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Upcoming Exhibitions Through Spring 2023

Zoe Leonard: Strange Fruit 

Through Summer 2023 

Gallery 271 

This dedicated artist room will celebrate a singular work by New York-based artist Zoe Leonard (b. 1961) featuring a hallmark installation from the museum’s permanent collection, Strange Fruit (1992-97). Intended to decay while on public view, Strange Fruit is made up of hundreds of empty fruit skins that have been sutured together and sprawled across the gallery floor by the artist. 

The work was created in New York in the 1990s during the early days of the ongoing global AIDS crisis and before any life-saving treatments were available. This was an era marked by tragic loss and increasing stigmatization of queer and Haitian communities along with sex workers and drug users. In response to friends who were dying, Leonard turned to sewing fruit peels as an embodied act of mourning and repair. The work’s title also makes reference to the anti-lynching song of the same name written by Abel Meeropol in 1937 and famously recorded by Billie Holiday in 1939 with with lyrics like, “Southern trees bear a strange fruit / Blood on the leaves and blood at the root / Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze / Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.” 

Recalling the European tradition of memento mori still-life paintings, which incorporate imagery of fruit and flowers to symbolize life’s fragility, in this work, the process of decomposition unfolds before our eyes. Both effigy of, and elegy to, the lives of loved ones, Strange Fruit offers a haunting reflection on histories of violent persecution and a poignant meditation on mortality and transformation. 


Amanda Sroka, Associate Curator of Contemporary Art 

Macho Men: Hypermasculinity in Dutch & American Prints 

August 27, 2022 - March 2023 

A5 Galleries 

Around 1590, a group of male artists working in the newly founded Dutch Republic started making images of big, muscly men in complex compositions, often nude and with bodies intertwined, muscles bulging and veins protruding. In a Republic still fighting for independence from Spanish monarchic control, images of brawny he-men exemplified martial, civic, and masculine virtues; allegorized national sovereignty; and served as opportunities for artists to show off their virtuosic command of art and anatomy.  

In a very different context—the United States of the 1930s—male artists similarly chose thick muscular men as their subjects. During the Great Depression when many struggled to find work or provide for their families, such images of robust male physiques celebrated the productive labor, might, and endurance of working class men.  

In both contexts the resulting images—focused as they are on hardy male physiques—can be strikingly homoerotic. Rather than speculating on particular artists’ sexualities, this exhibition examines how artists from two disparate artistic and political moments turned muscular male bodies into symbols loaded with ideological meaning. Today, as paradigms of masculinity and sexuality are being reevaluated and overturned, these images present themselves to audiences to be seen and understood anew. 


Jun Nakamura, Suzanne Andree Curatorial Fellow Prints, Drawings and Photographs  

River of Forms: Giuseppe Penone’s Drawings
September 24, 2022 – February 26, 2023
Daniel W. Dietrich II Galleries

In celebration of an exceptional gift of drawings by one of Italy’s leading contemporary artists, the Philadelphia Museum of Art will present a major exhibition examining the poetic vision of Giuseppe Penone, whose artistic production from the late 1960s to the present invites a timely rumination on the relationship between human experience and nature. River of Forms: Giuseppe Penone’s Drawings will demonstrate the centrality of drawing in the artist’s work through a selection from the important gift and related sculptures. The exhibition will convey Penone’s extraordinary range of mark-making techniques and will trace his explorations of drawing as an interface between artist and nature. Visitors arriving at the West Entrance will first encounter Identity, a monumental bronze outdoor sculpture by Penone (collection, the artist) in which two intertwining trees extend toward the sky. Inside, they will discover the artist’s Thoughts and Sap, an extended frottage (or rubbing) on linen of an acacia tree that includes an essay by Penone. Stretching laterally about 98 feet, this work will occupy a wall of the corridor approaching the entrance to the Daniel W. Dietrich II Galleries, where the exhibition will be presented. River of Forms: Giuseppe Penone’s Drawings is organized by Carlos Basualdo, the Keith L. and Katherine Sachs Senior Curator of Contemporary Art, with Lara Demori Ph.D, Research Associate, and is accompanied by a major scholarly catalogue.  

In 2020, the Philadelphia Museum of Art announced Giuseppe Penone’s gift of 309 drawings and 5 artist books, including many works that have never exhibited or reproduced before. It constitutes a significant portion of the artist’s corpus of works on paper, which spans from the late 1960s until today. River of Forms will include nearly 200 of these works, along with 12 sculptures and 21 etchings and other works, and will illuminate the central role that drawing plays in his practice and how it has informed many large sculptures throughout the years. Penone made the gift to the museum in honor of his wife, Dina Carrara.  

One of the youngest members of 1960s Arte Povera movement in Italy, Penone (b. 1947) continues to incorporate natural materials in his work, such as wood, stone, and clay. His drawings reflect a range of artistic techniques and processes in pencil, biro, watercolor, coffee, India ink, graphite, charcoal, adhesive tape, and leaves, and other media. 

The exhibition will be installed mostly chronologically, and the combination between works on paper and sculptures revolve around thematic clusters. Among the highlights will be drawings from the late 1960s to the early 1970s, including preparatory sketches for installations and sculptures. Works such as Project for the Exhibition at G. Enzo Sperone, 1969, appear as sketches for future installations accompanied by text. Other drawings reflect aspects of related sculptural, installation, or performative works, such as Project for mirroring lens – to look at the street, 1970. One section of the exhibition will include the monotype Sculpture, 1974, which contains the imprint of human skin on graphite resembling thin branches or tangled spider webs, spreading over the composition in an irregular pattern. The large-scale Untitled, 1992, consists of six sheets of watercolor with ink that mimics the stream of a river, the growth of a branch, or perhaps calligraphy. The exhibition will feature two wall drawings from the series of Propagations, 1994–2022, thin concentric lines radiating from a central fingerprint over the entire surface of the wall, and a group of 21 new etchings entitled Somersault, 2020. Finally, the exhibition will also include three brief videos named Ephemeris, which feature the artist in the process of making his work. 

“Penone is one of the most important sculptors active today, and his drawing plays a foundational role within his larger body of work,” noted Carlos Basualdo. “This extraordinary group of drawings, shown together with some of Penone’s key related sculptures, will allow us to trace the evolution of Penone’s work and to grasp its rigorous logic through the astonishing map of his imagination.” 

