NEW AND UPCOMING EXHIBITIONS
Full Spectrum: Prints from the Brandywine Workshop
September 7–November 25, 2012
In 2009, the Brandywine Workshop in Philadelphia donated 100 prints by 89 artists to the Philadelphia Museum of Art in memory of the Museum’s late director, Anne d’Harnoncourt. This year, the Workshop celebrates its 40th anniversary as a center dedicated to the creation of prints and to broadening their appreciation. Working with local artists, hosting visiting artist residencies, and offering a wide array of educational programming, the Workshop actively engages diverse artists and communities. To honor the Workshop’s generous gift, the Museum is presenting an exhibition that will include more than 50 prints, among them works by John Biggers, Edgar Heap of Birds, Mei-ling Hom, Ibrahim Miranda, and Howardena Pindell. Representing the broad range of the artists who have produced work at the Brandywine Workshop, Full Spectrum will feature prints by African and African American, Asian, Caucasian, Hispanic, Latino, Caribbean, and Native American artists. Cultural identity, political and social issues, portraiture, and landscape, as well as patterning and pure abstraction, are just some of the many concerns explored in their prints, underscoring the breadth of the Workshop’s stylistic and conceptual reach.
The exhibition is funded in part by The Pew Charitable Trusts.
The catalogue was made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Fund for Scholarly Publications at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.Curator: Curator: Shelley R. Langdale, Associate Curator of Prints and Drawings
Location: Location: Honickman and Berman Galleries Press Images
Shipwreck! Winslow Homer and The Life Line
September 22–December 16, 2012
Press Preview: September 21, 2012While living in a tiny fishing village in England in 1881-82, the American artist Winslow Homer was profoundly moved by the sight of a shipwreck that would focus his imagination on the power and peril of the sea. His art took on a new seriousness and drama, demonstrated in a major painting made soon after his return to the United States: The Life Line (1884), one of his greatest popular and critical successes. A masterpiece owned by the Philadelphia Museum of Art for almost 90 years, The Life Line is the centerpiece of an exhibition about the making and meaning of an iconic American image of rescue at sea. Celebrating modern heroism and the thrill of unexpected intimacy between strangers thrown together by disaster, Shipwreck! Winslow Homer and “The Life Line” contains 33 works by Homer complemented by a range of precedents in the shipwreck and rescue genre including paintings, watercolors, etchings, engravings, sketches and ceramics ranging in date from the mid-17th to the early 20th centuries (45 works in total). The Philadelphia Museum of Art will be the only venue for this important exhibition, which includes fragile and rarely seen watercolors, prints, and drawings.
The exhibition is made possible by The Mr. and Mrs. Raymond J. Horowitz Foundation for the Arts and Mr. and Mrs. William C. Buck. Additional support is provided by the Robert J. Kleberg, Jr. and Helen C. Kleberg Foundation and the Center for American Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Funding for the catalogue is generously provided by the Davenport Family Foundation and the Wyeth Foundation for American Art.Curator: Kathleen A. Foster, The Robert L. McNeil, Jr., Senior Curator of American Art, and Director, Center for American Art
Location: Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building, Exhibition Gallery Press Images
Learning from Frank Furness: Louis Sullivan in 1873
October 6–December 30, 2012
Press Preview: October 5, 2012Frank Furness (American, 1839–1912) was the leading architect in Philadelphia during the second half of the nineteenth century. Working in a city known as the “workshop of the world,” Furness turned away from European historical forms to design buildings out of the materials and formal vocabulary of the Industrial Revolution. An important link between Furness and modernist architecture of the twentieth century was Louis Sullivan (American, 1856–1924), who at the age of seventeen held a job in Furness’s Philadelphia office before moving to Chicago in 1873 and embarking on his own remarkable career. Sullivan later stated that his brief experience with Furness had more influence on him than his formal training at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the École des Beaux-Arts (School of Fine Arts) in Paris. This exhibition is centered on Furness’s most important piece of furniture, a massive desk he designed for his older brother in 1870–71. Its horseshoe arch, stylized patterns, and dynamic interplay of intaglio and relief carving reflect Furness’s bold combination of form and elaborate detail that he used in his buildings. A preparatory drawing for the desk will be exhibited in addition to an accompanying bookcase also designed by Furness. These objects will be juxtaposed with drawings executed by Sullivan between 1873 and 1884, showing how deeply he absorbed his former mentor’s ornamental style and evolved it into something more sinuous and organic, as seen in the 1899 stair baluster from the Schlesinger and Mayer Department Store (later Carson, Pirie, Scott & Co.) in Chicago, which will also be on display.
