Costume and Textiles
The Perelman Building inaugurates a new era for the Department of Costume and Textiles, its audiences around the world, and the students, scholars, artists, and designers who study the collection that now numbers some 30,000 works. On the first floor, the Joan Spain Gallery for Costume and Textiles presents several exhibitions a year, drawing upon the riches of the Museum's oldest curatorial department. On the second floor another gallery features installations in response to current interests of students at the many colleges and universities in and around Philadelphia. The Dorrance H. Hamilton Center for Costume and Textiles, named for noted philanthropist Dorrance Hill Hamilton, houses the department's offices, state-of-the-art work and study rooms, a dedicated conservation lab, and expanded climate-controlled storage for the fragile and light-sensitive collection.
Prints, Drawings, and Photographs
The entire Department of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs moved to the Perelman Building with its collection of over 150,000 works of art, comprehensively integrating a spacious, light-filled study room, curatorial offices and workrooms, a fully equipped paper conservation laboratory, and state-of-the-art storage facilities for prints and drawings, as well as cool and cold storage rooms for photographs. Prints by Albrecht Dürer and Rembrandt, drawings by Georgia O’Keeffe and Diego Rivera, collages by Pablo Picasso and Romare Bearden, and a wealth of other treasures are housed here.
The Julien Levy Gallery on the first floor is dedicated to photographs, a collection within a collection, currently numbering some 30,000 works. The department also has an introductory gallery, designed for the rotation of prints and drawings or the spontaneous display of new acquisitions that offers much flexibility for curators and continual surprises for the public.
The Abigail Rebecca Cohen Study Room of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs welcomes scholars, college faculty, and students and seminar groups from all over the region. Located just off the first floor lobby, it makes the department's rich collection of art on paper easily accessible by appointment.
Modern and Contemporary Design
The Collab Gallery for Modern and Contemporary Design, given by Lisa Roberts and David Seltzer, offers changing exhibitions of one of the foremost collections of design in the United States, which now includes over 1,000 objects ranging from appliances and furniture to ceramics, glass, and lighting. From an armchair by Alvar Aalto to a chandelier by Ingo Maurer, or a radiant resin chess set by Karim Rashid, there is a world of design to discover.
The capacious gallery extending along Pennsylvania Avenue is especially well-suited to sculpture because natural light is cast generously from its succession of large, arched windows facing the main building and the park. The space is dedicated to changing special exhibitions, easily accessible from the first floor lobby, convenient to the nearby Café, and can be darkened for video installations.
Another highlight of Richard Gluckman's design is the Skylit Galleria some 35 feet high, 200 feet long, and widening to 20 feet across as it meets the lobby and Café. With its terrazzo floor and tilted, corbelled wall, this new space connects the original building to the new addition along the length of the pre-existing, north-facing exterior brick facade. It provides dramatic space for a variety of works of art, with a succession of four tall alcoves presenting special opportunities for display.
The new space for the Library occupies two levels, with the second-floor reading room benefiting from a succession of south-facing windows offering generous views of Pennsylvania Avenue. Here, the public has access to one of the finest collections of art books and periodicals in the region.
Education Resource Center
The Wachovia Education Resource Center provides a wealth of art information on the Museum's collections in particular and the visual arts in general. Teachers in every field are able to use the center free of charge as they plan their curricula, drawing upon its resources for their students.
Matching the sleek, modern design of the building's new galleries, the Café in the Perelman Building provides the perfect atmosphere to relax and enjoy a light lunch. Conveniently located off the main lobby, it is sure to please both the eye and the palate with appetizing offerings and gourmet salads made to order.