The artist commented: “At the foundation of every single work of art the fascination and wonder that the world and its matter provoke is always felt. It is that fascination that the work, even a simple drawing, can evoke through its signs, its colors. This thought makes me believe and hope that the public will be able to share and appreciate my work, which I hope will manage to convey a sense of participation and belonging. A drawing is both the tracing of a person’s hand, and it is the imprint of a thought. This group of drawings is a journey through the ideas that have nourished my work, and my hope is that the public will be able to feel and to share this energy.” 

Catalogue The related publication, which shares the same title as the exhibition, is co-published by the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Yale University Press. It will include an introductory essay by Carlos Basualdo, the Keith L. and Katherine Sachs Senior Curator of Contemporary Art, as well as the first translation into English of the text “Pensieri e Linfa” (Sap and Thought) by Penone, which features the long frottage that will be on view. Lara Demori Ph.D., Research Associate, will situate Penone’s work within the Minimalism and Post-minimalism movements, while conservators Jacklyn Chi and Thomas Primeau will focus on the materiality of Penone’s drawings.  


Carlos Basualdo, Keith L. and Katherine Sachs Senior Curator of Contemporary Art, with Research Associate Dr. Lara Demori.


River of Forms: Guiseppe Penone's Drawings is supported by the Italian Council (10th edition, 2021), program to promote Italian contemporary art in the world by the Directorate General for Contemporary Creativity of the Italian Ministry of Culture.

Additional funding is provided by the Daniel W. Dietrich II Fund for Excellence in Contemporary Art, Barbara B. and Theodore R. Aronson, Ginevra Caltagirone, Ms. Jennifer S. Rice and Mr. Michael C. Forman, Susan and James Meyer, Agnes Gund, Katherine Sachs, Thomas and Alice Tisch, Constance and Sankey Williams, and other generous donors. 

Support for the accompanying publication was provided by Gagosian, Marian Goodman Gallery, and Susan and James Meyer. 

Matisse in the 1930s 
October 20, 2022 - January 29, 2023
Dorrance Galleries

In the autumn of 1930, just past his sixtieth birthday, Henri Matisse had both international recognition and commercial success. But he was also going through a protracted period of creative block. The turning point came with a commission from the collector Albert C. Barnes to make a painted decoration for the main gallery in his Foundation, then located in a suburb of Philadelphia. The commission of the mural would initiate a decade of renewed artistic exploration for the artist. Once the mural was completed, Matisse would return to easel painting with new tools and a new approach. He started using photography both to document the cumulative process of building his motifs and to test his own reactions as he went along. He also began using pre-colored cut papers to plan his compositions; this procedure led him away from the illusion of modeling and deep space and toward a style of flat tones and bold shapes.

Matisse in the 1930s explores how all aspects of Matisse’s art changed in the decade as he explored a new way of working across mediums: easel and decorative painting, sculpture, printmaking, drawing, and the illustrated book. Key examples of easel painting will include Large Reclining Nude (1935, Baltimore Museum of Art) and Woman in Blue (1937, Philadelphia Museum of Art); of decorative painting, Nymph in the Forest (Greenery) (1935-1942/43, Musée Matisse de Nice); in bronze, Venus in a Shell I and II (1930 and 1932, Musée Matisse de Nice); in the illustrated book, Poésies de Stéphane Mallarmé (1932, Philadelphia Museum of Art); and in prints and drawings, Drawing at the Scale of the Central Figure of Barnes Mural (1930-31, Musée Matisse Nice), Reclining Nude (1938, The Museum of Modern Art), and Themes and Variations (Series P1-6) (1942, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon).

The exhibition will also address Matisse’s handling of the female form as well as his exploration of exoticism through Orientalist themes, situating these artistic choices in the context of their making and raising questions about how they are understood today. An introductory section will look at Matisse’s so-called Nice period (1917-30) as a prelude to the 1930s. Other galleries will explore the work of the 1930s and the exhibition will culminate in a section that examines Matisse’s Themes and Variations drawings (1941-42) as a summary of his artistic production throughout the years.

This traveling exhibition is co-organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Musée de l’Orangerie in Paris, and the Musée Matisse Nice. Each of these three institutions has an important connection to Matisse’s art and contains rich holdings in his art of this period, making them natural partners for this first-of-its-kind exhibition. In France, the topic will be considered in terms of the promotion of Matisse’s work by the Parisian art journal Cahiers d’art, while the Philadelphia Museum of Art will present a comprehensive survey of Matisse’s work in that decade. 

Philadelphia Museum of Art, October 20, 2022–January 29, 2023 
Paris, Musée de l’Orangerie, February 27, 2023–May 29, 2023 
Musée Matisse Nice, June 23, 2023–September 24, 2023

Matthew Affron, the Muriel and Philip Berman Curator of Modern Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art 

In Philadelphia, the exhibition is made possible by the Annenberg Foundation Fund for Major Exhibitions, The Women’s Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Gloria and Jack Drosdick Fund for Special Exhibitions, the Harriet and Ronald Lassin Fund for Special Exhibitions, the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Fund for Exhibitions, Robbi and Bruce Toll, and the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation.

Promotional support has been provided by PHLCVB and Visit Philadelphia.

Isaac Julien: Lina Bo Bardi – A Marvellous Entanglement

January 28 - May 29, 2023

Williams Forum

Across nine screens, Isaac Julien’s Lina Bo Bardi—A Marvellous Entanglement (2019) explores the life, work, and legacy of the Italian-Brazilian modernist architect Lina Bo Bardi (1914–1992). Born in Rome, Italy, and relocating to São Paulo, Brazil in the 1940s, Bo Bardi was a multifaceted artist and thinker who developed an architectural practice rooted in the social potential of space and the fusion of Italian and Brazilian culture and aesthetics. Emphasizing improvisation, recycling existing spaces, and utilizing novel building materials, Bo Bardi designed some of Brazil’s most iconic art and cultural institutions, including the São Paulo Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art of Bahia, SESC Pompéia, and the Teatro Oficina.