This exhibition is part of the Furness Festival, a citywide program of exhibitions, symposia, and other events commemorating the centenary of Frank Furness’s death in 1912.
This exhibition is supported by a grant from the William Penn Foundation.Curators: George E. Thomas, principal at Civic Visions and lecturer in urban studies, University of Pennsylvania, in collaboration with David L. Barquist, the H. Richard Dietrich, Jr., Curator of American Decorative Arts, Philadelphia Museum of Art
Location: Gallery 110
Ronaldus Shamask: Form, Fashion, Reflection
October 6, 2012–March 10, 2013Ronaldus Shamask: Form, Fashion, Reflection is the first major overview of Shamask’s multi-disciplinary approach to design, as honed over a 33-year career. With a background in stage design and interior architecture, Shamask’s seemingly simple cuts belie thoughtful and carefully engineered constructions that eliminate all but the essential elements needed to give form and proportion. The designer saw unlimited possibilities in traditional Japanese clothing construction and origami, the art of paper folding and the rigor of axiomatic geometry. Ronaldus Shamask: Form, Fashion, Reflection reimagines the artist’s creative process and the evolution of his design philosophy through his first life sized “architectural” fashion drawings, dance costume sketches, video clips and photographs of fashion shows and dance performances, including collaborations with dancers Lucinda Childs and Mikhail Baryshnikov and artists Jennifer Bartlett, Arman and Michele Oka Doner. The exhibition includes iconic garments from his women’s wear collection, as well as new works commissioned specifically for this exhibition. Curator: Dilys Blum, The Jack M. and Annette Y. Friedland Senior Curator of Costume and Textiles
Location: Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building, Spain Gallery Press Images
Dancing Around the Bride: Cage, Cunningham, Johns, Rauschenberg, and Duchamp
October 30, 2012–January 21, 2013
Press Preview: October 26, 2012Examining one of the most important chapters in the history of contemporary art, this is the first exhibition to explore Marcel Duchamp’s American legacy by tracing his interactions and exchanges with four postwar masters: composer John Cage, choreographer Merce Cunningham, and visual artists Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg. The exhibition will feature over 100 works, including more than 60 by Johns and Rauschenberg and more than 40 by Duchamp, as well as prerecorded and live music by John Cage, and live performances of choreographies by Merce Cunningham. Many of these works will be seen together for the first time and reflect the artists’ multiple levels of engagement across the disciplines of art, dance, and music. Dancing Around the Bride, organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art, will debut in Philadelphia and then travel to the Barbican Centre in London in February 2013.
