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Upcoming Exhibitions

Classical Splendor: Painted Furniture for a Grand Philadelphia House
September 3, 2016–January 1, 2017

This exhibition will showcase 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 will highlight 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 considers Latrobe’s groundbreaking “klismos” chair design and will reveal the London-trained Bridport as a visionary who translated Latrobe’s design for the walls into classical designs for the painted furniture and whose work is represented today only by the surviving Waln furniture. Through the use of large-scale computer renderings and various other interactive elements, visitors will be able to explore the way the house’s two drawing rooms were furnished and how their settings interacted with the rest of the house and the gardens, which were also designed by Latrobe. The exhibition will be 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 Fenberger, 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

Lynne and Harold Honickman Gallery and Muriel and Philip Berman Gallery


Bruce Nauman: Contrapposto Studies, I through VII
September 18, 2016 – 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.

The Sperone Westwater Gallery in New York, which has represented the artist since 1975, will present a complementary new work by Nauman, Contrapposto Studies, i through vii, from September 10 until October 29. Consisting of seven projections with sound, the work reverses the direction of the artist’s movements in Contrapposto Studies, I through VII as well as the sequence of the individual projections.

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 and Erica F. Battle, The John Alchin and Hal Marryatt Associate Curator of Contemporary Art


New South Asia Galleries
Re-opening October 2,2016

The Museum is undertaking a comprehensive transformation of the galleries dedicated to its outstanding collection of art from the Indian subcontinent and the Himalayan regions. It is updating the physical gallery space and reimagining how the masterworks tell their stories. The overarching purpose is to inspire curiosity, to ignite emotion, and to deepen visitor engagement with the art and cultures of South Asia.

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.

While the galleries are closed, the Museum is presenting a number of rotating installations to showcase key aspects of the collection in other spaces around the Museum.

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, Hersha, 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. Additional funds were contributed by 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, Drs. Julia A. and Eugene P. Ericksen, Ira Brind and Stacey Spector, Lyn M. Ross, Andrea Baldeck M.D., Shanta and Sumana Ghosh, Dr. Krishna Lahiri, David and Jean Yost, and other generous donors.

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


Paint the Revolution: Mexican Modernism, 1910–1950 
October 25, 2016–January 6, 2017

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. 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. Some of the finest works by Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco, David Alfaro Siqueiros, including Frida Kahlo and Rufino Tamayo, will be 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 this country, Paint the Revolution, will be seen only in Philadelphia before traveling to Mexico City in 2017. 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, PECO, 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 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

Dorrance Special Exhibition Galleries


Jitish Kallat: Covering Letter 
November 13, 2016 – March 5, 2017 

This exhibition celebrates the Museum’s recent gift of Covering Letter, from 2012, by acclaimed Mumbai-based artist Jitish Kallat. Projected onto a curtain of traversable fog, Covering Letter features a historical correspondence written by Mahatma Gandhi to Adolf Hitler in July of 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 in a world plagued by brutality and control. This is the first presentation of Covering Letter in the United States and marks the 10th exhibition in the Museum’s Live Cinema series, a series of programs dedicated to exploring the vast production of video and film-work by a diverse group of local, national, and international artists.

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

Amanda Sroka, Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art

Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building, Julien Levy Gallery


Design Currents: Oki Sato, Faye Toogood, Zanini de Zanine
November 19, 2016-Spring 2017

This exhibition will present the work of three young contemporary designers – Oki Sato (Japan), Faye Toogood (England), and Zanini de Zanine (Brazil) – who employ both industrial and artisanal materials and techniques to create functional objects with an emotional quality. By exploring how these designers’ flexible skill sets, entrepreneurial drive, and cultural backgrounds are made manifest in the work they have created, the exhibition will look at the links between context and creativity in design and manufacturing.

Dedicating a section to each individual studio, separate from but visually connected to the others, the exhibition will convey each designer’s formal and visual language. It will also 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.

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

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

Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building, Collab Gallery


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 (1836–1910) and John S. Sargent (1856–1925) centers this look at the remarkable transformation of the reputation and practice of the medium in the United States.