In a new arrangement imagined by Julien specifically for this presentation, A Marvellous Entanglement establishes a vital architectural dialogue between Bo Bardi’s visionary buildings and the Williams Forum, the central space of Frank Gehry’s expansion project. Through a carefully constructed choreography of sound and moving images, Julien combines six years of archival research, on-location footage shot across multiple Bo Bardi-designed buildings, voice and dance performances, and recitations of Bo Bardi’s writings by two actresses. Quoting Bo Bardi in his title, Julien invokes her spirit and points to the liberatory possibilities of non-linear histories within global circulations of art and culture.

This exhibition is organized in conjunction with multiple cultural partners across Philadelphia including the Barnes FoundationBlackStar ProjectsInstitute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania; and The Fabric Workshop and Museum, on the occasion of the Barnes Foundation’s centennial and newly commissioned film installation, Once Again…(Statues Never Die) on view June 19–September 4, 2022.


Erica Battle, John Alchin and Hal Marryatt Curator of Contemporary Art


Isaac Julien: Lina Bo Bardi – A Marvellous Entanglement has been made possible by the Daniel W. Dietrich II Fund for Excellence in Contemporary Art.

Martine Syms: Neural Swamp / The Future Fields Commission
Through October 30, 2022
Gisela and Dennis Alter Gallery (276)

This exhibition is the first in the United States to feature the artist's newly commissioned work, Neural Swamp, which has recently been acquired by the museum. For this presentation, Syms is creating an immersive video installation that will build upon the artist’s interest in the proliferation, circulation, and consumption of images, as well as her continued research into machine systems and technologies that deprive, and at times erase, Black bodies, voices, and narratives. Neural Swamp premiered at the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in Turin in November 2021, after which it will travel to the Philadelphia Museum of Art in Spring of 2022.

Martine Syms (American, born 1988) is a Los Angeles-based artist who has developed an interdisciplinary approach that bridges the mediums of film, performance, installation, and publishing. Investigative in practice, her works employ multiple technologies to explore and reveal the ways in which identity, history, and power are constructed, performed, packaged, and consumed. This new commission has provided support during a pivotal moment in Syms’s career, allowing her to extend her multifaceted approach towards new and increasingly experimental techniques while deepening her investigations into the representations of Blackness across generations, geographies, mediums, and traditions.

Martine Syms is the second recipient of the Future Fields Commission in Time-Based Media, which supports the production and acquisition of a new video, film, sound, or performance work every two years. It is a joint initiative between the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin, Italy.

See full press release.

Itinerary: Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin, Italy through January 30, 2022.

A new publication co-published by the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, and Yale University Press will accompany the exhibition. Featuring texts by curators Irene Calderoni and Amanda Sroka, as well as a commissioned essay by Christina Sharpe, this publication will document Syms’s new work, while also offering in-depth critical analysis and a visual essay that reflects the specific approach to images that characterizes the artist’s practice. 50 pages. ISBN: 9780876332979

Amanda Sroka, Associate Curator of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art 
Irene Calderoni, Curator, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo 

Martine Syms: Neural Swamp has been made possible by the Daniel W. Dietrich II Fund for Excellence in Contemporary Art and the Robert Montgomery Scott Endowment for Exhibitions.

The accompanying publication has been generously supported by Sadie Coles HQ.

Credits as of March 8, 2022.

Sean Scully: The Shape of Ideas
Through July 31, 2022
Dorrance Special Exhibition Galleries, and Korman Galleries (221–224)

This comprehensive fifty-year survey exhibition features the artist’s most significant works from the 1970s to the present to closely examine his contribution to the history of abstract art and his mastery of technique by focusing on the various mediums, motifs, and scales that have defined the artist’s practice over time. Sean Scully: The Shape of Ideas centers on paintings, drawings, prints, and pastels, demonstrating the integral relationships between works in various media, which are rarely exhibited together.

Scully (American, born in Ireland in 1945) is a painter, printmaker, sculptor, and poet. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Peter Stuyvesant Foundation Prize, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Harkness Fellowship, as well as a two-time Turner Prize nominee. Scully’s works are in numerous private and public collections, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, and the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art. In 2015, Scully participated in the Venice Biennale with his solo exhibition Land Sea at the Palazzo Falier. The upcoming survey will be the artist’s first of this scale in the United States since Sean Scully: Twenty Year, 1976–1995, which was presented in 1995 at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C. The artist divides his time between New York, England, and Germany.

A new publication accompanies the exhibition, authored by Timothy Rub, the George D. Widener Director and CEO, with Amanda Sroka, Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art. It is the first to thoroughly examine Sean Scully’s art within a biographical context. Co-published by the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Yale University Press, the catalogue presents an in-depth account of Scully’s work and his most significant bodies of work informed by extensive and recent interviews with the artist. The book begins with a preface by Marla Price, Director of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth and author of Scully’s multivolume catalogue raisonné, and an essay by the poet and art critic Kelly Grovier on the unique contribution Scully has made to the history of abstraction. Featured contributions include reprints by which historically contextualize Scully’s work by William Feaver, Deborah Solomon, Donald Kuspit, Arthur C. Danto, and Michael Auping. 256 pages. ISBN: 9780876332955.

Timothy Rub, Director Emeritus 
Amanda Sroka, Associate Curator of Contemporary Art

The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas, June 20–October 10, 2021.
Philadelphia Museum of Art, April 11–July 31, 2022.

In Philadelphia, Sean Scully: The Shape of Ideas is made possible by John J. Hannan, Jennifer Rice and Michael Forman, Robbi and Bruce Toll, Linda and George Kelly, Waqas Wajahat, and Constance and Sankey Williams, and with support from the museum’s endowment through the Annenberg Foundation Fund for Major Exhibitions, the Robert Montgomery Scott Endowment for Exhibitions, the Kathleen C. and John J. F. Sherrerd Fund for Exhibitions, the Gloria and Jack Drosdick Fund for Special Exhibitions, the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Exhibition Fund, and the Lois G. and Julian A. Brodsky Installation and Exhibition Fund.

The accompanying publication has been generously supported by Lisson Gallery, which also provided support for the exhibition.

