: Dorrance Special Exhibition Galleries Press Images
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