Philadelphia, PA, December 3, 2002 -- The Philadelphia Museum of Art announced today that it has been awarded a $1 million leadership grant from The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation to endow a fellowship for training future curators of photography and to support a sequence of exhibitions and publications of photographs from the Julien Levy Collection.
The Horace W. Goldsmith Fellowship in Photography will provide for research into the recently acquired Levy Collection of more than 2,500 photographs, enabling young art historians to build upon their scholarship and prepare for curatorial positions under the guidance of Katherine Ware, Curator of Photographs at the Museum’s Alfred Stieglitz Center.
"We are delighted by the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation’s support at this wonderful moment in the Museum’s Department of Prints, Drawings and Photographs," said Anne d’Harnoncourt, Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Museum. "The Goldsmith Foundation has an admirable record of extraordinary support of photography and the visual arts. The grant will help us to study the Levy Collection in great detail and to explore its many possibilities for future exhibitions and publications."
"The exciting challenges that lie ahead afford an unparalleled opportunity to learn first hand about professional curatorial practices by working closely with one of the nation’s leading collections of photographs," said Ms. Ware.
Since 1979 the Museum’s Department of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs has offered grant-funded curatorial fellowships for future curators of the graphic arts. Graduates of this program are now on the staff of nearly every major museum print room in the country. The Goldsmith Fellowship is the second curatorial fellowship to be endowed in the last couple of years. The Margaret R. Mainwaring Endowment for Curatorial Fellowships in Prints, Drawings, and Photographs was established in March 2001.
The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation is an independent foundation incorporated in 1955 in New York. Its purpose is to support cultural programs including the performing arts and museums, Jewish philanthropies, hospitals and education, especially higher education.
"The study of photography has emerged as one of the most fascinating and deeply rewarding areas of curatorial research, so full of discovery and opportunity," said William A. Slaughter, Trustee of the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation. "The Goldsmith Foundation is delighted to support the future of this field at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which had the foresight as early as 1949 to begin developing its now wide ranging photography collection."
Housing some 140,000 works of art, the Department of Prints, Drawings and Photographs at the Philadelphia Museum of Art is widely recognized for the breadth and depth of its collections as well as the scholarship of its exhibitions. The Department presents rotating installations of its vast holdings in the Berman and Stieglitz Galleries on the Museum’s ground floor and the Eglin Gallery on the first floor. Individual works are also on view in the Museum’s permanent collection galleries. The Museum’s collection of photographs, which began with the 1949 acquisition of 69 Alfred Stieglitz photographs, has grown to include more than 17,000 works.
In 2001, the Museum acquired the Levy Collection in part as a gift from Levy’s widow, Jean Farley Levy, and with a major contribution from longtime Philadelphia residents and philanthropists Lynne and Harold Honickman. The significant and virtually unknown cache of 2,500 photographs was amassed by Julien Levy (1901-1981), one of the most influential and colorful promoters of modern art and photography in the United States during the 1930s and 1940s. More than 130 artists are represented in the collection, including major works by Eugène Atget, Max Ernst and Paul Strand, and many practitioners who were not previously represented in the collection.