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Upcoming Exhibitions

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

Press Preview: February 23, 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 center stage 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 is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue produced by the Museum and distributed by Yale University Press.

This exhibition is made possible by The Henry Luce Foundation, The Mr. and Mrs. Raymond J. Horowitz Foundation for the Arts, The Pew Charitable Trusts, the Robert J. Kleberg, Jr. and Helen C. Kleberg Foundation, 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, Ball Family Foundation, The Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Exhibition Fund, Mr. and Mrs. William C. Buck, Kathy and Ted Fernberger, Marguerite and Gerry Lenfest, Leslie Miller and Richard Worley, Marsha and Richard Rothman, Clarice Smith, Boo and Morris Stroud, Winsor & Newton, and other donors.
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 Galleries


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

Press Preview: March 9, 2017

Phulkari are colorful embroidered textiles traditionally made in Punjab – a region that comprises north central India and eastern Pakistan. Ornate and labor-intensive, phulkari served as a significant symbol of a Punjabi woman’s material wealth and were deemed an important part of her wardrobe. This exhibition celebrates the promised gift of rare phulkari from the distinguished Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Collection, and brings them into context with other nineteenth- and twentieth-century examples from the Museum’s collection. The presentation shows how phulkari was traditionally worn and made and how it has been preserved after the disruptive Partition of 1947 which split the Punjab between India and Pakistan. The exhibition includes contemporary examples found in popular music and videos, and fashion. Phulkari-inspired couture outfits by Manish Malhotra, one of India’s leading fashion designers, are on view, as well as video footage from his fashion shows that feature phulkari on the international stage.

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 E. 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


Wear Words: Text in Fashion
April 1, 2017 through Winter 2017 

Text on clothing can communicate many things. It may be evocative, summoning the memory of a person, place, or time. It can also be a form of personal expression, proclaiming the beliefs or affiliations of the wearer. While some messages are fun or whimsical, others are intended to challenge in ways that range from witty to ironic to provocative.

This installation, featuring objects from the 1700s to the present day from the Museum’s collection, explores some intersections of text and fashion, from intimate to in-your-face. Garments 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.” The display encompasses garments by Yohji Yamamoto, Tina Leser, James Galanos, Zandra Rhodes, Stephen Sprouse, Emilio Pucci, and Fendi, as well as works by artists Ann Hamilton and Barbara Kruger. Also on view are monogrammed lingerie and handkerchiefs along with a wide range of 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.”

H. Kristina Haugland, The Le Vine Associate Curator of Costume and Textiles and Supervising Curator for the Study Gallery
Costume 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 explores 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
John Vick, Collections Project Manager
Anne d’Harnoncourt Gallery 182


Another Way of Telling: Women Photographers from the Collection 
April 8 – July 16, 2017 

This exhibition brings together exceptional photographs by women from the Museum’s collection. On display is a wide-ranging selection of black-and-white pictures by nineteenth and twentieth-century photographers such as Berenice Abbott, Diane Arbus, Anne Brigman, Julia Margaret Cameron, and Imogen Cunningham, as well as contemporary color work by Kelli Connell, Ann Parker, and Elaine Stocki. Photographs are grouped loosely around themes of performance, the studio, domesticity, portraiture, and street photography.

Of special interest are the great number of photographs on view that have not been exhibited at the Museum before, including a rare vintage portrait by Arbus; an early color photograph of Jean Cocteau by Gisèle Freund; studio work by the pioneering Austrian-born photographer Trude Fleischmann; and fine modernist views of Alfred Stieglitz’s gallery, An American Place, by Dorothy Norman. New acquisitions in this area include work by Sarah Charlesworth, Barbara Crane, Maya Deren, and Zanele Muholi.

Amanda Bock, The Lynne and Harold Honickman Assistant Curator of Photographs
Julien Levy Gallery, Perelman Building


Witness: Reality and Imagination in the Prints of Francisco Goya
April 22 – September 6, 2017

As court painter to four successive rulers of Spain, Francisco José de Goya de Lucientes bore witness to decades of political turmoil and social change. The exhibition spotlights choice selections from four of his major print series made between 1797 and 1824: Los Caprichos (The Caprices)Los Desastres de la Guerra (The Disasters of War)La Tauromaquia (Bullfighting), and Los Disparates (The Follies), all drawn from the Museum’s complete sets. The individual works on display reveal Goya’s ability to move between documentary realism and expressive invention, and engage a broad variety of themes from the spectacle of bullfighting to the chaos of life during the Napoleonic occupation of Spain. His celebrated etching The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters, often interpreted as a self-portrait, conveys the period’s ever-present struggle between reason and imagination. This important work will be on view along with other exquisite prints that show the inventive imagery and techniques that make Goya one of the greatest graphic artists of all time.