Setting the direction for many subsequent developments in contemporary art, Duchamp famously questioned the very definition of art, probing the distinction between art and life, turning to chance rather than fixed ideas about taste and aesthetics, and utilizing everyday objects not only in the creation of his work, but as objects of art themselves. Encountering Duchamp and his work at various moments during the early stages of their own development, Cage, Cunningham, Johns, and Rauschenberg each embraced key aspects of Duchamp’s ideas and artistic practices and, by doing so, reinvigorated Duchamp’s own reception in the United States from the 1960s onward. The exhibition will highlight formative moments such as Rauschenberg’s and Johns’s 1958 visit to the Philadelphia Museum of Art to see Duchamp’s The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (The Large Glass) (1915–23), one of the Museum’s greatest masterpieces and the source for this exhibition’s title.The exhibition is made possible by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage through the Philadelphia Exhibitions Initiative. Additional support is generously provided by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, The Women’s Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Glenstone, The Presser Foundation, the Dedalus Foundation, Christie’s, Dr. Sankey V. Williams and Constance H. Williams, Barbara B. and Theodore R. Aronson, Mary S. and Anthony B. Creamer, Jaimie and David Field, Mari and Peter Shaw, Mr. and Mrs. Aaron Levine, and other generous individuals. The exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanitites. Support for the accompanying publication is generously provided by Larry Gagosian. Curators: Carlos Basualdo, The Keith L. and Katherine Sachs Curator of Contemporary Art, in collaboration with Erica F. Battle, Project Curatorial Assistant, Modern and Contemporary Art
Location: Dorrance Galleries Press Images
Live Cinema/Manon de Boer: Resonating Surfaces—A Trilogy
November 17, 2012–February 10, 2013Resonating Surfaces—A Trilogy is comprised of three individual cinematic portraits: Sylvia Kristel—Paris (2003, 39 minutes), Resonating Surfaces (2005, 39 minutes), and Think about Wood, Think about Metal (2011, 48 minutes). In this series, Sylvia Kristel a Dutch actress who played the lead role in the first three movies of the French cult classic series Emmanuelle; Suely Rolnik, whose experience as a political dissident in Brazil and her exile to Paris in the 1970s shaped her psychoanalytical work; and the Midwestern Robyn Schulkowsky, one of the few female percussionists active in the experimental music scene, narrate life episodes from the 1970s against the backdrop of the cities and places that shaped their experiences. In these works, de Boer invites the viewer to an intimate immersion into moments in time, recaptured in memory and framed by a feminist subjectivity. Manon de Boer: Resonating Surfaces—A Trilogy is part of the ongoing Live Cinema series, which explores video and film work in contemporary art. Curator: Adelina Vlas, Assistant Curator, Modern and Contemporary Art
Location: Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building, Levy Gallery
Double Portrait: Paula Scher and Seymour Chwast, Graphic Designers
December 2, 2012–April 14, 2013
Press Preview: November 30, 2012Illustrator Seymour Chwast is the acclaimed graphic designer Paula Scher’s greatest influence, and also happens to be her husband. With a shared sensibility and approach to design, their work has transformed the fields in which they practice. Double Portrait celebrates the achievements of this creative couple, whose illustrations and designs will be shown together for the first time. The exhibition in the Collab Gallery will include more than 300 images selected and installed by Chwast (b. 1931) and Scher (b. 1948). Both Chwast and Scher understand graphics as expression, very often comic expression, and are drawn to eclectic influences and conceptual methods. Both Chwast and Scher understand graphics as expression, very often comic expression, and are drawn to eclectic influences and conceptual methods. Double Portrait explores the artists’ commonalities and differences in works ranging from record albums, books, magazine covers, and illustrations to posters, typefaces, trademarks, identities, and environmental graphics shown in videos and in the gallery. This exhibition is made possible by Lisa S. Roberts and David W. Seltzer. Additional support is provided by Collab—a group that supports the Museum’s modern and contemporary design collection and programs. Curator: Kathryn Bloom Hiesinger, Curator of European Decorative Arts after 1700
Location: Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building, Collab Gallery Press Images
The Roberta and Richard Huber Collection
