Editors Please Note
• Nearly 80,000 works of Art were acquired by the Philadelphia Museum of Art during the years when the late Anne d’Harnoncourt served as Director (1982-2008) and more than 100 works entered the collection of modern and contemporary art while she was curator of those collections (1972-82). Throughout the galleries from April 25 through July 19, the Museum will highlight her vision by labeling many of these choice works as “the Legacy of Anne d’Harnoncourt” in honor of her achievement.
• The Museum has several other exhibitions this spring that celebrate French culture, including the recently opened Henri Matisse and Modern Art on the French Riviera and the soon-to-open Shopping in Paris: French Fashion 1850–1925, both on view in the Perelman Building.
• The Museum is also organizing the exhibition that will represent the United States at the 53rd Venice Biennale (June 7-November 22, 2009). Bruce Nauman: Topological Gardens will be one of the most ambitious presentations of his work to date and will explore a wide range of themes that reappear in the practice of this highly innovative artist.
• The entire Museum will be open on holiday Mondays, including Martin Luther King Jr. Day (January 19), Presidents Day (February 16), Memorial Day (May 25), Labor Day (September 7) and Columbus Day (October 12).
New and Upcoming Exhibitions
- Cézanne and Beyond
Extended through May 31, 2009
In 1907, the French painter Paul Cézanne’s posthumous retrospective astonished younger artists, accelerating the experimentation of European modernism. Cézanne (1839-1906) became for Henri Matisse “a benevolent god of painting,” and for Pablo Picasso “my one and only master.” Cézanne’s inclusion in the Armory Show in New York in 1913 also offered American artists a new direction. This exhibition will examine the seismic shift provoked by this pivotal figure, examining him as form-giver, catalyst, and touchstone for artists who followed. It will survey the development of an artistic vision that anticipated Cubism and fueled a succession of artistic movements, and will juxtapose Cézanne’s achievement with works by many who were inspired directly by him, showing a fluid interchange of form and ideas. It will also place his work in context with more recent artists like Ellsworth Kelly, Jasper Johns, and Brice Marden, who in quite different ways came to terms with the master of Aix-en-Provence. This profound impact on successive generations endures to the present day. The exhibition presents about 150 works, including a large group of paintings, watercolors and drawings by Cézanne, along with those of 18 later artists. The works will be drawn from public and private collections around the world, and will be seen only in Philadelphia. The artists included, in chronological order, are Henri Matisse, Piet Mondrian, Marsden Hartley, Fernand Léger, Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Charles Demuth, Max Beckmann, Liubov Popova, Giorgio Morandi, Alberto Giacometti, Arshile Gorky, Ellsworth Kelly, Jasper Johns, Brice Marden, and Jeff Wall, Sherrie Levine, and Francis Alÿs. Catalogue: The exhibition will be accompanied by a major scholarly publication, co-published by the Museum and Yale University Press, and generously supported by the Davenport Family Foundation and the Lenfest Foundation. It will encompass critical scholarship on Cézanne and modernism, as well as essays on individual artists’ responses to Cézanne, which will also incorporate interviews with living artists. Contributors include: Joseph Rishel (writing an introductory essay and essays on Bonnard and Hartley), Katherine Sachs (on Kelly and Marden), Michael Taylor (on Gorky), Mark Mitchell (on Demuth), Richard Shiff (with an introductory essay on Cézanne’s impact on 20th and 21st century art), Yve-Alain Bois (on Matisse), John Elderfield (on Picasso), Joop Joosten (on Mondrian), Chris Green (on Léger), John Golding (on Braque), Anabelle Kienle (on Beckmann), Albert Kostenevich (on Popova), Carolyn Lanchner (on Giacometti), Roberta Bernstein (on Johns), and Jean-François Chevrier (on Wall).
Sponsors: Cézanne and Beyond is made possible by ADVANTA.
Additional funding is provided by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, The Annenberg Foundation Fund for Exhibitions, The Florence Gould Foundation, The Pew Charitable Trusts, The Andrew W. Mellon Fund for Scholarly Publications, the National Endowment for the Arts, and an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities. Promotional support provided by NBC 10 WCAU; the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau (PCVB); The Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News, and Philly.com; the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC); and Amtrak.
