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August 28th, 2001
Fall Season of Wednesday Nights Features Music from Around the World

Adding a stimulating performance dimension to the experience offered by 200 galleries filled with artistic treasures, Wednesday Nights at the Philadelphia Museum of Art this fall presents a lively mix of entertainment--including music, dance, film, and gallery talks--from October 3 through December 26, 2001.

Among the season's highlights is a special concert by French-Algerian guitarist Pierre Bensusan, winner of the Grand Prix du Disque at the Montreaux Jazz Festival, whose melodic style incorporates folk, Celtic, jazz, Brazilian, medieval, Latin and North African rhythms, and wordless vocals with soulful French ballads (October 3). The performance is held in Van Pelt Auditorium, 7:00 p.m., and tickets (free with Museum admission) are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Music representing the cultures of various countries resounds in the Great Stair Hall. Lila Downs of Oaxaca, Mexico, captivates audiences with sultry, exotic vocals in Mixtec and Spanish (October 31). Bassist Gerald Veasley and his all-stars present a Harlem Renaissance revue (November 7). Barachois, an Acadian quartet from Prince Edward Island, combines bass, fiddle, cardboard drums, saw, jaw harp, knives and forks, steamer trunk, harmonica, and sousaphone with antics and choreography (November 14). The Voices of Africa Choral Ensemble promises to uplift and enlighten listeners through a blend of a cappella harmonies and rhythms on traditional West African percussion instruments (December 26).

For film buffs, the awarding-winning Pollock stars Ed Harris in a portrayal of painter Jackson Pollock's explosive life and career (October 17) while Paul Leduc's Frida, naturaleza viva chronicles the life of the Mexican painter Frida Kahlo (October 31). In Francis Ford Coppola's The Cotton Club, "crime lords rub elbows with the rich and famous" (November 7).

Wednesday night gallery talks held in conjunction with special exhibitions and the Museum's collection offer visitors an opportunity to engage in lively discussions with art scholars. On October 10, Audrey Lewis, Research Assistant for the Thomas Eakins Exhibition Project, discusses Bodies at Rest and in Motion: The Realism of Thomas Eakins, sharing insights related to the Philadelphia artist's major retrospective; Michael Taylor, Assistant Curator for Modern and Contemporary Art, reviews paintings in the galleries by Wassily Kandinsky in Spontaneous Compositions: Kandinsky and Music (October 17); and John Ittmann, Curator of Prints, talks about the art and life of an important printmaker in Highlights from Dox Thrash: An African American Master Printmaker Rediscovered.

Chef specials complement each evening's theme. The season's menu includes curried mussels and shrimp stew with saffron rice (November 14), Spanish tapas (November 28), and roast chicken with tarragon wine sauce and potato latkes (December 12). Visitors may savor a Manhattan (November 7) or enjoy a tasting of wines from Washington and California (October 17).

To receive more information about Wednesday Nights at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, call (215) 684-7860; to receive a free brochure, call (215) 684-7506. Performances are held in the Great Stair Hall; Gallery Talks are given at 6:00 and 7:00 p.m.; and films are at 7:10 p.m. in the Van Pelt Auditorium, unless otherwise noted. All activities are free after Museum admission. Please note that programs are subject to change.

Wednesday Nights at the Philadelphia Museum of Art are made possible in part through support and contributions of many sponsors and vendors. The Museum thanks Fresh Fields Whole Foods Market, Callowhill; Spirits of Valley Forge; Southern Wine & Spirits of Pa.; The University of the Arts; Mexican Cultural Center and the Latin American Studies Program at St. Joseph's University. The Philadelphia Museum of Art thanks Philadelphia Weekly for its advertising support.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is among the largest museums in the United States, with a collection of more than 227,000 works of art and more than 200 galleries presenting painting, sculpture, works on paper, photography, decorative arts, textiles, and architectural settings from Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the United States. Its facilities include its landmark Main Building on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the Perelman Building, located nearby on Pennsylvania Avenue, the Rodin Museum on the 2200 block of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, and two 18th-century houses in Fairmount Park, Mount Pleasant and Cedar Grove. The Museum offers a wide variety of activities for public audiences, including special exhibitions, programs for children and families, lectures, concerts and films.

For additional information, contact the Communications Department of the Philadelphia Museum of Art phone at 215-684-7860, by fax at 215-235-0050, or by e-mail at pressroom@philamuseum.org. The Philadelphia Museum of Art is located on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway at 26th Street. For general information, call (215) 763-8100.

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