February–June, 2013Since Roberta and Richard Huber began collecting Spanish and Portuguese colonial art in 1973, their collection has led them from Lisbon to Lima and La Paz, and what began as a fascinating hobby blossomed into a deep engagement and understanding of this important and understudied field. During the 17th and 18th centuries, the development of a vast network of trade routes created the conditions for an unparalleled artistic exchange within the Spanish and Portuguese colonial empires. Emblematic of their time and place, the works created in the Spanish and Portuguese colonies of Latin American and Asia are often distinctive in style and content, yet they also reflect a shared heritage of culture, religion, and artistic practice. The 126 objects in The Roberta and Richard Huber Collection include paintings, silver, and furniture from South America as well as ivory sculptures from the Philippines, India, and Sri Lanka. Begun when the study of Latin American colonial art history was in its infancy, the Huber collection represents the passionate interests of two individuals and their successful effort to build a collection of great quality and historical significance. The combination of these complex visual traditions—European, American, and Asian—will provide viewers with a glimpse of the new visual culture forged in the making of a global empire. 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
Location: Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building, Exhibition Gallery Press Images
“Great and Mighty Things”: Outsider Art from the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Collection
March–May 2013Working in relative isolation and outside the mainstream of artistic discourse, “outsider” or “self-taught” artists, as they are often called, have produced works of rare accomplishment and compelling beauty. Using unconventional materials such as wood scraps, sheet metal, and house paint, or even stove soot or chicken bones, in unconventional ways, they have drawn upon their own experiences, their immediate surroundings, and the abundant imagery of popular culture to create highly personal and intensely compelling objects. Over the past 30 years, Philadelphia collectors Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz have assembled one of the finest private collections of outsider art in the United States. Their promise of the gift of nearly 200 works by American self-taught artists to the Philadelphia Museum of Art has significantly increased its holdings in this field, establishing the Museum as one of the primary centers for the study of outsider art in the country. This exhibition presents the Bonovtizes’ promised gift in its entirety, and includes drawings, paintings, sculptures, and assemblages that range in date from the 1930s to 2010 by 27 artists who worked well outside of the boundaries of the modern and contemporary art world.
Often produced in remote or rural places, the work of “self-taught” artists is inventive and remarkably varied in style, content, and execution. Working independently of familiar trends or movements, the artists featured in this exhibition drew upon other sources of inspiration, including the imagery found in advertisements, comics, magazine illustrations, and product packaging. In many cases, the subject of their work is inspired by memory, religious convictions, and the special character of a community or place. While many artists featured in the exhibition are not well known, some have achieved considerable reputations, such as the Reverend Howard Finster, whose inscription on one of his paintings was the source for the exhibition’s title: “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not” (Jeremiah 33:3). Well known to collectors of this material, but perhaps not to the general public, works by important figures such as William Edmondson, Martín Ramírez, and Bill Traylor can also be seen in the exhibition.Curator: Ann Percy, Curator of Drawings
Location: Dorrance Galleries Press Images
CandyCoated Wonderland (working title)
May–October 2013Philadelphia-based multimedia artist CandyCoated (formerly Candy Depew) has been invited to reinterpret children’s fancy dress costumes from the Museum’s collection, bringing her signature treatment of seamlessly blended ceramic wall gems, silk-screened fabrics, and vinyl decals to the Joan Spain Gallery. She will create a storybook narrative based on costume selections that range from Little Bo Peep and Peter Pan designs to soldier and sailor outfits to regional dress for special occasions.
Dramatic and whimsical still-life arrangements will originate from a child-size quilted playhouse made from a patchwork of silk-screened and decorative fabrics with patterns inspired by historical designs—located in the center of the gallery. Child-sized mannequins in nurse uniforms will “tend” to stuffed animals, complementing visualized fairy tales incorporating wall paintings, vinyl flourishes, patterned wallpaper, sparkling ceramic gem enhancements, and additional costumed mannequins. Childlike figures both admire loosely rendered wall paintings of historic domestic scenes and become a part of them, merging the three-dimensional and two-dimensional worlds.Curator: Dilys E. Blum, The Jack M. and Annette Y. Friedland Senior Curator of Costume and Textiles
Location: Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building, Joan Spain Gallery
Design for the Modern Child (working title)