Curator: Joseph J. Rishel, The Gisela and Dennis Alter Senior Curator of European Painting before 1900, and Senior Curator of the John G. Johnson Collection and the Rodin Museum at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
Location: Dorrance Special Exhibition Galleries
Press Kit | Press Images
- Richard Schultz: Five Decades of Design
April 5- May 31, 2009
This outdoor exhibition highlights works created over half a century by legendary outdoor furniture designer Richard Schultz (American, born 1926). Educated as a mechanical engineer and industrial designer at Iowa State University and the Design Institute of the Illinois Institute of Technology, Schultz joined Knoll Associates in New York in 1951, most famously creating the "petal" table (1960) and leisure collection (1966), winners of numerous awards. In 1992 Schultz launched his own company with his son Peter, reissuing his Knoll classics along with such new designs as "Topiary" (1996) and "Wing" (2008). Schultz's sculptural sensibility and love of elegant lines pervades his designs. His furniture is also highly attuned to its context — in natural surroundings, on a terrace, or by a pool, artfully engineered for the rigors of environment and climate. Lecture:Richard Schultz will inaugurate the exhibition and give Collab's 2009 Spring Lecture in the Perelman Building Media Room Sunday, April 5, 2009, at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $10, available by calling the Museum Ticket Center at 215-235-7469, and include tea after the lecture in the Perelman Cafe. Collab members and students free. Collab, a 38-year-old organization, supports the Museum's collections and programs of modern and contemporary design. Curator: Kathryn Bloom Hiesinger, Curator of European Decorative Arts after 1700
Location: Café Terrace, The Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building
- Shopping in Paris
April 11 through September 2009
The glamorous and cutting-edge fashions created in Paris have always inspired American dress. This exhibition explores the American experience abroad between 1850 and World War I. Such luxurious designs as the House of Worth and the classic elegance of Lanvin will be paired with American fashions based on these Parisian prototypes. Featuring nearly 25 garments from the Museum’s permanent collections — many of which are rarely (or have never been) displayed — these outfits will be accompanied by an exciting array of accessories. Photographs and film clips from the early 20th century will be on view, giving audiences a sense of storyline around each garment and the woman who would have worn it. As a complement to Shopping in Paris, the Perelman Building Library will present an accompanying exhibition of books on fashion and travel from 1850 – 1920. The exhibition will include fashion plates of the dresses, hats and ephemera (such as magazine articles, store souvenirs, and guide books) that women from this time period would have used during their travels to Paris. Sponsor: This exhibition is made possible by a generous gift from Joan and Bernard Spain.
Curator: Dilys Blum, The Jack M. and Annette Y. Friedland Curator of Costume and Textiles
Location: The Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building, Joan Spain Gallery Press Images
- A Director’s Vision: The Legacy of Anne d’Harnoncourt
April 25 – July 19, 2009
Anne d’Harnoncourt (1943–2008), the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s beloved Director who served the Museum and its audiences for four decades, celebrated the art of all ages and cultures. Her great personal pleasure and professional goal was to foster connections between art and people, and, through inspired installations, artistic “conversations” among works of art. To celebrate her passion for art and drive to share treasures with all, the Museum presents A Director’s Vision. Throughout the Museum, labels will be placed announcing "The Legacy of Anne d’Harnoncourt" to highlight magnificent examples of the more than 79,000 works of art acquired during d’Harnoncourt’s directorship (1982-2008), as well as more than 100 modern and contemporary paintings and sculptures acquired while she was curator of those collections (1972–1982), and selections from the outpouring of gifts presented to the Museum in d’Harnoncourt’s memory. Many of these works are on paper or textiles and, due to light sensitivity, cannot be on long-term display, but more than 300 works of art in all mediums are currently on view in the galleries and others will be seen on the Museum’s Web site, www.philamuseum.org. The “Director’s Delights” audio tour guide, available at any information desk, will lead visitors on a fascinating tour of works of art particularly dear to the late director. Organizing Curator: Alice Beamesderfer, Interim Head of Curatorial Affairs
- Wrought & Crafted: Jewelry and Metalwork 1900 – Present
May 9 through January 2010
Philadelphia is the home of many emerging and established metalsmiths who teach, create and exhibit their work here and elsewhere. This exhibition celebrates Philadelphia’s rich heritage in the field of metalwork, presenting the finest examples of 20th- and 21st-century hollowware, sculpture, and jewelry created by local, national and international artists represented in the Museum’s permanent collection. Since its settlement in 1682, Philadelphia has been an important center for metalwork in America. Over the centuries, the city has maintained its reputation in the field of metalwork. In 1909, Samuel Yellin established Samuel Yellin Metalworkers, a blacksmithing forge, reinforcing Philadelphia’s preeminence in the field of handcrafted metalwork during a time of increased mechanization in the field. The establishment of distinguished universities with focused programs in metals — Philadelphia Museum and School of Industrial Arts in 1876 (known today as The University of the Arts) and Tyler School of Art in 1935 — made Philadelphia a prominent center for learning this timeless craft. Curator: Elisabeth Agro, The Nancy M. McNeil Associate Curator of American Modern and Contemporary Crafts and Decorative Arts
Location: North Auditorium Gallery, ground floor
- Visual Delight: Ornament and Pattern in Modern and Contemporary Design
May 16 through Fall 2009
This exhibition, drawn primarily from the Museum’s modern and contemporary design collection, features some 30 objects dating from the mid-1960s to the present. From Robert Venturi’s large-scale building façade panels decorated with oversize flowers to delicate, laser-cut lighting fixtures by Tord Boontje, the works in this gallery celebrate the myriad ways in which ornament and pattern enhance our visual experience. Curators: Kathryn Bloom Hiesinger, Curator of European Decorative Arts after 1700
Location: Perelman Building, ground floor
- Skyscrapers: Prints, Drawings, and Photographs of the Early Twentieth Century
June 6 – November 1, 2009
