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Museum Publications

The Publishing Department supports the Museum’s mission to extend the reach of its collections and exhibitions to a diverse audience as a source of delight, illumination, and lifelong learning. We further scholarly study through the publication of in-depth collection and exhibition catalogues, develop popular books and handbooks, and collaborate with our colleagues in the creation of innovative new digital publishing platforms.

New Releases

This richly illustrated catalogue highlights the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s wide-ranging collection of Chinese art, which spans antiquity to the present day. With striking new photography and illuminating discussions of individual works, this volume provides a fascinating look into the breadth and diversity of Chinese artistic experience and material culture. Accessible to general readers and of interest to scholars, this book is a valuable resource for those captivated by the many manifestations of art from China.
This book offers an engaging and accessible introduction to one of the twentieth century’s greatest and most enigmatic artists, Marcel Duchamp (1887–1968). A hugely influential pioneer whose creative output was predicated on a fundamental questioning of what art is, Duchamp is well known despite remaining mysterious as an artist, owing to his elusive persona and the unconventional nature of his work.
This revelatory publication provides a comprehensive and multifaceted account of Cy Twombly’s masterpiece Fifty Days at Iliam (1978), a cycle of ten paintings based on Alexander Pope’s eighteenth-century translation of Homer’s Iliad.
With an array of visual references, this book traces the evolution of a pivotal work by one of the most striking voices in contemporary art. Rachel Rose’s compelling video installation Wil-o-Wisp (2018) chronicles the story of a healer whose fate is linked to the power of coincidence and changing perceptions of magic amid societal upheaval in agrarian England at the turn of the seventeenth century. An essay by Erika Balsom considers Wil-o-Wisp within Rose’s evolving practice and in the context of other pioneering video artists.
Beginning with Cesar Ghiselin in 1681, Philadelphia has a long and storied history of silversmithing that includes notable artists such as Joseph Richardson Sr. and Jr., Philip Syng Jr., and Olaf Skoogfors. Celebrating this legacy and showcasing the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s extraordinary and comprehensive collection of American silver, this generously illustrated book features a broad array of objects that range from colonial-era tableware to groundbreaking contemporary designs.
Philadelphia Museum of Art’s first online scholarly publication, The John G. Johnson Collection: A History and Selected Works sheds new light on a signature collection of European and American art through interpretive essays, detailed analyses of more than 60 artworks, and integrated archival materials.
Building the City Beautiful by historian David Brownlee, originally published in 1989, is the definitive book on the history of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia. On the occasion of the Parkway’s centennial in 2017, Brownlee has revised the publication—which has long been out of print—adding new material on the Parkway’s past and present, including stunning new color photography.
With an emphasis on painting and sculpture made in the United States between 1910 and 1950, this gorgeously illustrated volume offers a rich introduction to American modernism through the world-class collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Works by internationally acclaimed artists from the circle of photographer and gallerist Alfred Stieglitz, including Arthur Dove, Marsden Hartley, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Charles Sheeler, are featured here alongside works by artists left outside the mainstream of art history.
This important publication offers the first in-depth exploration of contemporary artist Bruce Nauman’s monumental work Contrapposto Studies, I through VII. The book surveys Nauman’s trajectory from his early works, which set clear precedents for experimentation with video and performance, to his latest installations that combine video, sound, and performative elements to create immersive environmental experiences. The essays also address Nauman’s return to the motif of contrapposto and the use of his own body as a tool and subject for performance.
Active from the late 1700s through the early twentieth century, the Peale family was America’s first artistic dynasty. This overview presents more than 150 works by the Peales in a variety of media from the renowned collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Author Carol Eaton Soltis traces the family’s history and reveals how the Peales’ energy, innovation, and entrepreneurship paved the way for generations of American artists.

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