This exhibition will feature some of the latest furniture, toys, tableware, wallpaper, and textiles designed internationally in Australia, Asia, Europe, Great Britain, and America, along with classics from the Museum’s design collection. A number of these objects will make their United States debut in the exhibition, from Marie-Louise Groot Kormelink’s Dutch row-house wardrobes and two contemporary-style dollhouses, to Josefine Bentzon and Charlotte Skak’s Kitchen Kids, a series of prototype Danish kitchen tools for children that includes vegetable peeler, grater, mixing bottle, knife and chopping board, and protective mittens. The exhibition objects will surround a unique, interactive, automated installation of LEGO bricks. Working with the LEGO Learning Institute, interdisciplinary artist-designer Orkan Telhan and his team from the University of Pennsylvania will create a closed-loop LEGO conveyor belt platform that will involve children in both play-making and design. Also making its premiere appearance in the exhibition will be a custom built sustainable Cardboard Cubby House—a towering playhouse designed by Australian architects Bennett and Trimble for the Perelman Building’s Atrium that small visitors can explore and learn to build themselves from plans provided by the architects.Curator: Kathryn Bloom Hiesinger, Curator of European Decorative Arts after 1700
Location: Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building, Collab Gallery
Family Portrait (working title)
Soon after the invention of photography in the early nineteenth century, rapid advances in the field created a booming industry for commercially manufactured photographic albums and frames. The twentieth century brought increased accessibility of portrait studios and cameras to people interested in documenting their own households, political activists who saw domestic life as a subject that would encourage social change, and art photographers interested in the challenge of how to communicate the deeply personal and often private nature of family in an expressive medium. This exhibition examines each of these aspects of family portraiture.
Photographs included in this exhibition will span the history of the medium, beginning with early daguerreotype family portraits by the Philadelphia studio of William and Frederick Langenheim through a contemporary portrait of a couple and their children by Tina Barney. Other highlights include several Pictorialist interpretations of home life (Gertrude Käsebier, Alice Austin, Frederick H. Pratt, Robert S. Redfield), documentary work that aimed to improve the lives and working conditions of families (Lewis Hine, Dorothea Lange, Arthur Rothstein), and artists whose own family members served as subjects (Harry Callahan, Sally Mann, Nicholas Nixon, Robert Frank, Emmet Gowin). Other featured selections include iconic works by Paul Strand, Eugène Atget, Henri Cartier-Bresson, William Klein, and Diane Arbus.
The centerpiece of Family Portrait is a selection of pages from the mid-1850s family album of British amateur photographer Lucy Bridgeman. A promised gift of Theodore T. Newbold and Helen Cunningham in memory of Anne d’Harnoncourt, the Bridgeman album has never before been exhibited and is a highlight of the Museum’s nineteenth-century photographic holdings.Curators: Peter Barberie, The Brodsky Curator of Photographs, Alfred Stieglitz Center; and Amanda Bock, Horace W. Goldsmith Curatorial Fellow in Photography
Location: Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building, Julian Levy Gallery
Witness: The Art of Jerry Pinkney
July–September 2013This exhibition of drawings and watercolors by Jerry Pinkney (American, born 1939) presents an overview of the artist’s long and varied career as a designer and illustrator. Touching upon personal and cultural themes such as the African American experience, the wonders of classic literature, and the wisdom of well-loved folk tales, the works in this exhibition celebrate both small yet extraordinary moments as well as significant historical events, reflecting the transformative power of visual storytelling in our lives. Pinkney’s luminous illustrations include work from such classic picture books as The Patchwork Quilt (1985); John Henry (1994); Minty, A Story of Young Harriet Tubman (1996); Black Cowboy, Wild Horses: A True Story (1998); The Old African (2005); and Sweethearts of Rhythm (2009).
Winner of the 2010 Caldecott Medal for his acclaimed children’s picture book The Lion and the Mouse (2009), Pinkney grew up in the Germantown section of Philadelphia and studied at the Philadelphia College of Art (now the University of the Arts). He has been the recipient of five Caldecott Honor Medals, five Coretta Scott King Book Awards, four Coretta Scott King Honor Awards, and a lifetime achievement award from the Society of Illustrators in New York.Curator: Innis Howe Shoemaker, The Audrey and William H. Helfand Senior Curator of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs
Location: Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building, Exhibition Gallery Organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.