Skyscrapers rose to towering heights in major cities across the United States during the early decades of the 20th century. These technological feats of architecture and design supported rapid urban growth while simultaneously providing new subject material for artists. Skyscrapers encouraged artists to document urban development and experiment with modernist aesthetics, and offered a subject on which to project personal or collective ideas and emotions. In this installation, more than 50 prints, drawings and photographs chosen from the Museum’s permanent collection will demonstrate the many ways artists portrayed the new architectural giants in their landscape. Created between 1905 and 1940, the works will reflect a wide range of styles and practices. Among the famous skyscrapers featured are Chicago’s gothic-ornamented Tribune Tower, New York City’s Art Deco Empire State Building, and Philadelphia’s modernist PSFS Building. The exhibition includes prints by John Marin and Charles Sheeler, photographs by Berenice Abbott and Alfred Stieglitz, and drawings by Earl Horter and Abraham Walkowitz. Curators: John Vick, the Margaret R. Mainwaring Curatorial Fellow in the Department of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs
John Ittmann, Curator of Prints
Location: The Muriel and Philip Berman Gallery, ground floor
- Bruce Nauman: Topological Gardens
June 7 – November 22, 2009
This exhibition, the official United States representation at the 53rd International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, will explore thematically the work of one of the most influential living American artists. Organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art, it will underscore recurrent themes in Nauman’s extraordinary 40-year career with works shown across three prominent locations in Venice: the U.S. Pavilion at the Giardini della Biennale; Università Iuav di Venezia at Tolentini; and the Exhibition Spaces at Università Ca’ Foscari. The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Department of State (ECA) led the selection process for the artist who will represent the U.S. at the Biennale. Following a recommendation by the Federal Advisory Committee on International Exhibitions, ECA selected Bruce Nauman: Topological Gardens. The International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, established in 1895, is one of the most prestigious international events in the field of contemporary art. The exhibition will offer a thematic view of the work that Nauman has produced over the past four decades, including video, installation, performance, sculpture, and neon. The presentation will also include seminal works by Nauman, a number of which have seldom, if ever, been seen in Europe, and will premiere a new sound installation by the artist. The exhibition is structured around the notion of topology — a field in mathematics that examines the continuity of space amid changing conditions — which is used to understand the artist’s work as well as the context in which it will be displayed. Nauman has used the concept of topology many times to describe the themes and methods of his practice. By focusing on topology as a key to consider his work and the urban structure of Venice, the exhibition will enable visitors to experience one in relation to the other while productively interrogating the idea of the “national pavilion.” Sponsors: Bruce Nauman: Topological Gardens, the official U.S. representation at the 53rd International Art Exhibition — La Biennale di Venezia, is organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art and presented in collaboration with the Università Iuav di Venezia and the Università Ca' Foscari di Venezia, with the support of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice.
Major support for the U.S. exhibition is provided by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Henry Luce Foundation, The Pew Charitable Trusts, and the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State.
Additional funding is generously provided by Agnes Gund, Maja Oeri and Hans Bodenmann, Sperone Westwater Gallery, and many other Friends of Bruce Nauman. The accompanying catalogue has been made possible by Isabel and Agustín Coppel.
Curator: Carlos Basualdo, The Keith L. and Katherine Sachs Curator of Contemporary Art
Michael Taylor, The Muriel and Phillip Berman Curator of Modern Art
Location: Venice, Italy: U. S. Pavilion at the Giardini della Biennale (closes November 22, 2009); Universita Iuav di Venezia at Tolentini (closes October 18, 2009); Exhibition Spaces at Universita Ca'Foscari (closes October 18, 2009)
Press Release | Press Images
June 20 – September 6, 2009
This exhibition presents the ways in which photographers actively document and interpret public spectacles. More than 40 images drawn from the Museum’s permanent collection, by artists such as Robert Frank, Diane Arbus, and William Klein, showcase photography’s remarkable ability to convey the excitement, tension, and immediacy experienced at events such as parades, protests, and spontaneous communal happenings. While photographers regularly turn their attention to the sites and events that attract widespread public curiosity, the spectators themselves often become the camera’s primary subject. Groups of individuals united in celebration, sorrow, or straightforward curiosity are photographed with remarkable frequency, highlighting the vital role that onlookers play in creating public spectacles. By calling attention to the act of observation, these photographs encourage viewers to consider their own role as spectators, both in the Museum as well as other public venues. Curator: Julia Dolan, Horace W. Goldsmith Curatorial Fellow in Photography
Peter Barberie, Curator of Photographs, Alfred Stieglitz Center
Location: The Alfred Stieglitz Center Gallery, ground floor Press Images
- Ragas and Rajas: Musical Imagery of Courtly India
July through December 2009
Music occupies an important place in the religious and cultural traditions of India. Hymns and chants feature prominently in the rituals of worship associated with Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism. For some worshippers, singing is not only a way to express devotion, but also a means to entertain the gods or to communicate reverence for one’s gurus (teachers). Even deities participate in these melodious activities: Shiva, the Lord of Music, plays both the drum and the vina, a stringed instrument. The blue-complexioned Krishna enchants the gopis (cowherdesses) with his flute-playing, a metaphor for the individual soul’s inescapable yearning to be united with the supreme being. This exhibition explores artists’ translations of the aural and sensual qualities of music into a visual and physical format. Among the vibrant works on view are a group of Ragamala paintings, which express musical modes, known as ragas, through colorful illustrations. Sculpted and painted scenes from the lives of Krishna and Shiva represent musical performance as a divine undertaking. In quite a different vein, elaborate royal paintings depict musicians and dancers as central components of court life. An 18th-century casket, probably used as a dowry chest, features delicately rendered depictions of female dancers, whose bodies appear to sway to an unheard tune. No matter their intended purpose, the works in this exhibition all speak to a common goal: conveying sound through a non-musical medium. Curator: Yael Rice, Assistant Curator of Indian and Himalayan Art
- Marcel Duchamp: Étant Donnés
August 15, 2009 through October 2009