Credits as of February 11, 2022

By Night 
Norman and Sarah Keyes Family Gallery (256)

This installation explores nighttime as a touchstone for visual artists, examining the imaginative, expressive, and historical possibilities that nocturnes hold. The featured works reveal that artists have depicted the wide spectrum of people’s experience of night for centuries: night is for sleep and wakefulness, adventure and refuge, work and leisure, gathering and solitude. While nighttime scenes appear in all manner of artistic media, nocturnal prints share a distinct bond with their subject. The strong contrasts of light and dark and often limited color palette of graphic media echo our own visual perception of night, while also providing a glimpse of activities normally cloaked by darkness.

Nicole Cook, Program Manager for Graduate Academic Partnerships
Laurel Garber, Park Family Assistant Curator of Prints and Drawings

Ink and Brush: Various Beauties and Free-Sprits of Japanese Calligraphy 
Through April 30, 2023
Gallery 341 - 343

This installation will feature various styles of Japanese calligraphy from the 17th to the 20th century drawn from the museum’s collection. At the center of the installation will be Five Poems by well-known priest Ryōkan (1758-1831), a large ink on paper six-fold screen from the late Edo period (19th century), which is also a new acquisition in honor of Dr. Felice Fischer, Curator Emerita of Japanese and East Asian Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. In addition to calligraphy, stationaries such as an inkstone and a water dropper will be shown as well as prints, furniture and posters that are related to calligraphic scripts.

Kyoko Kinoshita, PhD, Project Associate Curator

Medieval Treasures from the Glencairn Museum 
Through October 2023
Gallery 307

This special installation brings the museum’s important collection of medieval art and architectural spaces into dialogue with special works of art on loan from The Glencairn Museum. The Glencairn Museum, located in the eponymous 1930s home built by Raymond Pitcairn (1885-1966) in the town of Bryn Athyn, just north of Philadelphia, has a long history of generous loans to the museum’s medieval galleries, and during a renovation will lend a group of exquisite medieval treasures from their holdings.

Among the loans are a celebrated stained-glass panel from the Abbey Church of St. Denis, showing the Flight into Egypt, one of the most important and best-preserved pieces of early gothic glass in America; a Head of a King attributed to Gislebertus, sculptor of the 12th century portal of the Cathedral of Saint Lazare at Autun, France; and exceptional architectural sculpture, such as a capital from St. Guilhem le Désert in southern France. Other treasures from the Glencairn Museum will include Spanish ivories from the migration and Romanesque periods, and significant figurative stained-glass panels from the 13th century.

The unique display will create rich juxtapositions with works on view in neighboring galleries as well as add depth to discussions of the functions of medieval art, artistic processes and the links between artists working in different media (for example manuscripts to sculpture in stone, ivory or metal) and exploration of narrative decoration in stained glass and on architectural sculpture, a particular strength of the Glencairn collection.

Jack Hinton, Henry P. McIlhenny Curator of European Decorative Arts & Sculpture


Medieval Treasures from the Glencairn Museum is generously supported by Mark and Robin Rubenstein. 

Judith Joy Ross
Spring 2023
Dorrance Special Exhibition Galleries

In the spring of 2023, the Philadelphia Museum of Art will host the largest retrospective exhibition to date of American photographer Judith Joy Ross (b. 1946). The exhibition is organized by the MAPFRE Foundation, Madrid, in collaboration with the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The Philadelphia Museum of Art will be the first US venue following its European tour in Madrid, Paris, and the Hague.

The exhibition, which comprises approximately 200 photographs and a variety of documentary material, charts the photographer’s work through chronological sections that provide an overview of the artist’s main projects throughout her career, including images that have never been seen before and images taken without any specific project in mind. The exhibition comprises photographs primarily drawn from the artist’s personal archive, as well as from important private and public collections of her work, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art. 

Judith Joy Ross is internationally acclaimed for her photographic portraits of people she encounters in public or within the institutional frameworks of school and government. From these everyday contexts Ross crafts unforgettable images of individual lives at chosen locations such as parks, public schools, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the offices of Congress, and political protests, among other venues. Together these bodies of work explore what it means to be a citizen and a human being, forming a profound portrait of our age.

Judith Joy Ross was born in Hazleton, Pennsylvania. She graduated from the Moore College of Art in 1968 and earned a Master’s Degree in Photography in 1970 from the Institute of Design at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, where she studied with American photographer Aaron Siskind (1903-1991).

The exhibition is curated by Joshua Chuang. In Philadelphia, the curatorial team also includes Peter Barberie, Brodsky Curator of Photographs, Alfred Stieglitz Center, with Amanda N. Bock, Lynne and Harold Assistant Curator of Photographs, and Molly Kalkstein, Horace W. Goldsmith Curatorial Fellow in Photography.

Ongoing Exhibitions  

Expanded Painting from the 1960s and 70s
Through Summer 2023
Edna and Stanley Tuttleman Gallery (274)

From Sam Gilliam’s suspended, draped canvas, to Lynda Benglis’s torqued and glittered form, these works speak to an upending of barriers—be they artistic, ideological, racial, or rooted in gender stereotypes. By rethinking and systematically probing conventions associated with the painted canvas, these works ultimately speak to the desire for a deeper, more fundamental connection to nature, the body, movement, and light.

Amanda Sroka, Associate Curator of Contemporary Art

This exhibition has been made possible with support from the museum's endowment, through the Daniel W. Dietrich II Fund for Excellence in Contemporary Art.

Credits as of September 26, 2021. 

Ghosts and Fragments
Through Summer 2023
Gallery 270

Ghosts and Fragments includes works by Nick Cave, Lonnie Holley, Glenn Ligon, and Susan Rothenberg that conceptually speak to the haunting absences and fractured presences of marginalized bodies. In this installation, disembodied artifacts—fragments of limbs, fractured objects, and haunting words—yield poetic, political, and subjective interpretations of the self, invisibility, and otherness.

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

This exhibition has been made possible with support from the museum's endowment, through the Daniel W. Dietrich II Fund for Excellence in Contemporary Art.

Credits as of March 10, 2021.

Waiting for Tear Gas 
Through July 17, 2022 
Lynne and Harold Honickman Galleries (156,157) 

Allan Sekula’s Waiting for Tear Gas [white globe to black] is a monument of politically engaged art created in the wake of the anti-globalization protests that rocked Seattle, Washington, in late 1999. The piece consists of eighty-one 35mm color slides that document Sekula’s participatory observation of the protest, sequenced and projected at nearly life-sized scale on a continuous loop. Viewers of the slide show confront a procession of the various people Sekula met in the crowd that day. According to the artist, the resulting work represents “a simple descriptive physiognomy” that illustrates how “the alliance on the streets was indeed stranger, more varied and inspired than could be conveyed by cute alliterative play with ‘teamsters’ and ‘turtles,’” a reference to the highly visible coordination between organized labor and environmentalists at the event. 