Fernand Léger and the Modern City
October 2013–January 2014Returning to Paris after military service in World War I, the French painter Fernand Léger (1881–1955) encountered a changed city, infused with a new boisterous energy that would inspire him to create one of his landmark achievements, the monumental painting he would call The City (1919). The creation of this work signaled the beginning of one of the most experimental periods in Léger’s work, lasting through the mid-1920s, when the artist and his contemporaries challenged and redefined the practice of painting by bringing it into active engagement with the urban popular and commercial arts. This exhibition will examine the centrality of this masterpiece in Léger’s career and the European avant-garde in the years immediately after World War I. Comprising approximately 100 works, including loans from public and private collections in Europe and the United States, the exhibition will unite The City with other important paintings from this period by Léger with examples of film, theater design, graphic design, architecture, and decorative arts by the artist and his avant-garde colleagues, including Amédée Ozenfant, Le Corbusier, Francis Picabia, Man Ray, Gerald Murphy, and others. Curator: Anna Vallye, Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellow in Modern and Contemporary Art
Location: Dorrance Galleries Press Images
Collab: Four Decades of Giving Modern and Contemporary Design
Through October 21, 2012Showcasing over 60 works of modern and contemporary design acquired through the generosity of Collab, this exhibition features outstanding examples of 20th- and 21st- century furniture, ceramics, glass, lighting and functional objects. It commemorates the 40th anniversary of Collab, a collaboration of design professionals and enthusiasts founded in 1971 to support the development of the modern and contemporary design collection at the Museum through acquisitions, special exhibitions, and programming, and includes important works by leading designers such as Alvar Aalto, Charles and Ray Eames, Frank Gehry, Ettore Sottsass, Jr., Philippe Starck and others. This exhibition was made possible by Lisa S. Roberts and David W. Seltzer. Curator: Diane Minnite, Collections and Research Assistant, European Decorative Arts after 1700
Location: Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building, Collab Gallery Press Images
Prom: Photographs by Mary Ellen Mark
Through October 28, 2012
From Hollywood insiders to Florida retirees, much of Mary Ellen Mark’s work explores the many facets of American culture. In her latest collection of photographs, Mark captures a quintessential adolescent experience, the American prom. Depicting youth at the outset of the 21st century, Prom presents 60 black and white photographs of teens in festive dress at their most anticipated event of the year. Taken at 13 high school formals across the country between 2006 and 2009, Mark’s pictures represent not only geographic and demographic diversity, but a broad spectrum of relationships, body types, and aspirations. In this series and exhibition, Mark chronicles a vivid rite of passage that is shared by Americans with otherwise remarkably different lives.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art is the first public venue for Mark’s Prom series. The exhibition will also include a 33-minute video entitled Prom, made by Mark’s husband, filmmaker Martin Bell, which captures interviews with many of the photographed subjects, bringing their voices and thoughts into contact with their pictures. The photographs in Prom were all taken with a 20-by-24-inch Polaroid Land Camera, which makes large-format prints.
Mark (born 1940) is a native Philadelphian and a graduate of the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. One of the schools represented in this series is her alma mater, Cheltenham High School, in Wyncote, Pennsylvania.Curator: Peter Barberie, The Brodsky Curator of Photographs, Alfred Stieglitz Center Location: Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building, Levy Gallery Press Images
Notations: Sean Scully
Through February 2013
Sean Scully’s paintings speak eloquently to the history of abstraction, engaging in a conversation with the legacies of Abstract Expressionism and Minimalism while offering new models for the continuing role of nonfigurative art. Scully (American, born Ireland, 1945) employs the basic motif of colored blocks arranged horizontally and vertically, expressed on different scales, from the intimate to the monumental. Notations: Sean Scully features two major works by this acclaimed artist that were recently donated to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Chelsea Wall #1 (1999) captures the spirit of the postindustrial urban landscape around the artist’s New York studio (and was the first major picture he completed in this space). The majestic triptych Iona (2004–6) stands as a somber meditation on the small, tranquil island of the same name in Scotland’s Inner Hebrides. These works are seen with Scully’s Wall of Light Heat (2001) and 12 Small Mirrors (2010), both on loan from private collections.