This is the first exhibition to examine the genesis, construction, and reception of Étant donnés: 1° la chute d’eau, 2° le gaz d’éclairage (Given: 1° The Waterfall, 2° The Illuminating Gas), Marcel Duchamp’s enigmatic final masterwork that was secretly executed in New York during the last 20 years of his life and discovered in his studio soon after his death in October 1968. The multi-media assemblage surprised the art world and perplexed the public when, as a gift to the Museum and in accordance with the artist’s wishes, it was permanently installed in July 1969, joining the world’s largest collection of his works, including The Nude Descending the Staircase, No.2; The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (The Large Glass), to which it closely relates, and readymades such as With Hidden Noise and Why Not Sneeze Rose Sélavy? Celebrating the 40th anniversary of its public debut, Marcel Duchamp: Étant donnés will situate the extraordinary assemblage within the context of some 80 related works of art, including all the known studies, photographs, body casts, erotic objects, and other materials. Included also will be 25 photographs of the artist’s New York studio at 80 East 11th Street, taken by a friend, Denise Brown Hare, in the mid-to-late 1960s, which document the work before it was disassembled and moved to Philadelphia. The exhibition is drawn largely from the collections and archives of the Museum, and supplemented by loans from public and private collections in the United States, France, Germany, Sweden, Israel and Japan. Catalogue:A fully illustrated 200-page catalogue, written by Michael Taylor and published by the Philadelphia Museum of Art in conjunction with Yale University Press, will accompany the exhibition. This publication will present important new scholarship on Étant Donnés: 1. La chute d”eau; 2. Le gaz d’éclairage…, as well as a comprehensive bibliography and chronology of its construction. Marcel Duchamp: Étant Donnés will be available for purchase online at www.philamuseum.org or by calling 1-800-329-4856.
Curator: Michael R. Taylor, the Muriel and Phillip Berman Curator of Modern Art
Location: Galleries 181, 182, and 183 Modern and Contemporary Art, first floor
- Adventures in Modern Art: The Charles K. Williams II Collection
July 12 – September 13, 2009
This exhibition includes approximately 100 paintings, sculptures, watercolors, and drawings from the early decades of the 20th century. Williams has amassed in under two decades an important and personal collection representing most of the major American artists and movements of the modern period, as well as several European masters. The collection is marked by a passion for brilliant colors, strong compositional designs, and occasionally eccentric images, with an emphasis on several favorite artists, among them Joseph Stella, Oscar Bluemner, Charles Demuth, and Arthur Dove, each of whom is represented by several examples, drawn from the collection of Charles K. Williams II, a distinguished archeologist and Director Emeritus of the Corinth Excavations of the American School of Classical Studies in Athens. Catalogue: In conjunction with the exhibition, the Museum and Yale University Press will publish an illustrated catalogue by curator Innis Howe Shoemaker, with contributions by Kathleen Foster, the Robert L. McNeil, Jr. Curator of American Art, Michael Taylor, the Muriel and Philip Berman Curator of Modern Art, John Ittmann, the Curator of Prints, and independent scholar Jennifer T. Criss. The catalogue will be available for purchase in the Museum Store or by calling 800-329-4856 or online at: www.philamuseum.org.
Sponsors: This exhibition is generously supported by The Kathleen C. and John J. F. Sherrerd Fund for Exhibitions at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and The Pew Charitable Trusts. The catalogue is made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Fund for Scholarly Publications.
Curator: Innis Howe Shoemaker, The Audrey and William H. Helfand Senior Curator of Prints, Drawings and Photographs
Location: Dorrance Galleries, first floor Press Images
- A Purer Taste of Forms and Ornaments: Josiah Wedgwood and the Antique
July 12 – September 13, 2009
This exhibition celebrates the 250th anniversary of the founding of Josiah Wedgwood’s factory. In 1759, the young Wedgwood (1730-95) — destined to become one of England’s most famous potters — established his first factory at the Ivy House Works in Burslem, England. His enormous success in the following decades stemmed from a rare combination of business acumen and interests and talents that encompassed both the artistic and the scientific. In the late 1760s, as one of the earliest manufacturers to embrace the emerging Neo-classical style, Wedgwood was instrumental in establishing the taste for the ancient that quickly found favor with aristocratic English clientele including George III and Queen Charlotte. Perhaps the most important form of decoration Wedgwood imitated was the “encaustic” — a method of painting with molten wax that had been practiced by the Ancients. In 1769, the same year in which he opened a new and larger factory he named Etruria, Wedgwood took out a patent for his “encaustic” technique which was related only in name and classicizing intent to the ancient process. 1769 was also the year in which Wedgwood was lent early proofs of a publication entitled Collection of Etruscan, Greek and Roman Antiquities from the Cabinet of the Honble William Hamilton… The four-volume catalogue of the collection of Greek and Italian vases assembled by Sir William Hamilton, British envoy to the King of Two Sicilies (1764-1800), was to serve as a source of inspiration at the Wedgwood factory for decades. This exhibition includes an important vase in the Museum’s collection — the largest of the encaustic-painted vases made by this influential factory. Curator: Donna Corbin, Associate Curator, European Decorative Arts
Location: Gallery 295, second floor
- Arshile Gorky: A Retrospective
October 2009 – January 2010
The first comprehensive retrospective devoted to Gorky in nearly three decades, this exhibition will present some 180 paintings, drawings, sculpture and prints reflecting the full scope of the artist’s prolific career. Drawn from public and private collections throughout the United States and Europe, the exhibition will reveal the evolution of Gorky’s unique visual vocabulary and mature painting style. Organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art and accompanied by a major publication, it will travel to the Tate Modern in London and Los Angeles’ LACMA following its debut in Philadelphia. Arshile Gorky: A Retrospective will be presented in a generally chronological sequence, including several thematic groupings, to demonstrate all phases of Gorky’s short yet fascinating career, which underwent an astonishing metamorphosis as he assimilated the lessons of earlier masters and movements, and placed them into the service of his own artistic style and persona. The groupings reflect the artist’s early intense fascination with Paul Cézanne, then with Cubism, followed by his projects for the Works Progress Administration that provided steady income in the 1930s. In the 1940s, Gorky’s contact with Surrealism informed his breakthrough Virginia landscapes and the visionary works made in his spacious, light-filled studio on Union Square, which he called his “Creation Chamber.” Several galleries in the exhibition will serve as “creation chambers” in their own right, highlighting the artist’s working process by presenting Gorky’s most significant paintings alongside the painstaking studies, drawings and pastels that informed their making. Sponsors: The exhibition is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and The Pew Charitable Trusts.