Danielle Canter, The Margaret R. Mainwaring Curatorial Fellow
Shelley Langdale, Associate Curator of Prints and Drawings
Korman Galleries 120–123


Channeling Nature by Design
April 22 – July 16, 2017

This exhibition explores the important place of nature in design, examining the many ways in which designers have expressed their visions of the natural world since around 1850. From the handmade to the machine age, to contemporary issues of sustainability and digital design, Channeling Nature by Design provides a nuanced look at the history of one of the design profession’s most prominent sources of inspiration. It features examples from the Arts and Crafts Movement in Europe and the United States, the international phenomenon of Art Nouveau, organic mid-century design, and the vogue for biomorphic forms in recent decades. Works on view range from furniture, ceramics, glass, and metalwork to textiles and posters, drawn from the Museum’s collection.

Colin Fanning, Curatorial Fellow, European Decorative Arts and Design
Collab Gallery, Perelman Building


Philadelphia Assembled
April – July 2017: Various sites across Philadelphia
September–December 2017: Perelman Building

The first exhibition of its kind at the Museum, Philadelphia Assembled joins art and civic engagement. Realized in collaboration with a network of creators and activists from across Philadelphia, the project explores the city’s changing landscape and tells a story of active resistance and radical community building. This network includes artists, storytellers, gardeners, healers, and other community members, working together to explore social issues that resonate in “The City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection.” Challenging, inspiring, and as expansive as the city, Philadelphia Assembledasks: how can we collectively imagine our futures?.

Philadelphia Assembled is made possible by the William Penn Foundation, The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, Nancy M. Berman and Alan Bloch, Lynne and Harold Honickman, Constance and Sankey Williams, and The Netherland-America Foundation.
This project is initiated by artist Jeanne van Heeswijk, together with hundreds of collaborators from across the city.


Wild: Michael Nichols 
June 27 – September 17, 2017

Press Preview: June 22, 2017 

This summer, the Museum will present the first major art museum exhibition of the one of the world’s leading nature photographers. Wild: Michael Nichols will survey his achievement over the course of several decades. From the Serengeti and the Congo Basin in Africa, to the giant sequoias and redwoods of the American west, Nichols focuses on the beauty and wonder of nature with a keen interest in the preservation of natural spaces. His photographs will be presented with paintings, sculpture, and works in other media from the Museum’s collection to show the wild’s crucial importance as a subject for artists across time, offering a unique context for Nichols’ work.

The exhibition coincides with a major new biography about the artist, A Wild Life: A Visual Biography of Photographer Michael Nichols, published by Aperture. Related programming includes a public lecture by Michael Nichols, as well as Art Splash, the Museum’s popular family program that will run for ten weeks from June 27 to September 4. Art Splash will offer kids and their grown-ups dynamic hands-on workshops themed to nature.

Support for this exhibition is provided by The Pew Charitable Trusts with additional support from Lynne and Harold Honickman, Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey Anderson, Constance and Sankey Williams, and The Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Exhibition Fund.
Art Splash is presented by PNC Arts Alive.
Peter Barberie, The Brodsky Curator of Photographs, Alfred Stieglitz Center; and guest curator Melissa Harris
Dorrance Galleries, the Great Stair Hall, permanent collection galleries


On Going Exhibitions

Jitish Kallat: Covering Letter 
Through March 5, 2017

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.

The exhibition celebrates the recent gift to the Museum of Covering Letter, from 2012, by acclaimed Mumbai-based artist Jitish Kallat. 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


Design Currents: Oki Sato, Faye Toogood, Zanini de Zanine 
Through March 12, 2017

This exhibition presents the work of three young contemporary designers—Oki Sato (Japan), Faye Toogood (England), and Zanini de Zanine (Brazil)—who are charting new territories in design. With a focus on craft techniques, innovative use of materials, and sustainability practices, Design Currents looks at the links between context and creativity in design and manufacturing. It includes archival or process materials alongside finished objects, exploring the design methods 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, presented 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.

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


Bruce Nauman: Contrapposto Studies, I through VII
Through April 16, 2017

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. 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. In each of the new projections, Nauman is seen from two viewpoints walking in contrapposto, his image rendered both in positive and negative, and at times fragmented and stacked.

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


Cy Twombly: New Acquisitions and Related Works
Through mid-April 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 through spring 2017. 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, which is currently on loan to the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. The 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.

Carlos Basualdo, The Keith L. and Katherine Sachs Senior Curator of Contemporary Art


Lino Tagliapietra: Painting in Glass
Through July 16, 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.

Support for this exhibition is provided by The Leonard and Norma Klorfine Foundation Endowed Fund for Modern and Contemporary Craft, the Center for American Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and other generous donors. Assistance with fine art transportation is provided by the Lino Tagliapietra Murano Studio and Jim Schantz of Schantz Galleries, Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

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


Rodin Museum
Reopened February 2017

The Rodin Museum has reopened 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, is 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, are presented. The 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


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 a vast area including India, Iran, Tibet, and parts of Southeast Asia is presented anew. 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 newly installed galleries also feature significant physical improvements, such as state-of-the-art lighting, flooring, and casework that enhance the presentation of storied objects.

New 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, gifted by H. Peter Stern on the occasion of his marriage to Helen Williams Drutt English in 2007, and in memory of Stella Kramrisch, 2015.

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 can experience the sculpted figures and architecture unique to the temples of India. Dr. Stella Kramrisch (1896–1993), one of the 20th 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., 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.
Darielle Mason, The Stella Kramrisch Curator of Indian and Himalayan Art


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