15:28 PM

Upcoming Schedule of Exhibitions through Spring 2022

Circus: Bouroullec Designs
November 20, 2021
May 30, 2022
Gallery 219

This exhibition features the work of the celebrated designers and brothers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, who will be recipients of the 2021 Collab Design Excellence Award. The exhibit offers a parade of their designs from roughly the past decade, presented within a gallery environment designed and meticulously planned by the brothers and their studio. Juxtaposing significant examples of their designs for furniture, lighting, textiles, glass, ceramics, architecture and unique room divider systems, the exhibition will be a celebration of the Boruoullec’s refined visual language, their creativity and exploration of materials, and the possibilities of modern manufacturing alongside traditional craft practices.

Additionally, a significant aspect of the Bouroullec studio’s practice explores interconnections between design, architecture, and environment. The completion of the balletic set of fountains at the Rond-Point des Champs-Elysées in Paris, which consist of six 13-meter high bronze and crystal lighted structures that slowly revolve as their vertical members shed a playful cascade of water into the basins below, the dramatic interventions around the exterior and interior spaces of the new Bourse de Commerce home of the Pinault Collection, Paris, and ‘Le Belvédère’ placed in the River Vilaine in the heart of Rennes are a recent pinnacle of these explorations. Original models connected to these projects will be presented in the show.

Born in Quimper, Brittany, the brothers completed their studies at the École supérieure des Arts décoratifs in Paris and École nationale supérieure des Arts in Cergy and started their joint practice in the late 1990s. Based in Paris, their practice encompasses furniture, lighting, textiles, jewelry, ceramics and glass, drawings and photography, spatial arrangement systems and architecture. Their works have been widely disseminated in production with manufacturers including Alessi, Artek, Cassina, Established & Sons, FLOS, Glas Italia, HAY, Iitalla, Kvadrat, Magis, Mattiazzi, Mutina, Samsung, WonderGlass and Vitra.

See full press release.

Jack Hinton, Associate Curator of European Decorative Arts and Sculpture

This exhibition is made possible by The Lisa S. Roberts and David W. Seltzer Endowment Fund in Support of the Collab Design Excellence Award Exhibition. Additional support provided by Collab. In-kind support provided by Mutina.

Credits as of September 2, 2021. 

Waiting for Tear Gas
July 2022

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. 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, The Horace W. Goldsmith Curatorial Fellow in Photography

Sean Scully: The Shape of Ideas
April 11, 2022–July 31, 2022
Dorrance Special Exhibition Galleries

This comprehensive fifty-year survey exhibition features the artist’s most significant works from the 1970s to the present. It will 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. The exhibition will center on paintings, drawings, prints, and pastels, demonstrating the integral relationships between works in various media, which are rarely exhibited together. Sean Scully: The Shape of Ideas premiered in June of 2020 at The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, after which it will travel to the Philadelphia Museum of Art where it will open in April of 2022.

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 retrospective 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,  George D. Widener Director and Chief Executive Officer
Amanda Sroka, Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art

The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas, June 20 through October 10, 2021.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art, April 11, 2022 through July 31, 2022

In Philadelphia, Sean Scully: The Shape of Ideas is made possible by Emily and Mike Cavanagh and Constance and Sankey Williams, 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, and the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Exhibition Fund.

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

Credits as of March 10, 2021.

Martine Syms: Neural Swamp / The Future Fields Commission
Spring 2022
Alter Gallery 276

The second recipient of the Future Fields Commission in Time-Based Media, this exhibition is the first in the United States to feature the artist's newly commissioned work, Neural Swamp, which was 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 will premiere at the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in Turin in September 2021 before traveling 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 multi-faceted approach towards new and increasingly experimental techniques while deepening her investigations into the representations of Blackness across generations, geographies, mediums, and traditions.

The Future Fields Commission in Time-Based Media 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.

