Contemporary Art from 1950 to Now
Since its founding in 1876, the Philadelphia Museum of Art has actively collected and proudly displayed the art of its time—art that, in its day, was contemporary. From those strong roots, the museum has developed one of the most dynamic and enterprising collections of contemporary art among this country’s encyclopedic art museums. Encompassing works created between 1950 and the present, the collection reflects the remarkable range and vitality of contemporary art, including film, installation, painting, sculpture, video, and more. Compelling and challenging, visually inventive and experientially engaging, this collection makes the museum a destination for those who love contemporary art and serves as a valuable resource for students, educators, and the many artists who’ve made Philadelphia their home.
Particular strengths of the museum’s vast Contemporary Art collection include:
- Seine by Ellsworth Kelly, which captures his observations of water and reflected light.
- Alma Thomas’ exuberant Hydrangeas Spring Song, which reveals her sharp observational powers.
- Fifty Days at Iliam by Cy Twombly, an epic ten-part visual narrative of the end of the Trojan War.
- Zoe Leonard’s profound Strange Fruit.
- Zoodram 5 (after ‘Sleeping Muse’ by Constantin Brancusi) by Pierre Huyghe
- Bruce Nauman’s The True Artist Helps the World by Revealing Mystic Truths (Window or Wall Sign), one of the artist’s first neons.
- The Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Collection of outsider art.
- Philadelphia-born collector Daniel W. Dietrich II’s collection.
- The Keith L. and Katherine Sachs Collection, which includes more than ninety works of contemporary art.
Interested in learning more about the museum’s collection of contemporary art? Plan your visit to the museum today.