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Upcoming Exhibitions

Design Currents: Oki Sato, Faye Toogood, Zanini de Zanine
November 19, 2016–March 12, 2017

Presenting the work of three young contemporary designers—Oki Sato (Japan), Faye Toogood (England), and Zanini de Zanine (Brazil)—who employ industrial and artisanal materials and techniques to create functional objects with an emotional quality. Design Currents will look at the links between context and creativity in design and manufacturing. It will include archival or process materials alongside finished objects, exploring the design process and “culture” of each studio and attesting to the skills of craftsmanship, material knowledge, and collaboration that these designers mobilize in their practices.

As part of the exhibition, Collab, the Museum’s group for modern and contemporary design, will present Sato, Toogood, and Zanine with the Design Excellence: New Generation Award. Honoring young talents, the award is a recurring complement to the group’s longstanding Design Excellence Award. It will highlight emerging trends and the work of dynamic younger designers alongside established honorees.

This exhibition is made possible by Lisa Roberts and David Seltzer. Additional support is provided by Collab—a group that supports the Museum’s modern and contemporary design collection and programs. Transportation services have been provided by ESPASSO and Friedman Benda. The Collab Design Excellence: New Generation Award Gala is generously sponsored by Morgan Stanley. The After Party is sponsored by Millésimé. Support for the Student Design Competition has been provided by Poor Richard’s Charitable Trust and Publicis Health Media.

Colin Fanning, Curatorial Fellow, European Decorative Arts and Sculpture
Kate Higgins, Guest Curator

Collab Gallery, Perelman Building


Cy Twombly: New Acquisitions and Related Works
Late November 2016–spring 2017

The recent acquisition of five major sculptures by Cy Twombly, one of the foremost American artists of the 20th century, will be on view. These bronzes, including Untitled, Rome, 1980; Rotalla, Zurich, 1990; Untitled, Rome, 1997; Victory, conceived 1987, cast 2005; and Anabasis, 2011, were chosen by Twombly to complement his masterful Fifty Days at Iliam, 1978, a suite of ten monumental canvases that the Museum acquired in 1989. This generous gift from the Cy Twombly Foundation makes the five sculptures, which were selected for the Museum in 2011 by the artist himself, a permanent part of the collection.

In addition, the Philadelphia Museum of Art has lent Fifty Days at Iliam to the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. This cycle of paintings will serve as one of the keystones of a major retrospective of Twombly’s work from November 2016 through April 2017.

Carlos Basualdo, The Keith L. and Katherine Sachs Senior Curator of Contemporary Art 
Erica F. Battle, The John Alchin and Hal Marryatt Associate Curator of Contemporary Art


Rodin Museum
Temporary closure in January 2017
New installation opens February 1, 2017

The Rodin Museum will close temporarily for most of January and reopen to the public on February 1 with a new installation examining the embracing couple and the kiss as reoccurring themes in Rodin’s work. Bringing together bronzes, plasters, marbles and terracotta works made by Rodin over a thirty-year period, the display explores the ways in which the sculptor depicted passion. Works such as The MinotaurI Am BeautifulEternal Springtime, and Youth Triumphant demonstrate the variety of approaches, meanings, and allusions that Rodin brought to his figure groupings. In particular, Philadelphia’s copy of The Kiss, commissioned by Jules Mastbaum in 1926, will be considered for its unique history and as an example of Rodin’s continuing appeal. As part of the reinstallation, other important Rodin sculptures, including The Thinker and the Monument to Balzac, will also be presented. The new installation will run through January 2019.

The Rodin Museum on Philadelphia’s Benjamin Franklin Parkway is one of the world’s most celebrated places in which to experience the work of French sculptor Auguste Rodin. Open to the public in 1929, this remarkable ensemble of architecture, landscape, and sculpture, designed by architect Paul Cret and landscape architect Jacques Gréber, has been restored to its original splendor.