Catalogue: The exhibition will be accompanied by a 350-page catalogue, Arshile Gorky: A Retrospective, published by the Philadelphia Museum of Art in association with Yale University Press. The catalogue will include essays by a group of noted art historians, curators, and artists: Harry Cooper, Jody Patterson, Robert Storr, Michael Taylor, and Kim Theriault, who will present new theoretical approaches to the artist’s work. The essays will build upon new biographical details about the artist’s Armenian background that have emerged in recent years, while also exploring Gorky’s creative thinking, his unique experimentation, and his extraordinary command of materials and imaginative exploration of various themes. The essays will be followed by a lavishly illustrated plate section, as well as sections devoted to Gorky’s exhibition history, bibliography and a chronology of his life and work.
Sponsor:Arshile Gorky: A Retrospective is organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art in association with Tate Modern, London, and The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.
The international tour is made possible by the Terra Foundation for American Art. The U.S. tour is supported by The Lincy Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.
In Philadelphia, the exhibition is funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts, and the Friends of Arshile Gorky, a group of generous individuals.
Organizer: Philadelphia Museum of Art
Curator: Michael R. Taylor, The Muriel and Philip Berman Curator of Modern Art
Location: Dorrance Galleries, first floor
Itinerary: Philadelphia Museum of Art: October 2009 – January 2010; Tate Modern, London: Spring 2010 Press Images
- Kantha: Embroidered Quilts of Bangladesh and Eastern India from the Bonovitz and Kramrisch Collections
December 2009 – March 2010
Women in the Bengal region (which now spans Bengladesch and the eastern Indian states of West Bengal and parts of Bihar), salvaged and mended long pieces of handmade fabric from worn or torn garments such as saris. Using these scraps, the women sewed together many layers of fabric, using close running stiches and colorful embroidery, making small quilts or kanthas. This practice is considered a vibrant domestic art and has been handed down from one generation to the next. The decorative concepts, motifs and sizes of each kantha were often determined by the religious affiliations of the women themselves. The Museum’s diverse fabric holdings date from 1850 – 1950, and this exhibition will boast approximately 40 kanthas of varying backgrounds, from Muslim prayer mats to a Hindi bridal trousseau (or dowry). The collection of Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz includes approximately 35 pieces of superb quality. On the occasion of this exhibition, the couple will make part of their kantha collection a promised gift to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Catalogue: The catalogue will include full-color illustrations of all pieces in both the Kramrisch and Bonovitz collections and will include essays by Darielle Mason, the Stella Kramrisch Curator of Indian and Himalayan Art and Dilys Blum, the Jack M. and Annette Y. Friedland Curator of Costumes and Textiles. It will be the first study on kanthas to be published outside of South Asia and will be published by the Philadelphia Museum of Art in association with Yale University Press.
Sponsor: The exhibition and its accompanying catalogue were made possible by Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz, with additional generous support from The Coby Foundation, Ltd.
