It's good to plan ahead as there are some real blockbusters on the way.
And, by all means get out to see Van Gogh Up Close and Zoe Strauss -- two biggies that are now up and running.
Great art -- now and in the months ahead -- at the Philadelphia Museum of Art!
- Van Gogh Up Close
Through May 6, 2012An artist of exceptional intensity, not only in his use of color and exuberant application of paint but also in his personal life, van Gogh was powerfully and passionately drawn to nature. From 1886, when van Gogh left Antwerp for Paris, to 1890 when he ended his own life in Auvers, van Gogh’s feverish artistic experimentation and zeal for the natural world propelled him to radically refashion his still lifes and landscapes. With an ardent desire to engage the viewer with the strength of the emotions he experienced before nature, van Gogh radically altered and at times even abandoned traditional pictorial strategies in order to create still lifes and landscapes the likes of which had never before been seen.
Van Gogh Up Close presents a group of the artist’s most daring and innovative works that broke with the past and dramatically altered the course of modern painting. The exhibition features 46 still lifes and landscapes van Gogh made between 1886 and 1890 in Paris, Arles, Saint-Rémy, and Auvers that concentrate on an important and previously overlooked aspect of van Gogh’s work: “close-ups” that bring familiar subjects such as landscape elements, still lifes, and flowers into the extreme foreground of the composition or focus on them in ways that are entirely unexpected and without precedent. Among significant loans from major museums and private collections in Europe, North America, and Japan are a range of masterworks such as Almond Blossom, Sunflowers, Iris, Sheaves of Wheat, and Vineyard at Auvers. The exhibition also presents more than 30 comparative works including Japanese woodblock prints and European prints, drawings, and photographs by artists whose works bore intriguing correspondences with and offered inspiration for van Gogh. Van Gogh Up Close will be seen in the United States only in Philadelphia before traveling to the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa in the summer of 2012.
This exhibition is made possible by GlaxoSmithKline and Sun Life Financial. The exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities. Additional support is provided by the Robert Lehman Foundation, The Pew Charitable Trusts, The Annenberg Foundation Fund for Major Exhibitions, The Kathleen C. and John J. F. Sherrerd Fund for Exhibitions, the National Endowment for the Arts, The Women’s Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Barbara B. and Theodore R. Aronson, David and Margaret Langfitt, Mr. and Mrs. Robert E. Linck, Mr. and Mrs. John M. Thalheimer, Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Abramson, The Arcadia Foundation, Mrs. Eugene W. Jackson, and other generous individuals. Promotional support is provided by NBC 10 WCAU and Amtrak. The catalogue was funded, in part, by the Netherland-America Foundation. 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, and Jennifer Thompson, The Gloria and Jack Drosdick Associate Curator of European Painting and Sculpture before 1900 and the Rodin Museum. Developed in close association with Cornelia Homburg, Independent Scholar and Guest Curator, and Anabelle Kienle, Assistant Curator of European and American Art, at the National Gallery of Canada.
Location: Dorrance Galleries Press Images
- 35mm: Photographs from the Collection
Through May 27, 2012Through most of the twentieth century, the handheld 35mm roll-film camera—named for the size of the small film it used—was a ubiquitous and indispensible photographic tool. The camera’s compact design permitted easy concealment and nearly effortless transport, and its fast shutter speed enabled photographers to capture action as it unfolded. At the moment of roll film’s near obsolescence in the digital age, this exhibition presents a survey of 35mm photography and offers an examination of its characteristic look. On view are 66 photographs, beginning with street photographs by Andre Kertesz made in 1928 shortly after the 35mm camera became commercially available and concluding with work by contemporary artists who continue to use roll film. Highlights include work by early 35mm enthusiasts Henri Cartier-Bresson and Ilse Bing, now iconic pictures by Walker Evans and Robert Frank, the war photography of Robert Capa, 1960s street photography by Lee Friedlander and William Klein, and color work by Joel Meyerowitz and Mary Ellen Mark.
This exhibition presents a survey of 35mm photography from the Museum’s collection and offers an examination of its specific “look,” so commonplace in the 20th century but now nearly obsolete in the age of digital photography, which nonetheless evolved directly out of the aesthetic and easy portability of the roll-film camera. Included are photographs by European and American photographers working in the 1930s and 1940s, the decades in which the 35mm camera rose to prominence, as well as black-and-white and color work by more than thirty photographers from the 1950s through the present day. Highlights include early 35mm practitioners Ilse Bing, André Kertész, László Moholy-Nagy, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Walker Evans, and Lisette Model; photojournalists W. Eugene Smith, Robert Capa, and Mary Ellen Mark; street photographers Mark Cohen, Robert Frank, Lee Friedlander, Garry Winogrand, William Klein, and Joel Meyerowitz; series by Eric Avery and Edward Quinn; as well as work by Ray K. Metzker, Danny Lyon, and Lewis Baltz.