Jennifer Thompson, The Gloria and Jack Drosdick Curator of European Painting and Sculpture and Curator of the John G. Johnson Collection


American Watercolor in the Age of Homer and Sargent 
March 1–May 14, 2017

Americans learned to love watercolor in the years between 1860 and 1925. The work of the two most influential American watercolorists, Winslow Homer and John Singer Sargent, is centerstage in the remarkable transformation of the reputation and practice of the medium in the United States.

American Watercolor in the Age of Homer and Sargent examines how watercolor became a powerful and versatile “American” medium. The exhibition begins with the creation of the American Watercolor Society, founded in 1866 to promote the medium and unite artists of all ages, styles, and backgrounds. Their movement created stars—Homer, William T. Richards, Thomas Moran, John La Farge, Edwin Austin Abbey—who would remain dedicated to watercolor for decades. Other artists, such as Thomas Eakins and George Inness, rode the wave through its peak in the 1880s, until a new generation, including Childe Hassam and Maurice Prendergast, rose in the 1890s. Together, their work produced a taste for watercolor among younger artists and eager collectors that would endure into the twentieth century. The legacies of Homer, Sargent, and their contemporaries would influence the next generation—artists such as Charles Demuth, John Marin, Charles Burchfield, and Edward Hopper—who made watercolor a national idiom. The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue produced by the Museum and distributed by Yale University Press.

This exhibition is made possible by The Mr. and Mrs. Raymond J. Horowitz Foundation for the Arts, The Pew Charitable Trusts, The Robert Montgomery Scott Endowment for Exhibitions, The Harriet and Ronald Lassin Fund for Special Exhibitions, The Center for American Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Kathy and Ted Fernberger, Marguerite and Gerry Lenfest, and Boo and Morris Stroud. The accompanying catalogue has been generously supported by the Wyeth Foundation for American Art and The Andrew W. Mellon Fund for Scholarly Publications at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Kathleen A. Foster, The Robert L. McNeil, Jr., Senior Curator of American Art, and Director, Center for American Art

Dorrance Special Exhibition Galleries


Phulkari: The Embroidered Textiles of Punjab from the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Collection
March 12–July 9, 2017

This exhibition features exquisite embroidered textiles of western Indian and Pakistan made primarily in the 19th and first half of the 20th century before the disruptive Partition of India and Pakistan following independence from Britain in 1947. Ornate and labor-intensive, phulkari (“flower-work”) embroidery were made by women for weddings and other special events. Drawing from research to explicate the history, technique, designs, and cultural uses of phulkaris, this exhibition celebrates the extraordinary gift by Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz of nineteen phulkaris to the Museum.

Going beyond the techniques used to create these textiles, the exhibition will also show how phulkari fashion has experienced a revival as a culturally powerful statement and even entered the realm of couture fashion for socialites and Bollywood celebrities with outfits by Manish Malhotra, one of India’s most successful fashion designers.

This exhibition is made possible by Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz, The Coby Foundation, Ltd., and The Stella Kramrisch Indian and Himalayan Art Fund.

Darielle Mason, The Stella Kramrisch Curator of Indian and Himalayan Art
Dilys Blum, The Jack M. and Annette Y. Friedland Senior Curator of Costume and Textiles
Dr. Cristin McKnight Sethi, historian of South Asian textiles, has written the major essays for the catalogue, website descriptions, and has consulted on the project.

Joan Spain Gallery, Perelman Building


Text in Fashion
Opens March 2017

Text may be used on clothing for many reasons: as an evocative statement, whimsical comment, political slogan, or philosophical manifesto; to communicate identity; or to summon the memory of a person, place, or time. Names and initials on clothing can be practical, but may also be statements about status, as are clothes emblazoned with designer signatures or logos. This installation will explore the use of words and letters on garments and accessories through objects from the collection dating from the 18th century to the present day.