The installation takes Sekula’s complex negotiation of politics, portraiture, and most importantly, protest, as its starting point. The act of public dissent has long appealed to artists for a variety of reasons as protests contain moments of great intensity and periodic stillness. They highlight coordinated masses as well as exemplary individuals. They appear, in turn, both organized and chaotic. The protest offers up a number of visual possibilities for artists to transform into a compelling picture of public expression. 

Waiting for Tear Gas will be featured in context with approximately 35-50 works that explore representations of protest to not only convey an important piece of politically engaged art, but to also provide an opportunity to reflect on our own cultural moment and the museum’s role as a prominent backdrop to many of the city’s most iconic moments of protest. 

Samuel Ewing, former Horace W. Goldsmith Curatorial Fellow in Photography 

Pictures in Pictures
Through July 17, 2022
Jaimie & David Field | Marie & Joseph Field Galleries (154,155)

Pictures in Pictures poses the deceptively straightforward question: why are images within images so captivating? The exhibition does not provide a clear answer, nor does it present a shared rationale for why artists incorporate other pictures within their compositions. Instead, it offers an opportunity for visitors to consider an exciting array of examples of this phenomenon from across the museum’s collection and explore this question for themselves.

Assembled objects range from Jan Brueghel the Younger’s 1660 Allegory of Sight, a painting that depicts an idealized gallery of other artworks, to LaToya Ruby Frazier’s 2007 photograph of her grandmother’s refrigerator covered in family photos. The exhibition mixes emerging and established artists, and places canonical works alongside lesser-studied pictures by unknown artists. The exhibition’s approximately 60 objects are primarily drawn from the department of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs, but also include paintings, stained glass, hanging scrolls, and furnishings.

The exhibition embraces an expansive definition of what a “picture in picture” can be, ranging from the expected—canvases, photographs, and drawings—to the surprising or immaterial—illusions, reflections, and shadows. Reflections on glass and trompe l’oeil imagery cast doubt on our very ability to discern the real from the fictive. Self-portraits of artists mid-sketch or the mirror reflection of a photographer behind a camera remind viewers that every image they encounter is a constructed illusion. In other cases, pictures within pictures gather incongruous objects, people, and ideas that otherwise could not occupy the same space, enabling visions and ghosts to manifest in the physical world and ancestral figures and artifacts to comingle with the living. Together, the works in this exhibition show how artists have used “pictures in pictures” to make the imagined real, the absent present, or the lost remembered.

Amanda N. Bock, Lynne and Harold Honickman Assistant Curator of Photographs
Laurel Garber, Park Family Assistant Curator of Prints and Drawings
Jun Nakamura, Suzanne Andrée Curatorial Fellow

Pictures in Pictures has been made possible by the Lois G. and Julian A. Brodsky Installation and Exhibition Fund.

Credits as of November 18, 2021.

Elegy: Lament in the Twentieth Century
Through July 24, 2022
Morgan Galleries and Jane and Leonard Korman Galleries (150–153)

An elegy is a song or poem expressing sorrow, especially for one who has died. This exhibition explores how artists have created visual elegies, using their work to convey grief and commemorate those who have passed. All the works of art on view are from the museum’s collection, with most created between 1900 and 2000. This chronological distance allows us to step away from our present moment of collective grief and trauma to see how artists of the last century worked to keep people, events, and states of being alive in memory.

Throughout the exhibition, painting, sculpture, prints, drawings, photographs, and textiles approach grief and commemoration from various perspectives, including personal loss, historic tragedies, and specific acts of violence and injustice. Several of the works evoke remembrance of individuals who died under tragic circumstances, including His Reward, Emmett Till by Clarence Lawson and Martin Luther King, Jr. by John Woodrow Wilson. Other works refer to events in which many died, such as Ben Shahn’s painting Miners’ Wives, inspired by the Centralia No. 5 coal mine disaster of 1947 in Illinois.

“The Elegiac Gesture” section of the exhibition focuses on work by artists who represent grief with age-old forms of human expression, such as clasped hands, closed or sunken eyes, and bowed heads, as in Leonard Baskin’s Mourning Mother, Jose Clemente Orozco’s Mural Detail Grief, or Charles White’s Black Sorrow. The sections “Symbols of Lamentation” and “Rituals of Grieving” offer themes from various cultures and religions viewed through modernists’ perspectives. Christ is lowered from the cross in Bob Thompson’s The Deposition. Mourners participate in a candlelight Day of the Dead ceremony in a photograph by George Holton, or express their grief over an open casket, as in Carlos Faz’s lithograph Funeral. Rituals of grieving can inscribe themselves on the body, as explored in the section “Wearing Grief,” which looks at the tradition of mourning attire and how the body can be clothed to convey and to obscure emotion. A final section explores how artists distill and convey deep emotion through abstraction, as in Robert Motherwell’s monumental Elegy to the Spanish Republic.

Elegy is intended to elicit a range of experiences and questions for visitors. For some, the works on view may prompt the consideration of the different roles of the visual arts in the grieving process, from emotional catharsis to behavioral catalyst to inspiration to seek justice. For the others, the exhibition may offer a sense of comfort and commiseration as they grapple with grief of their own. The invitation of Elegy is to create a space for thinking about these powerful conditions and emotions.

Jessica Todd Smith, Susan Gray Detweiler Curator of American Art, and Manager, Center for American Art

Elegy: Lament in the 20th Century has been made possible by the Laura and William C. Buck Endowment for Exhibitions, the Lois G. and Julian A. Brodsky Installation and Exhibition Fund, Ellen and Ronald Caplan, Marsha W. Rothman, Boo and Morris Stroud, and other generous donors. Additional support provided by the Center for American Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Credits as of January 26, 2022.

Rodin’s Hands
Through December 2023
The Rodin Museum

“Rodin is the sculptor of hands—furious, clenched, rearing, damned hands,” wrote the French critic and poet Gustave Kahn, describing Auguste Rodin’s talent for concentrating emotion and storytelling into this body part.

