Pardon our dust while we update this corner of the website.

Embracing the Contemporary: The Keith L. and Katherine Sachs Collection
June 28, 2016 - September 5, 2016
Explore the extraordinary works in this exhibition.
View Slideshow >>

Embracing the Contemporary: The Keith L. and Katherine Sachs Collection
June 28, 2016 - September 5, 2016
Inspiring, provocative, contemplative—the art of our time.

This exhibition celebrates one of the nation’s leading collections of contemporary art. Assembled by Philadelphians Keith and Katherine Sachs, this collection features some of the most prominent European and American artists of the past fifty years. Many of the works have been generously donated or pledged as promised gifts to the Museum, marking a pivotal moment for the city as a premier destination for contemporary art.

From sculpture and painting to large-scale photography and video art, this exhibition presents a selection of works from the Sachs Collection. In addition to a concentration of works by American artists Robert Gober, Jasper Johns, Ellsworth Kelly, and Brice Marden, Embracing the Contemporary features major examples by influential artists from around the globe. These include Louise Bourgeois, Richard Hamilton, Howard Hodgkin, Anselm Kiefer, Steve McQueen, Gabriel Orozco, and Charles Ray—artists who have redefined our ideas about art, life, and beauty.

Keith and Katherine Sachs have developed their collection through a passionate engagement with living artists and in close dialogue with the Museum’s holdings and exhibitions. In addition to galleries dedicated to artists with whom they have established meaningful ties, the exhibition includes personal letters, photographs, and other objects that mark the history of their collection.


Exhibition Trailer

Keith and Katherine Sachs: In Their Own Words

Keith and Katherine Sachs share how they assembled their collection over the course of forty years and talk about the relationships they forged along the way.
Watch Video >>

A Conversation with Keith and Katherine Sachs

Curator Carlos Basualdo talks with Keith and Katherine Sachs about their transformative gift of nearly 100 contemporary works to the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Watch Video >>

All-Inclusive Package >>
Make the most of your visit this summer with our all-inclusive package offer—a savings of over 20%.

Only $99 ($79 for members), includes:
  • Adult general admission with access to Embracing the Contemporary: The Keith L. and Katherine Sachs Collection
  • Chef’s Table lunch or dinner in Granite Hill (Tuesday–Saturday, excludes Sunday brunch)*
  • Embracing the Contemporary exhibition catalogue
  • Parking on the day of your visit

Purchase Package       Purchase Member Package

Or call

*Please note: The package price does not include the nonrefundable service charge ($2.50 for members, $3.50 for nonmembers) or tax, gratuity, or alcoholic beverages at the restaurant.

Package purchasers are responsible for booking their dining reservations with Granite Hill through Open Table or by calling 215-684-7990.

Exhibition Highlights

Light from the Left, by Charles Ray

Light from the Left, 2007, by Charles Ray
“We’ve been very fortunate to be able to develop a personal relationship with Charlie and his wife, Silvia. . . . He is continually thinking back on the history of sculpture and trying to give it a contemporary bent. And he’s not revolutionizing it, he’s going back and reflecting and saying, ‘Okay, what can I do today to reflect on the history of sculpture of the past.’”—Keith Sachs
More Details >>

Keith and Kathy Sachs, 1988–92, by Howard Hodgkin

Keith and Kathy Sachs, 1988–91, by Howard Hodgkin
“Keith asked Howard to paint a portrait of us for our twentieth wedding anniversary. Every time we went to see him I was very conscious of the color that I wore because Howard is an abstract artist who gives you real emotions in color. And then he gave us this portrait. There we are, Kathy and Keith Sachs. We don’t know who’s who. He said, ‘There’s a little bit of each in both.’”—Kathy Sachs
More Details >>

Skull with Thought, 1993–1995, by Brice Marden

Skull with Thought, 1993–95, by Brice Marden
“Keith got a call one day: ‘There is a painting here for you if you would like it.’ I was in New York so I went to see it. I thought, ‘I really better not like it because we really shouldn’t be buying something else right now.’ But I walked in and I was blown away, absolutely blown away. The picture is called Skull with Thought. It’s extraordinary. It’s from 1993–95 and it’s, we think, one of the best from that time period.”—Kathy Sachs

© 2016 Brice Marden/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Mother and Child, 1984–85, by Richard Hamilton

Mother and child, 1984–85, by Richard Hamilton
“There is a wonderful picture by Richard Hamilton called Mother and child. A lot of curators come and visit the collection and a lot of people don’t really know who painted it, so that’s the mystery. I will give credit where credit is due, some of them do know. But some don’t because it’s a little different.”—Kathy Sachs
More Details >>

Refugee Camp (Flüchtlingslager), 1994, by Sigmar Polke

Refugee Camp (Flüchtlingslager), 1994, by Sigmar Polke
“Art must be concerned with the world in which we live. . . . The Polke that we have, the big Polke, depicts a Bosnian refugee camp. It’s a beautiful work of art—in effect it’s a contemporary history painting and a very powerful statement.”—Keith Sachs

© 2016 The Estate of Sigmar Polke/Cologne/ARS, New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn


Railings, 2004, by Francis Alÿs
“It’s one of the videos from London. Francis Alÿs is trying to learn what London is like through sound. He takes a stick and he hits the railings outside the buildings. There is a rhythm because they’re equally spaced. When he gets to a door, there’s a pause. At the end of the video—well, that’s a surprise.”—Kathy Sachs
More Details >>


Support for this exhibition is provided by Ballard Spahr LLP, Drucker & Scaccetti, PC, and the Estate of Phyllis T. Ballinger, as well as by Lyn M. Ross and anonymous donors.

The publication is supported by Matthew Marks Gallery and The Andrew W. Mellon Fund for Scholarly Publications at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.


Carlos Basualdo, The Keith L. and Katherine Sachs Senior Curator of Contemporary Art


Dorrance Galleries and Contemporary Art Galleries, first floor