Garments will range from a tiny 1860s printed child’s dress that patriotically repeats the word “Union” to recent ensembles by avant-garde German designer Bernhard Willhelm using phrases such as “The Waste Land,” and will encompass works by Yohji Yamamoto, Jean Paul Gaultier, Versace, Walter van Beirendonck, Tina Leser, James Galanos, Zandra Rhodes, Stephen Sprouse, Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, and Barbara Kruger. Also on view will be undergarments and accessories, including early 19th-century garters stitched as a souvenir of friendship and mid-20th century custom-made cowboy boots decorated with the wearer’s name, “Patsy.”

Kristina Haugland, The Le Vine Associate Curator of Costume and Textiles and Supervising Curator for the Study Room

Costumes and Textiles Study Gallery, Perelman Building


Marcel Duchamp and the Fountain Scandal
April 1-December 3, 2017

This exhibition celebrates the centennial of Marcel Duchamp’s legendary readymade Fountain and reveals the backstory of its glory and ridicule in the early twentieth century. In April of 1917, a store-bought urinal was submitted and rejected at the “no jury” exhibition of the Society of Independent Artists in New York, provoking a fierce debate over its designation as art. With works drawn from the Museum’s unrivaled Duchamp collection and archives, this exhibition explains how Duchamp, with help from several close friends, sprang his notorious Fountain on his contemporaries and the consequences that followed. With an emphasis on the circumstances and discussions surrounding this breakthrough moment, Marcel Duchamp and the Fountain Scandal highlights the still-relevant ideas that resulted from this crucial episode in the history of avant-garde art.

This exhibition is made possible by the Young Friends of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Matthew Affron, The Muriel and Philip Berman Curator of Modern Art, European Painting
John Vick, Collections Project Manager

Gallery 182


Ongoing Exhibitions

Look Again: Contemporary Perspectives on African Art 
Through December 4, 2016

This major exhibition is drawn from the renowned collections of the Penn Museum. Works presented encompass a diversity of materials, techniques, and visual traditions, with an emphasis on cultures of West and Central Africa. This is one of five exhibitions embracing art and design from the African continent ranges from centuries-old bronzes from the kingdom of Benin to contemporary fashion, photography, and architecture.

Look Again: Contemporary Perspectives on African Art was organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art in cooperation with the Penn Museum.


Classical Splendor: Painted Furniture for a Grand Philadelphia House
Through January 1, 2017

This exhibition showcases a set of furniture designed by architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe and made in Philadelphia in 1808 for the home of William and Mary Wilcocks Waln, which stood at the southeast corner of Seventh and Chestnut Streets in Philadelphia. The Museum’s ten surviving pieces of furniture from the Walns’ original set will be shown in a new light, after a comprehensive five-year curatorial study and conservation treatment. It highlights the team of makers—the designer (Latrobe), the builder (John Aitken), the painter (George Bridport), and the upholsterer (John Rea) who ushered a new style of classical art into American interiors. The Walns’ drawing rooms and their furniture provided a setting imitating the art and culture of ancient Greece. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue.

Support for this exhibition is provided by The Richard C. von Hess Foundation and The Laura and William C. Buck Endowment for Exhibitions, as well as Linda H. Kaufman, Stiles Tuttle Colwill, Kathy and Ted Fernberger, Leslie Miller and Richard Worley, Boo and Morris Stroud, and other generous donors. The publication is supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Fund for Scholarly Publications at the Philadelphia Museum of Art andThe Center for American Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Conservation support was provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Richard C. von Hess Foundation, Henry Luce Foundation, and The Women’s Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Alexandra Alevizatos Kirtley, The Montgomery-Garvan Curator of American Decorative Arts
Peggy Olley, Associate Conservator of Furniture and Woodwork


Paint the Revolution: Mexican Modernism, 1910–1950 
Through January 8, 2017

The Philadelphia Museum of Art, in partnership with the Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City, presents a landmark exhibition that takes a new and long overdue look at an extraordinary moment in the history of Mexican art. It is 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. Some of the finest works by Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco, David Alfaro Siqueiros, including Frida Kahlo and Rufino Tamayo, are presented, along with works that show the broader panorama of Mexican art during this period, as well as the historical context in which the visual arts played an important role. In the United States, Paint the Revolution, can only be seen in Philadelphia. The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue in English and Spanish.