Rodin almost obsessively explored the expressive power of hands, using them to convey an infinite variety of emotions and experiences. The new installation, the first in three years at the Rodin Museum, brings together fifteen bronzes and plasters, including works that are rare or unique to the museum’s collection, some of which are recognizable as studies for hands that animate his large and renowned public monuments.  

Installation highlights include The Cathedral, a sculpture modelled in 1908 that depicts two over-life-size right hands whose fingertips are about to touch. A piece unique to the Rodin Museum is the bronze sculpture of clasping hands titled Two Lovers. The plaster model for it at the Musée Rodin in Paris is inscribed: “Hands of Rodin and Rose Beuret,” suggesting that the hands are those of the sculptor and his mistress and partner.

In Rodin’s vision of creation, The Hand of God emerges not from heaven but from earth and cradles a rock from which male and female figures emerge. The divine hand with its open, curving palm and outstretched index finger is identical to a right hand that appears twice in The Burghers of Calais: once on the figure of Pierre de Wissant, who raises it to his face in a gesture of acceptance and offering, and again for his brother Jacques de Wissant, from whom the hand hangs in a gesture indicative of hesitation and doubt.

The Rodin Museum provides a unique context for this focused installation. In the surrounding galleries, visitors can also discover or rediscover some of Rodin’s most popular works, including Eternal Springtime (modeled in clay 1884; cast in plaster and painted white 1885), The Crouching Woman (modeled in clay 1881–82, enlarged 1906–8; cast in bronze 1925), and works portraying such literary luminaries as Honoré de Balzac and Victor Hugo. Outdoors, as they approach the museum, they will encounter many other familiar works, including The Thinker (1880–1) which overlooks the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, The Three Shades (modeled in clay 1881–86, enlarged in 1901–4, cast in bronze 1983), and the monumental Gates of Hell (modeled in clay 1880–1917, cast in bronze 1926–28) on the portico by the entrances to the building.

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

Art in Public Spaces 

In the new and newly renovated spaces created by the Core Project—Lenfest Hall, the North Entrance, the Vaulted Walkway, the South Hall, North Lobby, and the Forum—the museum is exhibiting contemporary works of art that highlight a diversity of artists within the collection. For the first installation in the Williams Forum, Teresita Fernández has installed a large-scale installation titled Fire (United States of the Americas) (2017). This three-dimensional rendering in the shape of the United States and its territories is composed of in over sixty pieces of charcoal. Born in Miami to Cuban immigrants, Fernández uses nature and landscape to explore questions around place and identity.

Martin Puryear’s wall sculpture titled Generation, 1988, is prominently displayed on the wall that separates Lenfest Hall from the Forum. A large-scale work made of stainless steel that takes the form of a human head titled Nuria by Spanish artist and sculptor Jaume Plensa greets visitors in the South Hall, and nearby are Sol LeWitt’s colorful and irregular forms entitled Splotch (2003). In the North Vaulted Walkway, a stainless-steel work, Two Box Structure, by David Smith is on view, and nearby, a contemporary sculpture made of light bulbs, porcelain, and an extension cord by Cuban-born American visual artist, Felix González Torres, Untitled (Petit Palais) (1992), is on view in the North Lobby.

Recent Installations  

New Galleries of Early American Art
The Robert L. McNeil, Jr. Galleries (100–108)

A major re-installation devoted to the presentation of the museum’s extensive holdings of American Art spanning 1650 through 1850 inaugurates the museum’s new 10,000 square foot suite of galleries for American Art—a distinctive feature of Frank Gehry’s Core Project of the Facilities Master Plan—which also includes new galleries for Contemporary Art, together adding more than 20,000 square feet of gallery space within the museum’s footprint. The opening of these galleries represents the first major expansion and reinterpretation of the museum’s renowned collection of American Art in over 40 years. Arranged chronologically and thematically, this new installation showcases the rich diversity of cultures and creative traditions that contributed to the formation of early American artworks. New interpretations of this collection explore the artistic ties linking the Americas to Asia; the role of enslavement in the production and financing of art throughout the period; Philadelphia's role as an influential cultural capital; and the stories and works of Black, women, and Indigenous artists, promoting the museum’s vision to bring the collection to life and advancing scholarship in the field.

See full press release.

Curatorial Team

Kathleen A. Foster, The Robert L. McNeil, Jr. Senior Curator of American Art and Director, Center for American Art; David Barquist, The H. Richard Dietrich, Jr., Curator of American Decorative Arts; Alexandra Kirtley, The Montgomery-Garvan Curator of American Decorative Arts; Carol Soltis, Project Associate Curator; John Vick, former Collections Project Manager; Rosalie Hooper, Interim Head of Interpretation and Project Curatorial Assistant.

Academic Advisors
The following individuals offered advice on the planning of the new Early American Art galleries, supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Zara Anishanslin, Associate Professor of History and Art History, Director, History of American Civilization Program, University of Delaware; Dennis Carr, Virginia Steele Scott Chief Curator of American Art, The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens; Deirdre Cooper Owens, The Charles and Linda Wilson Professor in the History of Medicine, Director of the Humanities in Medicine Program, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Director, Program in African American History, The Library Company of Philadelphia; John Demos, Samuel Knight Professor Emeritus of History, Yale University; Leslie M. Harris, Professor of History, Northwestern University; Kelli Morgan, Ph.D., Independent Curator; Jami Powell, Ph.D., Associate Curator of Native American Art, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College; Daniel K. Richter, Richard S. Dunn Director of the McNeil Center for Early American Studies, University of Pennsylvania; Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw, Class of 1940 Bicentennial Term Chair and Associate Professor, Department of the History of Art University of Pennsylvania; Page Talbott, Ph.D., Director of Museum Outreach, Lenfest Center for Cultural Partnerships, Drexel University; Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, 300th Anniversary University Professor, Emerita, Harvard University; Denise L. Valentine, Professional Storyteller, Educator, and Historian.