Curator: Darielle Mason, The Stella Kramrisch Curator of Indian and Himalayan Art
Co-Curator: Dilys Blum, The Jack M. and Annette Y. Friedland Curator of Costume and Textiles
Location: The Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building, Joan Spain Gallery
- Renoir in the 20th Century
June - August 2010
Focusing on the final three decades of his career, this exhibition follows Pierre-Auguste Renoir from the Impressionist period into the early 20th century. Seeking an art that was timeless, decorative, and worthy of comparison to the Old Masters, Renoir devoted himself to joyful subjects such as bathers, domestic scenes, classical mythology, and the landscape of the Mediterranean. His fluid application of paint and masterful use of color won the admiration of members of the modernist avant-garde who considered Renoir one of the greatest living artists. This exhibition will present approximately 100 paintings, drawings, and sculpture by Renoir alongside 20 works—from Picasso’s neoclassical nudes of the 1920s to Matisse’s sensual odalisques—by artists of the modernist avant-garde in order to explore Renoir’s legacy and the ways in which younger artists engaged with him. Renoir in the 20th Century is jointly organized by the Reunion des musees nationaux, the Musée d’Orsay, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. in collaboration with the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Itinerary: The Grand Palais, Paris (Sepember 21, 2009---January 4, 2010); Los Angeles County Museum of Art (February 14 to May 9, 2010); PhiladelphMuseum of Art (June—August 2010)
Curator: Jennifer Thompson, Associate Curator, European Painting Before 1900
Location: Dorrance galleries, first floor
- Andrew Wyeth: In Memoriam
Through May 3, 2009
Celebrating the extraordinary life and work of Andrew Wyeth (1917-2009), this installation consists of two paintings and seven drawings by the local artist. Among these works are a sequence of studies leading to the creation of Wyeth’s tempera painting Groundhog Day that demonstrate the transformation and distillation of observation that characterizes his finest work. Wyeth and his wife, Betsy, donated these drawings to the Museum in July 2006 during the final weeks of the retrospective exhibition Andrew Wyeth: Memory & Magic. Born in Chadds Ford, Pa., 30 miles southwest of Philadelphia, Wyeth was educated at home and apprenticed to his celebrated father, the painter and illustrator Newell Convers (N.C.) Wyeth. He made his solo debut at the Philadelphia Art Alliance in 1936, at the age of 18, and was launched on the national scene the following year with a sold-out exhibition at the Macbeth Gallery in New York. Building on that early success, Wyeth proved to be a painter of profound imagination, skill, and staying power across seven turbulent decades. Both admired and criticized for the tenacity of his realist approach and the unabashed emotion in his paintings, he produced some of the most famous and haunting images of the 20th century. “All I want to do is paint,” said Wyeth, “and I paint the things I know best.” The everyday “things” found in and around his homes in Pennsylvania and Maine resonated with feeling for Wyeth, offering him pathways into memory and fantasy. His paintings of “things” were rarely straightforward, realistic descriptions: usually, the subjects have been simplified in the process of study, manipulated, and layered with personal associations, metaphors, and symbols that express larger themes of loss, death, and the passage of time. Curator: Michael Taylor, The Muriel and Philip Berman Curator of Modern Art
Location: Gallery 119, first floor
- Hello! Fashion: Kansai Yamamoto 1971 – 1973
Through June 2009
From the bold graphics and bright colors of a Kabuki-inspired bodysuit to the iconic ‘Ziggy Stardust’ costumes of pop star David Bowie, Kansai Yamamoto (b. 1944) has earned a reputation as one of Japan’s most dynamic and inventive fashion designers since his work first appeared in the early 1970s. In contrast to the Zen-like simplicity and deconstructed silhouettes favored by many of his contemporaries – designers like Yohji Yamamoto, Rei Kawakubo, and Issey Miyake – Kansai’s work is characterized by a spirit of audacity and exuberance. His designs embrace mass entertainment and popular culture, and his inspirations range from the colorful art of Japan’s Momoyama period (1568–1615), to the extravagant costumes and makeup of traditional Kabuki theater, to firefighter’s uniforms. A select exhibition of 15 works and two videos that have entered the Museum’s collection document the creative brilliance of this founding father of Japanese contemporary fashion. Among the highlights of the installation are a dramatic 1971 ensemble that includes a bodysuit knitted with the face of a Kabuki samurai actor, a pair of high-heeled clogs modeled after traditional Japanese okobo - black lacquered platform geta with red straps worn during the summer by apprentice geisha - and a cape with appliqués depicting popular Kabuki characters and a Japanese mask kite. A satin evening dress from the same year features a bold graphic pattern inspired by large tattoos called irezumi that were popularized in the Edo period (1615–1868), then outlawed during the Meiji Restoration in the late 19th century before becoming legalized again after World War II. A native of Yokohama, Japan, Kansai studied civil engineering and English at Nippon University before graduating from Bunka College of Fashion in 1967. The following year he opened his first boutique in Tokyo and eventually expanded worldwide. Kansai’s collections debuted in the United States in 1971 at Hess Department Store in Allentown, Pennsylvania, a department store known for its forward-thinking and sometimes controversial fashion shows of American and European styles selected for their potential to influence ready-to-wear clothing designs. Curator: Dilys Blum, the Jack M. and Annette Y. Friedland Curator of Costume and Textiles
Location: The Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building, Costume and Textile Study Gallery, Second Floor Press Images
- The Privilege of Paint: Portraits from the Courts of India
Through June 28, 2009
