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First Look: Collecting for Philadelphia
July 13, 2013 - September 8, 2013
View a small, but diverse, sample of the Museum’s collection that will be presented in First Look.
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First Look: Collecting for Philadelphia
July 13, 2013 - September 8, 2013
Collecting lies at the heart of the Philadelphia Museum of Art's activities, advancing its mission to educate and delight new audiences, and to study and care for great works of art past and present. Today, the Museum's commitment to building its collection is stronger than ever: over the last five years, more than 8,500 new works of art have been acquired or promised to the Museum. First Look: Collecting for Philadelphia celebrates the dynamic nature of the Museum's collection with a lively selection of 125 of these treasures, many of which will be on view for the first time.

View a selection of new works of art >>

New acquisitions are made in large part through the remarkable generosity of donors, continuing a tradition of philanthropy that defines this institution's history. The vast majority of works in the collection have come to the Museum as gifts; others have been acquired with funds donated specifically for the purchase of works of art. The Museum gratefully acknowledges all donors of works of art or funds for the purchase of art from July 1, 2008 to the present. The exhibition will coincide with the launch of the Anne d'Harnoncourt Society, a new effort on the part of the Museum to recognize and honor such donors.
From hats and chairs to video installations and masterpieces in painting by Claude Monet and Paul Cézanne, recent acquisitions span centuries and continents and represent a wide array of media. To give an even broader sense of the range of the Museum's collecting, special labels are installed throughout the permanent galleries to highlight all works on view that have been acquired in the last five years. In this way, the celebration of recent acquisitions this summer is something of a Museum-wide exhibition.

View new acquisitions currently in the galleries >>

Behind The Scenes

Alexandra Kirtley, Associate Curator of American Decorative Arts

Hiromi Kinoshita, Associate Curator of Chinese Art

Joe Rishel, Senior Curator of European Painting

Kathy Foster, Senior Curator of American Art

Kathy Hiesinger, Senior Curator of Decorative Arts after 1700

Kristina Haugland, Associate Curator of Costume and Textiles


The exhibition is generously supported by The Robert Montgomery Scott Fund for Exhibitions and The Pew Charitable Trusts.


Co-curated by Alice O. Beamesderfer, Deputy Director for Collections and Programs and Naina Saligram, Exhibition Assistant, European Painting Before 1900


Dorrance Special Exhibition Galleries, first floor