Paint the Revolution is co-organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City. Bank of America is the National Sponsor of Paint the Revolution. In Philadelphia, the exhibition is made possible by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, The Women’s Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Robert J. Kleberg, Jr. and Helen C. Kleberg Foundation, Christie’s, Bimbo Bakeries USA, The Mexican Society of Philadelphia in honor of Henry Clifford, and The Annenberg Foundation for Major Exhibitions, with additional support from Barbara B. and Theodore R. Aronson, Martha Hamilton Morris and I. Wistar Morris III, G. Theodore and Nancie Burkett, an anonymous donor, and other generous donors.The accompanying catalogue in English and Spanish is made possible by the Mary Street Jenkins Foundation. The English language edition is additionally supported by the Davenport Family Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Fund for Scholarly Publications at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and by Furthermore: a program of the J.M. Kaplan Fund.

Exhibition education programs generously supported by PECO.

Exhibition travel courtesy of American Airlines.

The Museum gratefully acknowledges Media Partner Time Out.

The Museum recognizes community outreach partners the Consulate of Mexico in Philadelphia and the Mexican Cultural Center.

Exhibition travel courtesy of American Airlines.

Matthew Affron, The Muriel and Philip Berman Curator of Modern Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art
Mark A. Castro, Project Assistant Curator, European Painting, Philadelphia Museum of Art
Dafe Cruz Porchini, Postdoctoral Researcher, Colegio de México, Mexico City
Renalto González Mello, Director of the Institute for Aesthetic Investigation, National Autonomous University of Mexico

Paint the Revolution will travel to the Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City, in 2017.


Bruce Nauman: Contrapposto Studies, I through VII 
Through January 8, 2017

Bruce Nauman, one of the most radical and revered artists of our time, presents an ambitious new project. The installation takes as its point of departure his seminal video work Walk with Contrapposto of 1968, in which the artist performed an exaggerated walk along a tall narrow corridor that he had built in order to stage the action. Nauman’s new work, titled Contrapposto Studies, I through VII, consists of seven large scale video projections with sound in an installation specifically scaled for two galleries in the Museum on the occasion of its premiere. In each of the projections, Nauman is seen from two viewpoints walking in contrapposto, his image rendered both in positive and negative, and at times fragmented and stacked in two horizontal strata.

Support for this exhibition has been provided by The Pew Charitable Trusts, The Daniel W. Dietrich II Fund for Excellence in Contemporary Art, and by Isabel and Agustín Coppel.

Carlos Basualdo, The Keith L. and Katherine Sachs Senior Curator of Contemporary Art
Erica F. Battle, The John Alchin and Hal Marryatt Associate Curator of Contemporary Art


Threads of Tradition 
Through January 2017

This presentation complements Look Again and Vlisco, focusing on the traditional patterns in West and Central African textiles and the techniques used to create them, including strip-weaving, resist dyeing, and embroidery. The works are drawn from the collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Penn Museum.


Vlisco: African Fashion on a Global Stage
Through January 22, 2017

Known for its bold and colorful patterns, Vlisco creates fabrics that marry tradition with luxury. From the earliest designs and most recognizable patterns, continuing through a selection of styles that have been reinterpreted in a contemporary way, the exhibition highlights a selection of the thousands of patterns Vlisco has produced for the African and diaspora markets.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is supported by an Advancement grant from The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. Creative Africa is made possible by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, The Arlin and Neysa Adams Endowment Fund, The Kathleen C. and John J. F. Sherrerd Fund for Exhibitions, Julia and Gene Ericksen, Osagie and Losenge Imasogie, Dr. and Mrs. John T. Williams, and a generous anonymous donor.


