Now Through January 1, 2017
Classical Splendor showcases a suite of furniture designed in 1808 by Benjamin Henry Latrobe for the house of Philadelphia merchant William Waln and his wife, Mary. Inspired by the classical art of ancient Greece and Rome, the painted and gilded furniture is one of the greatest artistic triumphs of the early national period. This exhibition presents ten pieces from the Walns’ original set—all from the Museum’s collection—in a new light after comprehensive research and conservation treatment.
Now Through January 8, 2017
From the start of the Mexican Revolution to the aftermath of World War II, artists and intellectuals in Mexico were at the center of a great debate about their country’s destiny. The exhibition tells the story of this exhilarating period through a remarkable range of images, from masterpieces by Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco, David Alfaro Siqueiros, Frida Kahlo, and Rufino Tamayo to transfixing works by their contemporaries Dr. Atl, María Izquierdo, Roberto Montenegro, Carlos Mérida, Manuel Álvarez Bravo, and many others.
Now Through December 4, 2016
This exhibition, which draws from the Penn Museum’s esteemed African collections, showcases works created in West and Central Africa from the 1500s to the early 1900s. It includes carved ivories and bronzes from the kingdom of Benin, Akan gold weights, Kongo power figures, Kuba textiles and vessels, Kota reliquary figures, and much more.
Now Through January 8, 2017
This exhibition presents a new work by Bruce Nauman, Contrapposto Studies, I through VII, which continues the artist’s exploration of video, sound, and performance. Characteristic of his work over the last five decades, Nauman transforms a simple and subtle gesture into a complex network of images and sound.
Now Through January 22, 2017
Explore how Vlisco became one of the most influential textile brands in African fashion and a design inspiration around the world. Known for its bold and colorful patterns, Vlisco creates fabrics that marry tradition with luxury. This exhibition highlights the company’s classic and new designs, follows the creation of a textile, and showcases a selection of contemporary fashions.
Now Through January 2017
Threads of Tradition focuses on the time-honored techniques used to create patterns in Central and West African textiles. Among the examples on view are complex strip-woven kente cloths made by the Asante and Ewe of Ghana, an impressive resist-dyed display textile (or ndop) from Cameroon, and raffia skirts that the Kuba of the Democratic Republic of the Congo create using piecing, appliqué, and embroidery.
Now Through March 5, 2017
Covering Letter is an immersive installation and video projection by Mumbai-based artist Jitish Kallat. Projected onto a traversable curtain of cascading fog, this work presents a historical letter by Mahatma Gandhi to Adolf Hitler, written just weeks before the start of World War II. In the spirit of his doctrine of universal friendship, Gandhi begins the letter with the greeting “Dear friend.” Mist diffuses Gandhi’s projected text, echoing the fate of his message, which went unheeded.
Now Through March 12, 2017
This exhibition presents the work of three contemporary designers—Oki Sato of Tokyo, Faye Toogood of London, and Zanini de Zanine of Rio de Janeiro—who deftly use industrial and handcrafted materials and techniques to create functional yet deeply expressive objects. It looks at the links between context and creativity by examining the distinct culture and methods of each designer’s studio. It also shares how their versatile skills, focus on collaboration, and experimentation with artisanal and industrial materials help shape our experience of the objects and their surroundings.
Now Through July 16, 2017
Best known for his glass vessels, Lino Tagliapietra has also devoted himself to realizing two-dimensional glass works that match the scale and complexity of paintings. While these large-scale abstract panels may initially be read as paintings on canvas, closer inspection reveals they have been made of kiln-fused glass that captures and transmits light. This exhibition highlights five vibrant works from his panel series, the culmination of a lifetime spent learning how the union of glass and heat unleashes a rare, transformative power.