Selected from the Museum’s rich collection, this exhibition explores the depiction of identity, expressions of court life and royal lineage, how artists painted themselves, and Mughal portraiture. During the 16th and 17th centuries, the Mughal painting workshops introduced to the Indian subcontinent a type of portraiture based on accurate renderings of physiognomy and individualized facial features. This new, naturalistic manner was at the same time highly idealized and formulaic. Subjects were frequently portrayed in strict profile with rigid postures and unwavering stares, which lent a sense of timelessness and distance to the overall composition. Artists focused especially on details of costume as well as swords, jewels, and other objects associated with royalty in order to emphasize the subject’s wealth and prestige. Far from being candid likenesses taken from ordinary life, Indian portraits of this period were flattering depictions of members of the royal courts. Women of the court, meanwhile, were avid collectors of portraits, but were generally excluded from the privilege of direct portrayal themselves. Between the 17th and 19th centuries, portraiture was a major component of the courtly arts across India. More than representations of pretty faces, portraits were powerful tools of persuasion. Both Muslim rulers (the Mughals and the Deccani sultans of central India) and Hindu Rajput kings in the north and west relied on the portrait medium to present convincing statements about their military prowess and legitimacy. Curator: Darielle Mason, The Stella Kramrisch Curator of Indian and Himalayan Art
Location: Gallery 227, second floor Press Images
- Peaks of Faith: Buddhist Art of the Himalayas
Through July 2009
The exhibition encompasses nearly a millennium of art from across the Himalayan region (centered on Tibet and Nepal) and from neighboring areas under its cultural influence. Highlights include a sublime 9th-century bronze of Ratnasambhava Buddha from northern India and the monumental 18th-century painting Banquet for Dharmapalas from Mongolia. All were created for the form of Buddhism that developed in the area called Vajrayana “the indestructible path”. Using an array of potent images as well as words and actions, the practitioner evokes within him or herself the steps leading toward enlightenment. The works of art in this exhibition depict buddhas, deities and holy men in many materials and styles. Whether in metal, paint or wood, whether beautiful or terrifying, simple or intricate, each was created as a guide to help progress along the path. Curator: Darielle Mason, The Stella Kramrisch Curator of Indian and Himalayan Art
Location:Himalayan Art gallery 232
- Philadelphia Treasures: Thomas Eakins’s “Gross Clinic” and Augustus Saint-Gaudens’s “Angel of Purity”
Through July 19, 2009
In 2005, the Philadelphia Museum of Art acquired Augustus Saint-Gaudens’s Angel of Purity (Maria Mitchell Memorial), which had been commissioned for a church in Philadelphia where the stately marble was installed for over 100 years. A year and a half later, the Museum together with the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts acquired Thomas Eakins’s 1875 masterpiece, The Gross Clinic. In each case, a major work of art that might easily have been sold outside the city was identified as an important icon to keep for Philadelphia. In a triumph for the community, institutions and dedicated individuals successfully secured both treasures. Thomas Eakins and Augustus Saint-Gaudens were close contemporaries and friends. They trained in Paris and traveled in Europe before returning to the United States around 1870 to begin distinguished careers. Sharing a belief in the expressive power of the human body as a subject for modern painting and sculpture, they developed different styles. Eakins, committed to the depiction of contemporary life, celebrated the heroes of his own day—as in The Gross Clinic—in a grand and unsparing realism evoking the Dutch and Spanish masters of the 17th century. Saint-Gaudens, trained in the same tradition of naturalism and life study, fused the real with the ideal—as in The Angel of Purity—following the poetic spirit of neoclassicism. At the peak of their accomplishment in these two works, both masters demonstrate the power of great public art to stir profound and complex emotions grounded in themes of human life and death. Installed in public spaces in Philadelphia for more than a century, these two extraordinary works of art will continue to inspire audiences here, thanks to the support of many donors rallied by the Museum’s dedicated director, Anne d’Harnoncourt (1943-2008), who worked tirelessly to secure both treasures for the city. Curator: Kathleen Foster, The Robert L. McNeil, Jr. Curator of American Art
Location: American Art gallery 119, first floor Press Release | Press Images
- Daidō Moriyama: Tokyo Photographs
Through August 23, 2009
Daidō Moriyama (born 1938) is among the most important and exciting Japanese photographers of our time, having made prolific, often experimental pictures of modern urban life since the 1960s. This exhibition will showcase a group of approximately 45 of his photographs made in and around Tokyo in the 1980s, when he focused his mature aesthetic on the city with renewed intensity. Moriyama approaches the world with an equalizing eye, capturing disparate peripheral details that in themselves account for little but together add up to a powerful diagnosis of modern experience. In 1980s-Japan, such details encompassed the disorienting and sometimes brutal juxtaposition of traditional culture and modernization, most visible in the glut of consumer goods and images. But in Moriyama’s photographs these subjects appear alongside the banal elements of any streetscape: a derelict patch of pavement and wall, a car with an aggressive key scratch running its full length, even a single rose blossom. Moriyama’s urban imagery shares qualities with other great street photography of the 20th century, and he has cited the photographs of William Klein as a major influence. But his work involves strong responses to a wide range of modern art and literature, including photographs and graphic designs by many of his Japanese contemporaries, Andy Warhol’s silkscreens, and the novels of Jack Kerouac and James Baldwin. Moriyama’s mix of international and Japanese trends to represent modern Tokyo is one source of his photography’s power, and the exhibition will include a small number of works by other artists to demonstrate his visual sensibility, including prints and photographs by Warhol, Klein, Shomei Tomatsu, and Tadanori Yokoo. Curator: Peter Barberie, Curator of Photographs
Location: The Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building, Julien Levy Gallery Press Release | Press Images
- The Art of Japanese Craft: 1875 to the Present
Through September 2009
