Reinventing Italy’s Decorative Arts: Velvets and Glass from the Interwar Era
Gallery 271, second floor
Uncover surprising parallels among dramatic velvet capes and glassworks created in Italy in the 1920s and 1930s. Though designers Maria Monaci Gallenga and Vittorio Zecchin and companies Venini S.p.A., Cappellin & C., and Zecchin and Martinuzzi focused on different areas of the decorative arts, their works reveal interesting similarities in color, luminosity, and form. Seeking inspiration from Italy’s past, they developed innovative techniques and produced stunning pieces that would bring them international attention.
American Artists on the World's Stage
Galleries 110 and 111, first floor
Celebrate the return of Thomas Eakins’s The Gross Clinic to the Museum’s American art galleries. One of the greatest American paintings ever made, this portrait of world-famous surgeon and teacher Dr. Samuel Gross sparked both controversy and praise at its first showing in Philadelphia at the Centennial Exhibition in 1876. Explore the striking image with a diverse selection of paintings, sculptures, and decorative art objects that showcase the cosmopolitan spirit and ambition of American artists in the second half of the nineteenth century.
Florence, Cradle of the Renaissance
Gallery 209, second floor
Amid a gallery featuring Florentine architectural elements, delve into themes commonly found in Florentine art of the 1400s: people and events from antiquity, symbols of the city such as the biblical David and Saint John the Baptist, portrayals of the Virgin and Child, and the resurgence of perspective in painting and architecture. Also see the influence of the most powerful family in Florence—the Medici.
“Japonisme” in French Ceramics
Gallery 160, first floor
In this focused installation, enjoy charming French ceramics that emulate Japanese subjects and decorations, including plates inspired by the work of Katsushika Hokusai. Japanese artworks had poured into Europe after Japan reopened its ports to foreign trade in 1854. Their impact on Western art, known as “Japonisme,” was particularly pronounced in France, where artists’ affection for the plant and animal motifs found on ukiyo-e woodblock prints coincided with their growing interest in nature as a source of inspiration.
Joan Miró and Arshile Gorky
Gallery 48, ground floor
Explore paintings by Joan Miró (Spanish, 1893–1983) and Armenian-born Arshile Gorky (c. 1902–1948), two artists who developed their signature styles following the same guiding lights—Paul Cézanne and Pablo Picasso. Created in the 1920s through the 1940s, the works in this focused installation demonstrate the artists’ parallel transitions from a firm footing in reality toward a new world of evocative abstraction.
Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele
Gallery 158, first floor
This installation presents two dramatic paintings by Viennese master Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele, who was nearly twenty-eight years his junior. Enjoy a side-by-side presentation of Klimt’s portrait of a young Austrian woman and Schiele’s image of the mythical beauty Danaë, who the elder artist had erotically depicted just two years earlier.
Prints, Drawings, and Photographs Study Gallery, Perelman Building
Kamisaka Sekka was a master of the historic Japanese artistic tradition known as Rimpa, a highly decorative style that originated in the 1600s. Called the father of Japanese modern design, he combined the traditional Rimpa aesthetic with his own innovative imagery and collaborated with artisans who utilized his designs in ceramics, lacquerware, and textiles. This installation highlights a selection of his prints.
Playful Prints: Animal and Circus Scenes
Korman Galleries 121–123, first floor
Visitors of all ages will delight in this playful selection of twentieth-century works on paper. A section devoted to circus scenes includes works by two of Philadelphia’s favorite artists, Alfred Bendiner and Peter Paone. Also on view is a menagerie of animals of every kind that features etchings by Pablo Picasso, woodcuts by Antonio Frasconi, and lithographs by Wanda Gág.
Silver and Gold Fashions Since 1960
Costume and Textiles Study Gallery, Perelman Building
In the mood for a bit of razzle-dazzle? Then come explore this presentation of glamorous and glittering dresses and accessories that utilize metallics in fashion-forward ways. See how designers Yves Saint Laurent, Hubert de Givenchy, Pierre Cardin, Geoffrey Beene, Paco Rabanne, Rudi Gernreich, and others have used sparkling fabrics, embroidery, sequins, beads, and linked rings to put a twinkle in your eye.
Forms of Elegance: Chinese Ceramics from the Ninth to Fourteenth Centuries
Gallery 235, second floor
Examine Chinese ceramics from a period considered by many to be the highest achievement in the art form. Magnificent wares created by Song dynasty (960–1279) potters would later inspire others—from eighteenth-century Chinese emperors to twentieth-century Western artists—to appreciate, collect, and emulate them. Also presented in this gallery are large-scale, abstract photographs by Eric Zetterquist highlighting these elegant and dynamic forms.
On the Leading Edge: Decorative Arts in Philadelphia, 1720–1880
Gallery 286, second floor
Silver, porcelain, furniture, and other objects in this gallery illustrate the originality and innovation of Philadelphia’s decorative arts during the city’s first two hundred years of settlement. Vibrant trade and a growing population encouraged the flow of new ideas and inspired artists to create designs unique to Philadelphia, which by 1772 was the second largest city in the British Empire after London.