A new publication co-published by the Philadelphia Museum of Art 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’ 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, Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art 
Irene Calderoni, Curator, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo

Closing Soon 

Emma Amos: Color Odyssey
Through January 17, 2022
Press Preview: October 7, 2021
Morgan Galleries and Jane and Leonard Korman Galleries

Color Odyssey is the first major retrospective exhibition of the work of Emma Amos (1937-2020), a pioneering artist, educator, and activist whose vivid works reflect on enduring themes in American history and visual culture. Featuring over 60 of Amos’s paintings, prints, and textile works, the exhibition presents for the first time the scope of her artistic and political activity from the late 1950s to the 2010s, bringing together works from Amos’s early years as the youngest and only female member of Spiral, the transformative Black artist collective, to her late multimedia works interrogating the visual codes of Western art history.

“Every time I think about color,” Amos once declared, “it’s a political statement.” This exhibition explores the rich implications of that claim. At once approachable and challenging, visually striking and dense with meaning, Amos’s works investigate aspects of identity and privilege while unsettling the lines between figuration and abstraction, craft and fine art, beauty and power. Long held at the margins of the world of contemporary art, Amos’s remarkable body of work reveals unfamiliar opportunities to understand and challenge enduring contradictions in our histories of art and practices of seeing and making. Color Odyssey’s presentation in Philadelphia will give audiences across the Northeast a singular opportunity to encounter and appreciate the work of this essential artist.

Emma Amos: Color Odyssey is organized by the Georgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia. This program is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts, University of Georgia. At the Georgia Museum of Art, additional support was provided by the W. Newton Morris Foundation and the Friends of the Georgia Museum of Art.

The organizing curator is Shawnya L. Harris, PhD, the Larry D. and Brenda A. Thompson Curator of African American and African Diasporic Art at the Georgia Museum of Art. 

In Philadelphia, the exhibition;’s curator is Laurel Garber, the Park Family Assistant Curator of Prints and Drawings.


In Philadelphia, Emma Amos: Color Odyssey is made possible by the Kathleen C. and John J. F. Sherrerd Fund for Exhibitions, the Lenore G. Tawney Foundation, Emily and Mike Cavanagh, and other generous donors. 

Credits as of September 2, 2021.

Richard Benson: The World Is Smarter Than You Are
Through January 23, 2022
Field Galleries and Honickman Galleries 154–157

Richard Benson (1943-2017) is celebrated as a master printer and educator who helped shape many of the greatest photography books of the past fifty years. This exhibition, the first in-depth survey of his own photography, will show that he was also an extraordinarily accomplished artist who fused his vast curiosity about the world with empathy for his subjects and an unparalleled commitment to photographic craft. Benson’s desire to understand how everything is made extended from his experiments in printmaking to his interest in pictorial subjects as varied as steam engines, antique buildings, and people he knew and loved. And his continual investigation of new modes for printing pictures constantly informed and renewed his art. He would spend years mastering a process, only to move on to another one (sometimes of his own invention) sparked by a new pictorial challenge. The exhibition will include approximately 90 pictures.

Benson, a Guggenheim and MacArthur Fellow, helped produce some of the finest photography books of his era, and he taught at the Yale University School of Art from 1979 until 2006, serving as its dean from 1996 to 2006. This project will celebrate and showcase an important recent promised gift of his work, assembled by the artist and offered to the museum by the collectors William H. and Elizabeth Ann Kahane.

The first major survey of Benson’s photography, this volume will feature works from the gift complemented by important prints from other collections and comparative illustrations from several of the photography books Benson helped produce in his career. Peter Barberie, the Brodsky Curator of Photographs, Alfred Stieglitz Center, and organizer of the exhibition, will contribute a critical and historical essay about Benson’s photography. An-My Lê, noted artist and one of Benson’s students, will reflect on the artist’s role as a mentor in her career and life. Publication date is September 2021. 160 pages. $45.00.