Notations is an ongoing series of gallery installations named after the 1968 book by American composer, writer, and visual artist John Cage, who was widely celebrated for his experimental approach to the arts. The Notations series at the Philadelphia Museum of Art serves as a flexible tool to explore contemporary art.Location: Alter Gallery 176
Cy Twombly: Sculptures
Through March 2013
A suite of six bronze sculptures, the last planned installation by the late Cy Twombly (1928-1911), is on view in the Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Dating from 1979 to 2011, they were selected by the artist for display in the building’s Skylit Atrium in close collaboration with the Museum before Twombly’s death in July 2011. The white-washed bronze sculptures, which possess surfaces richly inflected by the casting process, range in size and imagery, each including motifs found in Fifty Days at Illiam of 1978, a group of paintings by Twombly that are considered to be one of the Museum’s masterpieces of modern and contemporary art. With the Trojan War as their subject, the paintings and the bronze sculptures allude to the circumstances of an ancient fight: to chariots, sitting still or ferociously charging; the rising sun before the conflict; and the sunset, falling equally on the victorious and the defeated.
The installation is made possible thanks to the generosity of Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz, Mickey Cartin, Isabel and Agustín Coppel, Daniel W. Dietrich II, Jaimie and David Field, Glenn and Amanda Fuhrman, Kimberley Gray, Marjorie and Jeffrey Honickman, Susan and Kenneth Kaisesrman, Jane and Leonard Korman, Mr. and Mrs. Keith L. Sachs, and Dr. Sankey V. Williams and Constance H. Williams.
Sculptures courtesy of the Cy Twombly Foundation.Curator: Carlos Basualdo, the Keith and Katherine Sachs Curator of Contemporary Art
Location: Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building, Skylit Atrium Press Images
Sol LeWitt: Lines in Four Directions in Flowers
Through Summer 2014
This garden consists of rows of flowers in four different colors planted on a long rectangular plot of land in the William M. Reilly Memorial at Fairmount Park, adjacent to the Museum’s Anne d’Harnoncourt Sculpture Garden and overlooking the Schuylkill River. A leading figure in the Conceptual Art movement, LeWitt (1928-2007) conceived the installation 30 years ago, yet it had remained unrealized until now. It is the only project of its kind within LeWitt’s acclaimed and remarkably diverse body of work.
LeWitt designed Lines in Four Directions in Flowers in 1981 when he was invited by the Fairmount Park Art Association to prepare a proposal for a public work at a site in Fairmount Park. He selected the Reilly Memorial. LeWitt suggested an installation which would consist of flower plantings of “four different colors (white, yellow, red and blue) in four equal rectangular areas, in rows of four directions (vertical, horizontal, diagonal left and right) framed by evergreen hedges of about 2 feet in height. In the winter the rows of plants would retain their linear direction, in the summer the flowers would bloom and provide color. The type of plant, height, distance apart and planting details would be under the direction of a botanist and the maintenance by a gardener.”
Developed in partnership with Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, the installation will be on view over the next two years. Landscape architecture and urban design firm OLIN, in consultation with Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, worked in partnership with the Philadelphia Museum of Art to interpret LeWitt’s drawing and written description of the design and oversee the installation of this work. With a lot size totaling 18,850 square feet (nearly one-third the size of a football field), each of the four beds within the garden is 4,320 square feet (80’ x 54’). In total, the colored quadrants contain more than 7,000 plants, each color palette containing four to five plant varieties. Groundswell Design Group, LLC, a landscape architect design and build firm located in Hopewell, NJ, planted the flowers, which were grown at The Perennial Farm in Glen Arm, MD. Groundswell will maintain the garden throughout the next two years.