Jitish Kallat: Covering Letter
Through March 5, 2017

This exhibition celebrates the recent gift to the Museum of Covering Letter, from 2012, by acclaimed Mumbai-based artist Jitish Kallat. Projected onto a curtain of traversable fog, Covering Letter features a historical message written by Mahatma Gandhi to Adolf Hitler in July 1939, just weeks before the start of World War II. In the spirit of Gandhi’s doctrine of universal friendship, the letter begins with the salutation “Dear Friend.” Presented in an immersive installation, Gandhi’s scrolling words retain a contemporary resonance as they call attention to the possibilities of peace and tolerance. This is the first presentation of Covering Letter in the United States.

Jitish Kallat: Covering Letter is made possible by The Pamela and Ajay Raju Foundation.

Amanda Sroka, Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art


Lino Tagliapietra: Painting in Glass
Through March 5, 2017

An installation of five large-scale glass panels created by master glass artist Lino Tagliapietra represents the artist’s departure from three-dimensional blown vessels to large-scale, free-standing panels in which the glass becomes a unique canvas. The works on view range date from the late 1990s through 2015 and vary in color, size, and pattern. Selected for their intense compositions, they demonstrate the artist’s use of conventional and experimental glass-making methods.

Elisabeth Agro, The Nancy M. McNeil Associate Curator of American Modern and Contemporary Crafts and Decorative Arts at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
Andrew Page, Guest Curator


New South Asian Galleries
Reopened fall 2016

In a complete transformation of our renowned South Asian galleries, one of the world’s most significant collections of art from the vast area stretching from Tibet and Nepal through India and even to Iran, Thailand, and Cambodia have come to life in new and exciting ways. Highlights include a stone temple hall from southern India, courtly Indian miniature paintings, ornate Buddhist works from Tibet and Nepal, colorful textiles, and lively temple sculpture.

The exceptional collection of art from the Indian subcontinent gained prominence in 1919, with the donation of a South Indian temple hall, making Philadelphia the only place outside Asia where a visitor could experience the sculpted figures and architecture unique to the temples of India. Dr. Stella Kramrisch (1896–1993), one of the twentieth century’s preeminent historians of India’s art, built the Museum’s South Asian collections, expanding them to include a full range of sculptures, paintings, textiles, and folk arts from across the subcontinent along with masterpieces of Buddhist art from Tibet. She donated over one thousand works of art. In recent decades, all aspects of the collection have been further enriched by important gifts and acquisitions including, notably, the bequest of Dr. Alvin O. Bellak’s extensive collection of Indian “miniature” paintings in 2004.

The reinstallation of the Museum’s galleries of South Asian Art was made possible by the Estate of Phyllis T. Ballinger, The Women’s Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Institute of Museum and Library Services, The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, William Penn Foundation, Gupta Family Foundation Ujala, E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, and The McLean Contributionship. Generous donors to this initiative include Steve and Gretchen Burke, Sailesh and Manidipa Chowdhury, Mr. and Mrs. Donald Kimelman, Mr. and Mrs. Shantanu RoyChowdhury, Pamela and Ajay Raju, the Jones Wajahat Family, Paritosh M. and Srimati Chakrabarti, Drs. Julia A. and Eugene P. Ericksen, Ira Brind and Stacey Spector, Lyn M. Ross, Dennis Alter, Andrea Baldeck M.D., Shanta Ghosh, David Haas, Dr. Krishna Lahiri, David and Jean Yost, and other generous donors. Additional support for the Museum’s building project is provided by Hersha, Shanta Ghosh, and Osagie and Losenge Imasogie.

Darielle Mason, The Stella Kramrisch Curator of Indian and Himalayan Art

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