Peter Barberie, Brodsky Curator of Photographs, Alfred Stieglitz Center

Richard Benson: The World Is Smarter Than You Are has been made possible by the Lois G. and Julian A. Brodsky Installation and Exhibition Fund, Mr. and Mrs. S. Matthews V. Hamilton, Jr. and Mr. and Mrs. Daniel M. Benson, Robert and Julie Jensen Bryan, Lois G. and Julian A. Brodsky, Marsha W. Rothman, and other generous donors. Support for the accompanying publication was provided by Lynne and Harold Honickman, Phillip and Edith Leonian Foundation, Barbara M. Benson, Randi and Bob Fisher, Furthermore: a program of the J. M. Kaplan Fund, and William M. and Elizabeth Kahane.

Credits as of July 22, 2021.

Jasper Johns: Mind/Mirror
Through February 13, 2022
Press Preview: September 22, 2021
Dorrance Special Exhibition Galleries, and Korman Galleries 221–224

The most comprehensive retrospective to date of the work of Jasper Johns (b. 1930), organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art, will be presented simultaneously in New York and Philadelphia, it opens concurrently on September 29, 2021. A single exhibition in two venues, this unprecedented collaboration, Jasper Johns: Mind/Mirror, will be the artist’s first major museum retrospective on the East Coast in a quarter century.

Resulting from five years of scholarship and an inventive rethinking of Johns’s art, the exhibition will contain nearly 500 works altogether. It is the most comprehensive exhibition ever devoted to Johns, creating an opportunity to highlight not only his well-known masterpieces but also many works that have never been exhibited publicly. Structured around the principles of mirroring and doubling that have long been a focus of the artist’s work, the two-part exhibition, which follows a loose chronological order from the 1950s to the present, offers an innovative curatorial model for a monographic survey. It will chronicle Johns’s accomplishments across many mediums—including paintings, sculpture, drawings, prints, working proofs, and monotypes—and highlight the complex relationships among them.

See full press release.

A catalogue co-authored by Carlos Basualdo, the Keith L. and Katherine Sachs Senior Curator of Contemporary Art at and Scott Rothkopf, the Senior Deputy Director and Nancy and Steve Crown Family Chief Curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art, accompanies the collaborative exhibition uniting both halves of the exhibition. It features essays by a diverse range of contributors, including longstanding experts on Johns’s work and emerging scholars and curators as well as visual artists and literary writers. Available in the US on September 28, 2021. Hardcover. 360 pages. ISBN: 978-0-300-25425-9.

The organizing curators are Carlos Basualdo, the Keith L. and Katherine Sachs Senior Curator of Contemporary Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Scott Rothkopf, Senior Deputy Director and Nancy and Steve Crown Family Chief Curator, the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, with Sarah B. Vogelman, Exhibition Assistant, in Philadelphia and Lauren Young, Curatorial Assistant, in New York.

Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (simultaneous)

This exhibition is organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Bank of America is the National Sponsor.



Generous support is provided by Constance Hess Williams and Sankey Williams and Matthew Marks, and through the museum's endowment with the Daniel W. Dietrich II Fund for Excellence in Contemporary Art, the Annenberg Foundation Fund for Major Exhibitions, the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Fund for Exhibitions, the Robert Montgomery Scott Endowment for Exhibitions, and the Kathleen C. and John J. F. Sherrerd Fund for Exhibitions.

Major support is provided by the museum's Contemporary Art Committee, The Davenport Family Foundation, Ellsworth Kelly Foundation and Jack Shear, Agnes Gund, Leonard and Judy Lauder, Ms. Jennifer S. Rice and Mr. Michael C. Forman, The Sachs Charitable Foundation, Helen and Charles Schwab, and the Women's Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art—including special gifts from the estates of Patricia Sweet Clutz and Phyllys “Fifi” Fleming.

Significant support is provided by Constance R. Caplan, the Robert Lehman Foundation, Marsha and Jeffrey Perelman, and an anonymous donor.