The installation of the new Early American Art galleries has been made possible with lead support from the Henry Luce Foundation, and by The Mr. and Mrs. Raymond J. Horowitz Foundation for the Arts, The Richard C. von Hess Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities: Democracy Demands Wisdom, an anonymous donor, The Davenport Family Foundation, Edward and Gwen Asplundh, Dr. and Mrs. Robert E. Booth, Jr., Mr. and Mrs. James L. Alexandre, The Americana Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. S. Matthews V. Hamilton, Jr., The McLean Contributionship, Lyn M. and George M. Ross, Dr. Salvatore M. Valenti, the Wunsch Family, Donald and Gay Kimelman, Boo and Morris Stroud, Mr. and Mrs. Ronald C. Anderson, Matz Family Charitable Fund, Marsha and Richard Rothman, and other generous donors.

Additional support for the museum’s building project, including the construction of the new Early American Art galleries, was provided by Robert L. McNeil, Jr., Leslie Miller and Richard Worley, Laura and William C. Buck, Kathy and Ted Fernberger, Joan and Victor Johnson, John and Christel Nyheim, Lyn M. and George M. Ross, National Endowment for the Humanities, Marshaand Richard Rothman, and other generous donors.

Ongoing support for American Art initiatives and programs is provided by the Center for American Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, established by Robert L. McNeil, Jr.

Credits as March 10, 2021.

Reinstallation of Nineteenth-Century European Art 
Galleries (250–265)

The museum has renovated and reinstalled fourteen of its galleries dedicated to European art of the nineteenth century, creating engaging new dialogues among the painting, sculpture, and decorative arts on view. Thematic presentations focusing on Impressionism, Art Nouveau, and other movements, are interspersed with displays dedicated to single artists or rooms exploring the role of industry and design in the period. On view are many of the museum’s most acclaimed works of art, including Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings by Mary Cassatt, Édouard Manet, Berthe Morisot, Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Edgar Degas, Paul Cézanne, and their contemporaries, as well as furniture by such celebrated designers and artisans as Charles-Guillaume Diehl, Hector Guimard, Edward William Godwin, and Charles Rennie Mackintosh. The reinstallation provides an opportunity to explore a range of 19th-century European narratives through a fresh contemporary lens.

Gallery 253 titled “Painting Nature” explores the growing appeal of Realism and how artists turned to nature for inspiration in rendering scenes of everyday life. Work by Rosa Bonheur (1822–1899), one of the most famous female artists during the nineteenth century, is installed alongside those of Gustave Courbet (1819–1877), who vowed only to paint what he could see. In this arrangement focused on artists who depicted scenes of ordinary life, Courbet’s seascape Marine: The Waterspout (1870), is installed near Jean-François Millet’s realistic portrayal of French peasants using torches in a nighttime hunting scene titled Bird’s-Nesters, dated 1874. The installation explores how these artists’ styles and choice of subject matter differed from the practices set forth in art academies and demonstrates how they helped to chart a path for the Impressionists. The majority of works on view in this gallery are from the collection of the distinguished Philadelphia lawyer and art collector, John Graver Johnson (1841–1917), and reveal his astute eye for the art of his time and his generosity to his native city.

Grand paintings in the Academic style characterized by idealized subject matter and a refined touch are the focus of works on view in Gallery 255, titled “Academic Art.” These paintings and sculptures boast polished surfaces, skillful lines, and subjects that were designed to educate and appeal to a wide variety of audiences. Key works include Eduard Charlemont’s Moorish Chief (1878); Marcello’s Pythian Sibyl, Lawrence Alma-Tadema’s classically inspired painting, A Reading from Homer (1885); the newly acquired Vase of the Titans; a sculptural ceramic by Auguste Rodin and Albert Carrier-Belleuse; and other examples that reflect the ideals cultivated in art schools and official salon exhibitions throughout Europe. Beyond France, national art academies sprang up in England, Austria, and Germany.

Another gallery is devoted to artists who challenged the academic system. French landscapes, portraits, still lifes, and urban scenes by artists Mary Cassatt, Edgar Degas, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Berthe Morisot, Alfred Sisley, and Claude Monet, are all presented in a large room dedicated to Impressionism, Gallery 252. Blended colors, visible brushwork, and dynamic compositions are visible in celebrated canvases, installed alongside sculptures of galloping horses and elegant ballet dancers by Degas, as well as bronzes depicting the athletes and fragments of the human body by master sculptor Auguste Rodin. The installation illuminates how these artists revolutionized painting as well as sculpture, choosing to capture the fleeting natural effects of the world around them in ways that felt like lived experience.

Gallery 259, “Beyond Paris,” features artists who responded to the effects of French Impressionism throughout Europe. Norwegian artist Edvard Munch’s Mermaid, 1896, is surrounded by paintings and sculpture to evoke the painting’s original setting in a house in Norway and demonstrate how Munch and his fellow Scandinavian, French, and American artists adopted and adapted the color, light, and brushwork of Impressionism. This gallery brings together well-known paintings by artists John Singer Sargent, James Abbott McNeill Whistler, Frits Thaulow, Henry Ossawa Tanner, Antonio Mancini, Viggo Johansen, Emilio Sanchez Perrier, among others, to show how different locations served as sources of inspiration and influenced painters leading into the twentieth century.

An intimately scaled gallery is devoted entirely to works by Paul Cézanne, highlighting his distinctive brushstroke and the ways in which he explored color and light to convey shapes and the solidity of forms. Fruit on a table, several portraits of his wife, and scenes from secluded groves in Aix-en-Provence fill the walls of Gallery 260. The new arrangement brings together some of his most important work in the collection to underscore the artist’s intense study of form, structure, and shape. The installation also draws attention to works by Cézanne in other nearby galleries and makes connections with other examples that are housed at the Barnes Foundation, suggesting that the artist’s work is perhaps better represented in Philadelphia than anywhere else.

In the late 1800s, many artists brought modernity to the female nude. Visitors can compare and contrast this theme in painting and sculpture by artists ranging from Cézanne, Edgar Degas, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir, to Francis Picabia and French sculptor Aristide Maillol in Gallery 264 titled “Modernizing the Bather.” In addition, Gallery 256 is devoted to works on paper and presents rotating displays of photographs, prints, drawings, and pastels revealing the ways that artists brought innovation to each of these media.

