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2010–2019

In January 2010, Auguste Rodin’s The Thinker was reinstalled in its traditional spot outside the entrance of the Rodin Museum, following restoration of the exterior facade of the building.

In April 2010, after nine years of leadership as Chairman of the Museum’s Board of Trustees, Gerry Lenfest announced election of Constance H. Williams as his successor.

July 2010 witnessed the opening of  An Eakins Masterpiece Restored: Seeing “The Gross Clinic” Anew, following treatment by the conservation staff of the museum in collaboration with the staff of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

The museum formally dedicated as the Anne d’Harnoncourt Sculpture Garden on September 7, 2010, d’Harnoncourt’s birthday. As a further tribute, Art Museum Drive was given the new honorary name Anne d’Harnoncourt Drive.

In November 2010, the museum acquired more than 3,000 prints and lantern slides of photographs by Paul Strand through a combination of gifts and purchases from the Paul Strand Archive at the Aperture Foundation and the artist Richard Benson. Together with other photographs by Strand already in the collection, the acquisition made the museum the world’s most important repository of Strand’s work.

Among many facilities improvements during this decade were the opening of a cutting-edge art-handling facility in the main building; the reopening of the Rodin Museum after multiyear renovation based on a design by Olin landscape architects; the reinterpretation of Mount Pleasant; and the reopening of Cedar Grove after exterior renovation.

Key audience engagement initiatives during this decade included the launch of Pay What You Wish Wednesdays; the 2013 debut of the Art Splash family program; the Inside Out program, launched in 2015, which placed high-quality replicas of works of art from our collection throughout the city; and the first-ever museum hackathon in 2016, welcoming the public to create prototypes of interactives using the museum’s collections data.

There was also a strong focus on collection research, conservation, and reinterpretation during this time. In 2014, Augustus Saint-Gaudens’s newly gilded Diana returned to the Great Stair Hall after an extensive restoration, and the museum opened reinstalled galleries of American Victorian art, including The Gross Clinic and John La Farge’s monumental stained glass Spring. On October 2, 2016, the South Asian galleries reopened after a two-year renovation, and in 2019, newly reinstalled Chinese art galleries welcomed visitors.

The 2017 exhibition Old Masters Now: Celebrating the Johnson Collection highlighted extensive conservation work, such as on Titian’s Archbishop Filippo Archinto, much of which was featured in the museum’s first online scholarly catalogue, published in 2018.

As part of the ongoing progress on the museum’s Master Plan, 2018 saw the opening of a new Café and the fine dining restaurant Stir, the only Frank Gehry–designed restaurant on the East Coast. In fall 2019, the museum celebrated the reopening of the North Entrance, along with the restored Vaulted Walkway, new retail store, and Espresso Bar.

Major Exhibitions

  • 2010: Late Renoir; Picasso and the Avant-Garde in Paris; Graphic Unconscious
  • 2011: Zaha Hadid: Form in Motion; Zoe Strauss: 10 Years
  • 2012: Full Spectrum: Prints from the Brandywine Workshop; Dancing around the Bride: Cage, Cunningham, Johns, Rauschenberg, and Duchamp; Gauguin, Cézanne, Matisse: Visions of Arcadia
  • 2013: Léger: Modern Art and the Metropolis; The Enchanted World of German Romantic Prints; Barbara Chase Riboud: The Malcom X Steles; “Great and Mighty Things”: Outsider Art from the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Collection
  • 2014: Paul Strand: Master of Photography; Treasures from Korea: Art and Culture of the Joseon Dynasty, 1392–1910; Patrick Kelly: Runway of Love
  • 2015: Represent: 200 Years of African American Art; Ink and Gold: Art of the Kano; Discovering the Impressionists: Paul Durand-Ruel and the New Painting; The Wrath of the Gods: Masterpieces by Rubens, Michelangelo, and Titian; Embracing the Contemporary: The Keith L. and Katherine Sachs Collection
  • 2016: Creative Africa; Classical Splendor: Painted Furniture for a Grand Philadelphia House; Paint the Revolution: Mexican Modernism, 1910–1950
  • 2017: Philadelphia Assembled; Old Masters Now: Celebrating the Johnson Collection; American Watercolor in the Age of Homer and Sargent; Wild: Michael Nichols
  • 2018: Jean Shin: Collections; Fabulous Fashion: From Dior’s New Look to Now; Modern Times: American Art 1910–1950; The Essential Duchamp (tour to Sydney, Seoul, and Tokyo)
  • 2019: Long Light: Photographs by David Lebe; Souls Grown Deep: Artists of the African American South; Designs for Different Futures; Off the Wall: American Art to Wear

Major Gifts and Acquisitions

  • 2010: Claes Oldenburg’s Giant Three-Way Plug (Cube Tap); the Paul Strand Collection
  • 2011: Charles Willson Peale’s Portrait of Yarrow Mamout (Muhammad Yaro); Alex Katz’s Vincent with Radio; promised gift from Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz of nearly 200 works by self-taught artists
  • 2012: King Luis I of Spain on Horseback, Peru (Cuzco?); 236 photographs by Paul Strand; “Fox and the Grapes” Dressing Table, Philadelphia; promised gift of 40 pieces of stoneware from Dr. Charles W. Nichols; Patrick Kelly promised gifts from Bill T. Jones and Bjorn Guil Amelan
  • 2013: Alexander Calder’s Waterlily I; Paul Cadmus’s The Conversation Piece; gift of an album of 462 polaroid prints by Andy Warhol from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts
  • 2014: Promised gift of 97 works of contemporary art from Keith and Katherine Sachs; A Shiva Saint, Indian, 11th to 13th century; Pickle Stand, made by the American China Manufactory
  • 2015: Eva Hesse’s Untitled; Lino Tagliapietra’s Dinosaur; Ammi Phillips’s Portraits of James Ketchum and Lois Belding Ketchum; Ai Weiwei’s Hanging Man
  • 2016: Daniel W. Dietrich II bequest of more than 50 works of 20th-century American art; Roberto Lugo’s All about the Benjamins Century Vase; Edwin Dickinson’s Interior; Norman Lewis’s Untitled
  • 2017: 24 works by African American artists from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation; Choi Seok-Wan’s Grapevine; Jean Chastellain’s The Adoration of the Magi; Bruce Nauman’s Contrapposto Studies, I through VII
  • 2018: Rachel Rose’s Will-o-Wisp
  • 2019: Paul Delaroche’s Study of the Dead Christ; Georgia O’Keeffe’s Nude Series V