The exhibition begins with the creation of the American Watercolor Society, founded in 1866 to promote the medium, which united artists of all ages, styles, and backgrounds. The movement created stars—Homer, William T. Richards, Thomas Moran, John La Farge, Edwin Austin Abbey—who would remain dedicated to the medium for decades. Other artists, such as Thomas Eakins and George Inness, rode the wave through its peak in the 1880s. Together, their work produced a taste for watercolor among younger artists and eager collectors that would endure through the turn of the century. Thanks to the legacy of Homer, Sargent, and their contemporaries, the next generation--such as Charles Demuth, John Marin, Charles Burchfield and Edward Hopper--would choose watercolor as a principal medium. American Watercolor in the Age of Homer and Sargent examines how within fifty years, modernists rebuilt the reputation of watercolor as a powerful and versatile “American” medium. The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully-illustrated catalogue produced by the Philadelphia Museum of Art and distributed by Yale University Press.

This exhibition is made possible by The Mr. and Mrs. Raymond J. Horowitz Foundation for the Arts, The Center for American Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Harriet and Ronald Lassin Fund for Special Exhibitions, and The Robert Montgomery Scott Endowment for Exhibitions.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


Ongoing Exhibitions

Embracing the Contemporary: The Keith L. and Katherine Sachs Collection 
Through September 5, 2016

This exhibition showcases a major promised gift of contemporary art from the Keith L. and Katherine Sachs Collection to the Museum, alongside other works from their collection. It has been developed and shaped through their engagement with the Museum’s curators and exhibitions over the course of many years. It features major works by artists from around the globe, ranging from paintings to outdoor sculpture, large-scale photography, and video art. Highlights include works by Georg Baselitz, Joseph Beuys, Katharina Fritsch, Robert Gober, Richard Hamilton, Howard Hodgkin, Sol LeWitt, Brice Marden, Gabriel Orozco, Gerhard Richter, Robert Ryman, Joel Shapiro, and Cy Twombly. Major groups of works by Jasper Johns and Ellsworth Kelly, pivotal figures in the history of twentieth-century art, will complement the two galleries that the Museum has dedicated to these artists. The collection also includes a wide representation of video by such celebrated figures as Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla, Willie Doherty, Pierre Huyghe, Steve McQueen, and Bill Viola. Works will be displayed both in the Dorrance Special Exhibition Galleries and in the contemporary art galleries, highlighting the strong connection between the Sachs Collection and the holdings of the Museum. An illustrated publication will accompany the exhibition.

Support for this exhibition is provided by Ballard Spahr LLP and the Estate of Phyllis T. Ballinger. 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 Special Exhibition Galleries and The Keith L. and Katherine Sachs Galleries


Creative Africa

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.

Three Photographers/Six Cities 
Through September 25, 2016 

An exhibition presenting the work by a selection of photographers who capture images of African cities and megacities: Akinbode Akinbiyi (Nigerian, born 1946), Ananias Léki Dago (Ivorian, born 1970) and Seydou Camara (Mali, born 1983). From Akinbode Akinbiyi’s observation of urban centers and Seydou Camara’s examination of Islamic manuscripts to Ananias Léki Dago’s pictures of offbeat locales, the images in this exhibition offer unique perspectives on contemporary African experience.

The Architecture of Francis Kéré: Building for Community
Through September 25, 2016 

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 exhibition 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.

Art Splash
Through September 5, 2016 

Throughout the run of Creative Africa, the popular annual family program Art Splash, engages children and families from across the city and region with activities centered on the Creative Africa exhibitions and other aspects of African art and heritage.

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 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.

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.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art has been 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. Look Again: Contemporary Perspectives on African Art was organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art in cooperation with the Penn Museum. Art Splash is presented by PNC Arts Alive. Additional generous support is provided by The Women’s Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Origlio Beverage and The Honickman Group, Mrs. Kay Bossone, Mari and Peter Shaw, Sondra and Martin Landes, Jr. Steve and Gretchen Burke, and Deena S. Gerson in honor of Isaac Henry Hohns.

John Vick, Project Assistant Curator in Modern Art, Project Coordinator
Kristina Van Dyke, guest curator for Look Again: Contemporary Perspectives on African Art
Peter Barberie, The Brodsky Curator of Photographs, Alfred Stieglitz Center 
Dilys E. Blum, The Jack M. and Annette Y. Friedland Senior Curator of Costume and Textiles
H. Kristina Haugland, The Le Vine Associate Curator of Costume and Textiles and Supervising Curator for the Study Room
Kathryn Bloom Hiesinger, The J. Mahlon Buck, Jr. Family Senior Curator of European Decorative Arts after 1700

Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building

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