Additional support is provided by Irma and Norman Braman, Clarissa Alcock Bronfman and Edgar Bronfman Jr., Isabel and Agustín Coppel, Roberta and Carl Dranoff, Jaimie and David Field, Kathy and Richard Fuld, Mrs. Ronnie F. Heyman, Linda and George Kelly, Sueyun and Gene Locks, Richard and Nancy Lubin, Susan and James Meyer, Leslie Miller and Richard Worley, Mitchell and Hilarie Morgan Family Foundation, Lyn M. Ross, Howard Sacks and Vesna Todorović Sacks, Katie and Tony Schaeffer, Karen Goodman Tarte, Robbi and Bruce Toll, and and two anonymous donors.

The Lenders Lunch is sponsored by Christie's.



The accompanying publication was made possible by the Wyeth Foundation for American Art, The Davenport Family Foundation, Barbara Bertozzi Castelli, Jean-Christophe Castelli and Lisa Silver, and Craig F. Starr.

Jasper Johns: Mind/Mirror benefited from a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.




In New York, this exhibition is sponsored by Delta.

Credits as of September 2, 2021.

*Previously scheduled to open October 28, 2020 but postponed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Fault Lines: Contemporary Abstraction by Artists from South Asia
Through April 10, 2022
Alter Gallery 276

Spanning the period from the 1960s to the present, this exhibition features six artists from South Asia whose works uniquely embrace and reconfigure the visual language of Minimalism to address questions of home, memory, and belonging. The artists are: Tanya Goel (b. 1985, active in New Delhi), Sheela Gowda (b. 1957, active in Bangalore), Priya Ravish Mehra (1961-2018, active in New Delhi), Prabhavathi Meppayil (b. 1965, active in Bangalore), Nasreen Mohamedi (1937-1990, active in Baroda), and Zarina (b. 1937-2020, born Aligarh; active in New York).

In this selection, lines vibrate in and out of focus—some thick and overdrawn, some faint and tenuous, and others punctuated by the scribbles of the artist’s notations. Across the mediums of painting, sculpture, textiles, and works on paper, the line becomes a map and a metaphor for moving through physical, temporal, and psychological landscapes. This exhibition interweaves disparate geographies and shared formal vocabularies to offer new definitions of abstraction while investigating fundamental concerns about our human condition and the fractured worlds we inhabit. This presentation has been organized collaboratively between the museum’s Contemporary and South Asian Art Departments.

See full press release.

Amanda Sroka, Assistant 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 7, 2020.

Marisa Merz
Through June 20, 2022
Gallery 271

This installation celebrates the life and legacy of pioneering Italian artist Marisa Merz (1926–2019). Occupying a unique and pivotal position in postwar European art, Merz’s work combines a keen attention to materials with a deeply personal symbolism.

Coming of age in Italy in the turbulence of the 1960s, she is the sole female artist affiliated with Arte Povera—a term coined in 1967 to describe a group of artists whose work emphasized process and the use of unconventional materials in an attempt to connect art and life.

Imbuing the ordinary with redemptive and revelatory qualities, Merz’s sculptures, paintings, and drawings employ malleable materials like copper wire, wax, and unfired clay. As these elements are knotted, woven, and recombined—techniques often linked to craft and female labor—she insistently subverts antiquated stereotypes of the feminine and the maternal through the incorporation of heavy metals and industrial paints.

For many years Merz refrained from both dating her artwork and presenting it in traditional exhibition settings. This selective participation in the larger art system stemmed from her conception of art as inseparable from and entwined with daily life. Equally inspired by Byzantine religious icons, Renaissance painting, and domestic interactions with her husband, Mario Merz, and daughter, Beatrice, her work reflects an ongoing exploration of the tensions between the private and the public, the spiritual and the profane.

This gallery features a number of the artist’s recurring visual motifs, such as the female head, the flowing fountain, and musical instruments whose sounds are heard only in the viewer’s mind. With their delicate and textured surfaces, Merz’s works beckon us into a cosmos all her own.