The Resnick Rotunda houses the museum’s renowned collection of works by Vincent van Gogh, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and Paul Gauguin. Installed together for the first time in Gallery 261, the museum’s Post-Impressionism collection highlights the diverse ways in which these artists developed new stylistic devices to render personal and expressive scenes of everyday life. Four Van Gogh paintings: Rain (1889), Sunflowers (1889), Portrait of Madame Augustine Roulin and Baby Marcelle (1888), and Portrait of Camille Roulin (1888), hang side-by-side, allowing visitors to consider the artist’s use of color in a range of subjects painted over a single year. Other walls in this space contain Toulouse-Lautrec’s vibrant depiction of dancers and customers mingling in the Moulin Rouge nightclub and Henri Rousseau’s mysterious scene of two monkeys and a milk bottle, The Merry Jesters (1906).

A sequence of rooms explores design revolutions occurring at the same time. The Arts and Crafts movement that flourished in Britain in the 1880s was a reaction to the Industrial Revolution, favoring handmade craftsmanship over machine-made products. On view in Gallery 258 are works by William Morris and decorative wallpapers and furniture designs by other British makers that exemplify Morris’ advice to: “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” Gallery 262 is dedicated to Art Nouveau—the expressive style that emerged in the late 1890s in response to more historical artistic styles—and its modernist variants in Austria and Germany that evolved toward abstract styles and repeating patterns. Notable works that define this movement include pieces by Émile Gallé, Hector Guimard, and Edward William Godwin.

The scope of the recent renovations includes intensive cleaning, resurfacing the walls, fresh wall colors, refinishing floors, as well as adding new casework, window treatments, and seating for visitors.

The curatorial team includes Jennifer Thompson, the Gloria and Jack Drosdick Curator of European Painting and Sculpture and Curator of the John G. Johnson Collection; Kathryn Hiesinger, the J. Mahlon Buck, Jr. Family Senior Curator of European Decorative Arts after 1700; Curatorial Fellow Olivier Hurstel; and Research and Exhibition Assistant Eileen Owens.

Support for the reinstallation of the galleries of nineteenth-century European art has been generously provided by Robert and Lynne Pollack, an anonymous donor in honor of Williamina and Rodolphe Meyer de Schauensee, Barbara B. and Theodore R. Aronson, John and Gloria Drosdick, Mr. and Mrs. Stewart A. Resnick, Harriet and Ron Lassin, Maxine de S. Lewis, Katherine Sachs, and Martha McGeary Snider.

Support for both the exhibition The Impressionist’s Eye and the reinstallation of the galleries of nineteenth-century European art has been generously provided by Lyn M. Ross, Joan F. Thalheimer and Lois G. and Julian A. Brodsky. The Impressionist’s Eye was made possible by presenting sponsor Bank of America. Contributions to the exhibition were also made by The Robert Montgomery Scott Endowment for Exhibitions, The Laura and William C. Buck Endowment for Exhibitions, The Gloria and Jack Drosdick Fund for Special Exhibitions, The Harriet and Ronald Lassin Fund for Special Exhibitions, The Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Fund for Exhibitions, and an anonymous donor.

Credits as of October 28, 2019.

Chinese Art Galleries
Main Building, Third Floor

The presentation showcases art in all media, including paintings, sculpture, porcelain, ceramics, carvings, metalwork, costume and textiles, furniture, and contemporary works.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art houses one of the country’s earliest Chinese art collections, initially established through purchases made at the Centennial International Exhibition held in Philadelphia in 1876. Today it includes more than 7,000 works in a wide range of media spanning more than 4000 years. Strengths include Tang dynasty (618–907) tomb figures, Song dynasty (960–1127) ceramics as well as Ming (1368–1644) and Qing dynasty (1644–1911) imperial art and Buddhist sculpture. The collection includes more than 500 paintings, dating from the twelfth to the twentieth centuries, as well as costumes and textiles, furniture, jades, lacquer wares, and cloisonné. It also features three remarkable architectural interiors: an early 15th century coffered ceiling from an imperial Buddhist temple, a seventeenth-century painted wood reception hall, and an eighteenth-century scholar’s study that provide context for the collection and an exceptional immersive experience.

This renovation and reinstallation of the Chinese galleries is part of an ongoing series of reinstallations of the museum’s collection that began with the Rodin Museum in 2012 and continued with the renovation of its galleries of South Asian art in 2016. The reinstallation is led by project director Dr. Hiromi Kinoshita, Hannah L. and J. Welles Henderson Curator of Chinese Art, who’s interpretive plan is arranged around key themes through which four thousand years of art can be understood.

Coinciding with the reopening of its galleries of Chinese art, the museum has published Chinese Art: Highlights from the Philadelphia Museum of Art, in association with Yale University Press (256 pp.) This illustrated book features highlights ranging from antiquity to the present day. It includes an introductory essay by Dr. Kinoshita about the collection’s formation, illuminating its unique character and importance. The volume is available for purchase in the Museum Store or online via store.philamuseum.org.

See full press release.

Hiromi Kinoshita, Hannah L. and J. Welles Henderson Curator of Chinese Art

The reinstallation of the museum’s galleries of Chinese Art was made possible by the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation Hannah L. Henderson, Marguerite Lenfest, Maxine de S. Lewis, June and Simon K.C. Li, Joan F. Thalheimer, Andrea Baldeck, M.D., Sueyun and Gene Locks, Peter A. Benoliel and Willo Carey, Barbara B. and Theodore R. Aronson, The Women’s Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Cynthia L. Johnson, Frank S. Bayley, Suzanne F. Boda and George W. Grindahl, Dr. Alan M. and Deena Gu Laties, Peggy Wachs, two anonymous donors, and other generous donors.

South Asian Art Galleries
Main Building, Third Floor

One of the world’s most significant collections of art from a vast area including India, Iran, Tibet, and parts of Southeast Asia is presented in a complete transformation of our renowned South Asian galleries. 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 sculptures. The galleries also feature significant physical improvements, such as state-of-the-art lighting, flooring, and casework that enhance the presentation of storied objects.

Works added to the collection include Shahzia Sikander’s video animation Disruption as Rapture (2016), which reimagines the Museum’s rare 1743 manuscript titled Gulshan-i-Ishq (Rose Garden of Love), and two large piccawai, or shrine hangings.

See the full press release.

Darielle Mason, Stella Kramrisch Curator of Indian and Himalayan Art

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., Tushar and Amrita Desai, 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.

Credits as of October 2016.

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