Japan is one of the few cultures that fully appreciated and fostered its craft art traditions in the 20th century by instituting a system of national competitive exhibitions, commissioning and purchasing crafts through the Imperial Household Agency, and supporting artists as “holders of important intangible cultural property.” The exhibition features work by six artists who have been awarded this designation, and are popularly referred to as “living national treasures.” Almost all of the works are on view for the first time outside of Japan. The exhibition is divided into themed sections such as animal, floral, and geometric motifs, and spans more than 120 years. Among the many remarkable objects on view are a superbly crafted lacquer box made around 1875, examples of Art Deco-influenced metalwork, and an abstract contemporary celadon vase. This comprehensive overview is among the first of its kind, and presents a group of 70 gifts and promised gifts to the Museum from a single donor, Mr. Frederick R. McBrien III – a collection that makes Philadelphia one of the premier sites for the study and enjoyment of the stunning craftsmanship of Japan’s modern and contemporary artists. The exhibition includes several less-explored areas such as metal crafts of the prewar period. Catalogue: A fully illustrated catalogue (60 page with nearly 150 color images, $19.95), published by the Philadelphia Museum of Art in association with Yale University Press, accompanies the exhibition. An introductory essay by Felice Fischer discusses the artists and ideas that shaped and defined the aesthetic of crafts in 20th-century Japan, and illustrated entries explore distinctive qualities of 25 objects. A comprehensive checklist includes color illustrations of objects not reproduced elsewhere in the publication. The book also will include a section on artists’ biographies and reproductions of their marks. The book is supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Fund for Scholarly Publications and a generous individual. It is available for purchase in the Museum Store, or by calling 800-329-4856 or online at www.philamuseum.org
Curator: Felice Fischer, Luther W. Brady Curator of Japanese Art and Curator of East Asian Art
Location: East Asian Art Galleries: 241, 242, 243
Press Release | Press Images
- Matisse and Modern Art on the French Riviera
Through October 25, 2009
The winding stretch of Mediterranean coastline extending from Marseilles to Menton – the so-called French Riviera – has inspired artists since becoming a tourist resort in the 1860s. Henri Matisse (1869 – 1954), one of modern art’s great colorists, moved there in 1917, attracted by the area’s scenic beauty and radiant light. Matisse stayed in Nice, the center of artistic and intellectual life in the South of France, until the end of his life, in 1954. His “Nice period” consists primarily of the works he completed in the 1920s, when he painted richly decorated hotel interiors, suffused with light, and inhabited by languorous odalisques. The sun-drenched region encouraged other artists, such as Pierre Bonnard, Raoul Dufy, and Chaim Soutine to move there in search of light and color. Including approximately 35 paintings and sculpture from the Museum’s collection and local private collections, this installation celebrates the mythic allure for modern artists. Curator: Michael Taylor, The Muriel and Phillip Berman Curator of Modern Art
Location: The Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building, Exhibitions Gallery Press Release | Press Images
- Notations: The Closing Decade
Through October 25, 2009
This exhibition includes works from around the world made by 13 artists in the last years of the 20th century. Taking the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 as a starting point and leading up to the events of September 2001, the exhibition highlights the range of artistic pursuit during this period of transformation. It includes painting, sculpture, and video from the Museum’s collection complemented by a small number of loans. The 13 works on view vary dramatically in scale, medium and mood - from the meditative to the exuberant and from the elegiac to the surreal - reflecting both the anxieties and the expectations that marked the end of a millennium through the lens of Francis Alÿs, Gabriel Orozco, Peter Doig, Sherrie Levine, Glenn Ligon, Jeff Wall and others. Curator: Adelina Vlas, Assistant Curator, Modern and Contemporary Art
Location: Modern and Contemporary Art gallery 176 Press Release | Press Images
- Stories and Images in East Asian Art
Through March 31, 2010
Most auspicious symbols originated in China and became common denominators throughout East Asia, while the individual adaptation of such elements varied in each culture. By the late Chosŏn dynasty (1392-1910) of Korea, auspicious themes, such as wishes for longevity, wealth and fecundity, gained popularity as subjects for screen paintings, whereas in China similar themes appeared most often in ceramic decorations. Drawn from the permanent collection, this two-part exhibition features Korean screen paintings with propitious Chinese narratives, such as the Banquet of General Guo Ziyi (2001-40-1) and the Hundred Children (2007-43-1). These will be juxtaposed with Chinese ceramics of the Qing dynasty (1616-1912) that are decorated with similar motifs. This cross-cultural display will provide an opportunity to trace the transmission and modification of art themes between the two neighboring cultures. As the second part of the exhibition, Chinese ceramics decorated with narrative images of popular novels and legends will be on view in an adjacent gallery. With a growing demand for representation of scenes from various stories, printed book illustrations became a new source for ceramic decoration during the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) and through the Qing dynasty (1644-1911). Such a practice shows a lively exchange between the two art mediums. Curators: Hyunsoo Woo, Associate Curator of Korean Art and Minkyung Ji, East Asian Art Volunteer, University of Pennsylvania
Location: Galleries 236 and 238 (The Baldeck Gallery), 2nd floor Press Images
- An Enduring Motif: The Pomegranate in Textiles
Through Fall 2010
Artists have been inspired by the inner and outer beauty of the pomegranate since biblical times, and this installation presents a cross-section of nine textiles from the Museum’s collection, all of which feature the richly symbolic fruit. The pomegranate tree or shrub is known for its spherical, calyx-crowned red fruit filled with hundreds of seeds. It originated in Persia (present-day Iran) several thousand years ago and is today cultivated in warm climates throughout the world, prized for its sweet-sour flavor and medicinal properties. Historically, the pomegranate tree’s bark has been a source of tannin used in curing leather and its rind and flowers used as a textile dye. In addition to its practical uses, the pomegranate has been cross-culturally revered for centuries as a symbol of health, fertility, and resurrection. Curator: Dilys Blum, The Jack M. and Annette Y. Friedland Senior Curator of Costume and Textiles
Location: Costume and Textile Gallery 271, second floor
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