Sol LeWitt’s Lines in Four Directions in Flowers is made possible by a generous grant from The Pew Charitable Trusts and executed in partnership with Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, courtesy of the Estate of Sol LeWitt. The landscape design was conceived by OLIN, based on the artist’s 1981 proposal to the Fairmont Park Art Association, and carried out by Groundswell Design Group, LLC.Press Images
The Anne d’Harnoncourt Sculpture Garden at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
The Anne d’Harnoncourt Sculpture Garden occupies a one-acre site built into the slope near the Museum’s West Entrance, flanked by Kelly Drive and the rolling waters of the Schuylkill River. Open to the public during Museum hours, the terraced Garden extends the institution’s vast galleries to the outdoors, encouraging an engaged dialogue with the city and Fairmount Park. The Garden’s outdoor gallery spaces currently feature works by Scott Burton, Gordon Gund, Sol LeWitt, Claes Oldenburg and Thomas Schütte, as well as a series of sculptures by Isamu Noguchi installed as part of the Garden’s inaugural exhibition.
Beginning in August of 2012, the Sculpture Garden will also host two seminal works by artists Ellsworth Kelly and Franz West. Originating from the image of a flattened paper cup, Ellsworth Kelly’s Curve I, from 1973, is a remarkable work made of weathering steel. Curve I is one of the first outdoor sculptures Kelly realized after moving to the New York countryside in the 1970s, marking a pivotal moment in the artist’s practice. Seeming to hover lightly above the ground, it is also one of the few sculptures Kelly created to be displayed horizontally. Lips, from 2012, conceived specifically for the site by Austrian artist Franz West, is a sculpture in three parts, towering 30 feet over the Garden landscape. Whimsical in color and abstract in shape, West’s biomorphic structures transpose a vibrant palette of green, blue and pink onto the surrounding urban skyline and further enhance the Garden setting as a space for enjoyment and contemplation.
Curators: Carlos Basualdo, The Keith L. and Katherine Sachs Curator of Contemporary Art and Amanda Sroka, Exhibition Assistant, Modern and Contemporary Art
Location: The Anne d’Harnoncourt Sculpture Garden
Newly Restored Rodin Museum
Philadelphia’s Rodin Museum has reopened to the public, newly refurbished, reinstalled with monumental sculptures, and closely restored to what the public experienced when it first opened on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway nearly 84 years ago. The 10-month renovation follows a three-year project to rejuvenate the grounds and gardens and an intensive period of painstaking research into the building’s original appearance, yielding such fine details as the first paint colors, wood stains, plaster finishes and wall fabrics. The comprehensive cleaning embraced the exterior stonework and the interior, including the building’s tall windows and high dramatic skylight that extends across the vaulted main gallery and now generously bathes the space below in far more daylight. Before closing last summer, the museum showcased its highlights, the most comprehensive collection of Rodin’s art outside Paris. Visitors will now see more sculpture displayed in the garden and upon entering the interior encounter an entirely new presentation that includes 90 works that together survey the genesis and significance of Rodin’s monumental The Gates of Hell, a seminal project inspired by Dante’s Inferno that consumed the artist for more than three decades until his death in 1917. Visitors may also enjoy the opportunity to participate in new public programs, including family activities and performances, and experience enhanced interpretive information including a Rodin Museum mobile app. In addition, the Museum now offers new public hours, Wednesday through Monday, and closed on Tuesdays.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art thanks and commends all those who made outstanding gifts in support of the restoration and renovation of the Rodin Museum, its grounds, and garden. In partnership with The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and the City of Philadelphia Department of Parks and Recreation, support was secured from the City of Philadelphia, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, The Pew Charitable Trusts, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and The William Penn Foundation. Leadership support was provided by Mrs. Samuel M. V. Hamilton, the Dorrance H. Hamilton Charitable Trust, The Hamilton Family Foundation, and the William B. Dietrich Foundation, with additional generous support from the City of Philadelphia, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Zoë and Dean Pappas, Lisa D. Kabnick and John H. McFadden, The McLean Contributionship, Barbara B. and Theodore R. Aronson, and other individuals.
Curators: Joseph 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 Jennifer Thompson, The Gloria and Jack Drosdick Associate Curator of European Painting and Sculpture before 1900 and the Rodin MuseumPress Images