On October 2 the Philadelphia Museum of Art is reopening its galleries of South Asian art following a comprehensive renovation. Dedicated to one of the most significant collections of its kind in this country, these newly reinstalled galleries offer visitors an aesthetic and cultural experience that reveals the richness and diversity of artistic expression across India, Tibet, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Thailand, Cambodia, and Indonesia. Among the works displayed are centuries-old sculptures of the Buddhist Lord of Compassion from India and Thailand, an elaborately carved and painted wood Tibetan altarpiece, and a rare 18th century Sufi manuscript, Gulshan-i-Ishq (Rose Garden of Love) , juxtaposed with a contemporary site-specific animation by Pakistani-born artist Shahzia Sikander. The centerpiece of the collection—the South Indian Pillared Temple Hall dating to the mid-16th century from the city of Madurai—has been completely reinterpreted.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art presents an exhibition showcasing a remarkable set of early nineteenth-century painted and gilded furniture that profoundly influenced American art and design. The display of this ensemble, made in Philadelphia in 1808 by British architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe for the fashionable house of William and Mary Wilcocks Waln, celebrates the completion of a period of extensive study and conservation treatment of these works. Classical Splendor: Painted Furniture for a Grand Philadelphia House offers new perspectives on the makers, the patrons, and the furniture’s original appearance, revealing Latrobe’s bold vision and illuminating the extraordinary history of these treasured works of art.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art, with the support of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, continues its 2016 season of Inside Out , a major arts initiative that brings high-quality reproductions of Museum masterpieces into communities throughout the city and region.
On June 23, 2016, the Philadelphia Museum of Art will open a major exhibition entitled Embracing the Contemporary: The Keith L. and Katherine Sachs Collection. The exhibition will present one of this country’s finest collections of contemporary art, which includes outstanding works by some of the most influential European and American artists of the past half century, including Jasper Johns, Howard Hodgkin, Ellsworth Kelly, Jeff Koons, Brice Marden, Bruce Nauman, Gabriel Orozco, Charles Ray, and Cy Twombly. Many of these works have either been donated to the Museum or pledged as promised gifts.
This spring the Philadelphia Museum of Art is presenting five exhibitions and a series of related programs that feature a broad spectrum of the arts from across the African continent. These exhibitions will include historical works of art as well as contemporary fashion, photography, design, and architecture. The centerpiece is Look Again: Contemporary Perspectives on African Art, a major exhibition drawn from the collection of the Penn Museum, on view from May 14 through September 25, 2016. It examines the rich artistic heritage of West and Central Africa, and is designed to acquaint visitors with the diverse styles and functions of African art through the act of close looking.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art is presenting the first retrospective museum exhibition in the United States to focus on Francis Kéré, a Berlin-based architect and native of Burkina Faso who integrates Western design and engineering practice with local craft skills and construction traditions to create innovative and sustainable buildings around the world. The Architecture of Francis Kéré: Building for Community explores his innovative work, ranging from school projects, health centers, and residential structures in Western Africa to a Camper collaboration with the Vitra Design Museum in Germany. It examines the origins and breadth of his practice and features a site-specific installation commissioned specially for the exhibition.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art presents an exhibition exploring the time-honored techniques used to create patterns in traditional Central and West African textiles. Threads of Tradition focuses on techniques such as strip-weaving, resist-dying, appliqué, and embroidery through a display of extraordinary objects ranging from skirts, robes, trousers, and ceremonial belts, revealing the beauty, richness, and variety of traditional African textiles that exemplify the spirit of creative Africa.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art is presenting an exhibition dedicated to several important photographers, little-known in the United States, who make African cities their subjects. Three Photographers/Six Cities takes an in-depth look at the work of artists Akinbode Akinbiyi (Nigerian, born in England), Seydou Camara (Malian), and Ananias Léki Dago (Ivorian). Each has produced powerful series of images that portray African places in the midst of change or on the cusp of it. While their approaches vary, they are united by their concern for documentation and an intense layering of the past and present within their works.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art celebrates West and Central African fashion and culture in an exhibition exploring the classic and contemporary looks of Vlisco, the oldest international textile brand that specializes in Dutch wax fabrics. From the earliest designs and most recognizable patterns, continuing through a selection of iconic styles that have been re-interpreted in a contemporary way, the exhibition will highlight a selection of the thousands of patterns Vlisco has produced for the African and diaspora markets.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art, with the support of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, is launching the 2016 season of Inside Out, a major arts initiative that brings high-quality reproductions of Museum masterpieces into communities throughout the city and region.
This exhibition presents some of the most highly experimental prints that convey the breadth and vitality of artistic innovation in the United States during the period. Embracing the ways in which American artists brought the practice of printmaking to new heights, the selection ranges from color prints published by the Works Progress Administration (1935-43) to the technically advanced prints produced at independent workshops in the late 1950s and early 1960s, highlighting work that unites technical craft with creative expression. Unparalleled examples of craftsmanship by Anni Albers, Harry Bertoia, Mary Callery, Antonio Frasconi, Stanley William Hayter, Sue Fuller, Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg will be on view.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art announced today that its collection has been enriched by the bequest of more than fifty works of American art from the late philanthropist and art collector Daniel W. Dietrich II. Additionally, the Museum has received an endowment gift of $10 million from Mr. Dietrich’s charitable funds that will support a broad range of initiatives in the field of contemporary art.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art is introducing two new memberships designed especially for artists. Starting this month, the Museum will provide a free lifetime membership to each of the approximately 2,000 living artists whose work is represented in the permanent collection. In addition, the Museum will initiate a new discounted Artist Membership, available to all working artists. To launch this program, the Museum is offering the Artist Membership at a reduced price from February 24-28, 2016, during the first five days of the major exhibition International Pop.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art, in partnership with the Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City, will present a landmark exhibition that takes a new and long overdue look at an extraordinary moment in the history of Mexican art. Paint the Revolution: Mexican Modernism, 1910-1950 will explore the rich and fascinating story of a period of remarkable change. It will be the most comprehensive exhibition of Mexican modernism to be seen in the United States in more than seven decades and will feature an extraordinary range of images, from portable murals and large and small paintings to prints and photographs, books and broadsheets. In this country, Paint the Revolution, will be seen only in Philadelphia before traveling to Mexico City in 2017.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art announced today two promotions and a new appointment to key curatorial positions. Jennifer Thompson has been promoted to head the Museum’s Department of European Paintings, succeeding Joseph J. Rishel, who retired in 2015 and is now serving as Curator Emeritus. Jessica Todd Smith, currently Chief Curator of American Art at The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California, will become Curator of American Art and Manager of the Center for American Art, effective July 1, and Alexandra Kirtley, the Montgomery-Garvan Associate Curator of American Decorative Arts, has also been promoted to full curator.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art announced today the appointment of Jeffrey N. Blair to the position of General Counsel and Assistant Secretary, effective February 22, 2016. Currently serving as Assistant Secretary and Senior Associate Counsel at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, where he has been a member of the legal team since 2003, he will succeed Lawrence Berger, who has announced his retirement. In his new role, Mr. Blair will advise the Museum’s Director, President, and Board of Trustees on legal issues of major importance to the Museum’s policies, programs, and operations.
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