Carlos Basualdo, Keith L. and Katherine Sachs Senior Curator of Contemporary Art; and Amanda Sroka, Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art

Marisa Merz was organized in collaboration with the Fondazione Merz, Turin. It has been made possible with support from the museum’s endowment, through the Daniel W. Dietrich II Fundfor Excellence in Contemporary Art.

Credits as of March 10, 2021.

Expanded Painting from the 1960s and 70s
Through June 2022
Gallery 274

Several new installations in the galleries highlight artworks from the permanent collection by ethnically diverse and women artists. An upcoming contemporary installation on Expanded Painting from the 1960s and 70s features work by such artists Sam Gilliam and Dorothea Rockburne, offering a fresh view of the history of abstract painting.

Amanda Sroka, Assistant 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 June 2022
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.

Erica F. Battle,  John Alchin and Hal Marryatt 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 March 10, 2021.

Authentic: Truth and Perception in Chinese Art
Through July 3, 2022
Gallery 325

Authentic: Truth and Perception in Chinese Art highlights selections from the Chinese collection to demonstrate that understandings of authenticity are not universal, and notions of copying are viewed differently within the Chinese cultural sphere. Thematic groupings explore various facets of what is considered ‘authentic’—from copies created in response to particular fashions in the west, to antiquarian-inspired pieces made in imitation of historic works, to prints about the Sino-Japanese war made by both Chinese and Japanese artists that present differing viewpoints on the same conflict. By providing the intention behind the creation of a work of art, and drawing attention to motifs and details, the installation compares our contemporary understandings of authenticity to how they have been viewed in the past.

The exhibition is part of a three-year initiative, China and the World, that will explore art-specific themes that are related to universal human qualities—Authenticity, Connectivity, and Diversity. Led by Hiromi Kinoshita, The Hannah L. and J. Welles Henderson Curator of Chinese Art, each installation will be on view for a year, during which there will be K-12 teaching and adult programming designed around every theme.

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

Authentic: Truth and Perception in Chinese Art is made possible by The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation. Credits as of June 23, 2021.

Gallery 256

Inspired by the marine paintings by Édouard Manet as well as by seascapes by Gustave Courbet and Eugène Boudin in the collection, this small installation of works on paper explores the role the sea has played for artists working in the nineteenth century and beyond. The installation includes prints that feature the sea as a powerful force of nature, a scenic location of leisure and relaxation, and a vehicle for connection in an increasingly globalized world, including the transatlantic slave trade. Among the highlights are Kara Walker’s no world from the series An Unpeopled Land in Uncharted Waters from 2010, as well as prints by Henry Ossawa Tanner, Alfred Stieglitz, Hiroshige, among others.

Theresa A. Cunningham, Margaret R. Mainwaring Curatorial Fellow Prints, Drawings, and Photographs

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, nearby Sol LeWitt’s colorful and irregular forms entitled Splotch, 2003. Visitors can encounter Barbara Chase-Riboud’s bronze, rayon, and cotton sculpture, Malcolm X #3, as they walk further into the South Vaulted Walkway. 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
Robert L. McNeil, Jr. Galleries
Galleries 100108

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 andthematically, 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 theproduction 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, 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 CivilizationProgram, University of Delaware; Dennis Carr, Virginia Steele Scott Chief Curator of AmericanArt, 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 Emeritusof History, Yale University; Leslie M. Harris, Professor of History, Northwestern University; KelliMorgan, 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 theMcNeil Center for Early American Studies, University of Pennsylvania; Gwendolyn DuBoisShaw, 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 19th-Century European Art Galleries
Galleries 250

The museum has renovated and reinstalled 14 of its galleries dedicated to European art of the 19th-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 such as 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.

A nearby 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, a portrait head by Berthe Morisot, and bronzes 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.

The scope of the recent renovations (completed last winter before the museum’s March closure), 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, porcelains, 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 12th to the 20th 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 17th century painted wood reception hall, and an 18th 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, The Hannah L. and J. Welles Henderson Associate 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, The Hannah L. and J. Welles Henderson Curator of Chinese Art

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, The 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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