Curator: Peter Barberie, The Brodsky Curator of Photographs, Alfred Stieglitz Center
Location: Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building, Levy Gallery Press Images
- Secret Garden
Through July 2012Uniting fabric sculptures and hand-printed textiles from the Museum’s collection, Secret Garden features three American artists whose works in fiber embrace the idea of a garden as a personal metaphor. Ted Hallman’s sculpture, The Inner Tree (1977), evokes the physical and spiritual world while addressing Hallman’s longstanding interest in healing and psychotherapy. A monumental knitted work, The Inner Tree is an experiment in textile structure, with knotted acrylic yarns over steel armatures. Sheila Hicks’ Wow Bush/Turmoil in Full Bloom (1977) is an installation piece constructed from nurses’s uniforms from the Cantonal Hospital in Lausanne, Switzerland, dyed in shades of lavender, yellow, and red. These garments have been torn into strips and knotted, meshed, and sewn together into a freestanding work that takes on any configuration and adapts to any space. Originally installed in 1977 at the Biennial of Tapestry in Lausanne, Wow Bush is often considered a turning point in the evolution of the tapestry medium. In Jim Hodges’ Every Touch (1995), thousands of artificial flowers were disassembled and reassembled in collaboration with The Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia to create a dramatic lacelike curtain of cascading petals. The work’s title addresses the labor-intensive process of its shared construction and is also a meditation on the elusiveness of beauty. The three artists’ works are complemented by hand screenprints produced in the same period by textile designers Elenhank (Eleanor and Henry Kluck), June Groff, Jack Lenor Larsen, and D. D. and Leslie Tillett. The show coincides with the still lifes and landscapes in the Museum’s Van Gogh Up Close exhibition, the Philadelphia International Flower Show (March 4–11), and FiberPhiladelphia (March–April).
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
- Craft Spoken Here: Connectivity in Contemporary Art
May 5–July 2012Craft is a universal medium. With a language of materials, process, skill, and form, works of craft relate to one another, traversing borders and boundaries and transcending art historical classifications. In Craft Spoken Here, craft becomes a bridge that connects the art we have on view to the larger art world as well as to experiences of recreational crafters, who create for pure pleasure. The exhibition, which draws from the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s collection supplemented by works borrowed from artists and private collections, highlights these commonalities, placing diverse works from around the world side-by-side to show links between form, process, and aesthetic features.
The exhibition is made possible by The Leonard and Norma Klorfine Foundation Fund for Modern and Contemporary Craft. Additional support is provided by the Windgate Charitable Foundation and the Center for American Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Curator: Elizabeth Agro, The Nancy M. McNeil Associate Curator of American Modern and Contemporary Crafts and Decorative Arts
Location: Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building, Exhibition Gallery Press Images
- The Art of German Stoneware
May 5–August 5, 2012From the fourteenth through eighteenth centuries, stoneware ceramics from modern-day Germany and the Low Countries were valued and widely traded throughout northern Europe. In the 1600s—the heyday of stoneware production—they found an enthusiastic market in colonial North America. The medium’s success is due to its stone-like durability and imperviousness to liquid, making it perfect for cooking, storage, and drinking vessels. This social aspect of stoneware ceramics explains the crisp relief decoration on sixteenth- and seventeenth-century pieces, which feature moralizing images or political figures and their coats of arms; later pieces often eschew such ornament for floral or geometric patterns inspired by Far Eastern porcelains imported to Europe. This exhibition examines German stoneware from its origins to later revivals in the nineteenth-century and celebrates its long-standing relationship with the city of Philadelphia. It features selections from the Museum, seventeenth-century Dutch pictures demonstrating the high status of stoneware, and a generous promised gift of around forty pieces of German stoneware from Dr. Charles W. Nichols. Curator: Jack Hinton, Assistant Curator of European Decorative Arts and Sculpture
Location: Rubenstein Gallery 254 Press Images
- Rockwell Kent (working title)
May 19–July 29, 2012Famous in his own time as a painter, author, arctic adventurer, and political activist, American artist Rockwell Kent (1882-1971) left his most enduring legacy as a printmaker and book illustrator. At his most productive between the two World Wars, Kent employed his distinctive graphic style—defined by austere compositions modeled in dramatic plays of light and shadow—for a wide variety of projects. His striking images of mysterious, statuesque figures in communion with the natural world were bold and enigmatic, flexible enough for corporate advertising campaigns and autobiographical book projects alike. As an illustrator, his designs breathed new life into modern editions of such literary classics as Herman Melville’s Moby Dick and the early English epic poem Beowulf. This exhibition, comprising some eighty prints, drawings, and illustrated books from the Museum’s permanent collection, will follow the artist from Alaska to Newfoundland; from the pages of Vanity Fair to Captain Ahab’s ship, The Pequod. At times visionary, provocative, and humorous, Kent transported his audience to far-away lands, inviting them on a symbolic exploration of the human spirit.
Curator: Brooks Rich, Dorothy J. del Bueno Curatorial Fellow and John Ittman, The Kathy and Ted Fernberger Curator of Prints Location: Berman Gallery Press Images
- Ralph Eugene Meatyard: Dolls and Masks
May 19—August 5, 2012An optician in Lexington, Kentucky, Ralph Eugene Meatyard (American 1925–1972) sustained his life-long interest in visual perception bymaking photographs rich in literary allusion. Meatyard’s photography was deliberate, often staged, and searching, and his fictional scenarios have found echoes in the work of artists such as Emmet Gowin, Cindy Sherman, and Francesca Woodman. In his last decade, Meatyard focused on dolls and masks, often photographing his own children posed in abandoned houses and landscapes near his home. These pictures offer an uncanny spin on family photography, exploring the contrasts between childhood and mortality, intimacy and unknowability, sharing and hiding. Meatyard’s last project was The Family Album of Lucybelle Crater, a project based on the common snapshot album but featuring friends and family all wearing masks. Drawn from the photographer’s estate, this focused exhibition of almost sixty photographs—all of them made before that iconic project—opens a window on his enigmatic practice.
This exhibition is organized by the Art Institute of Chicago. Curator: Peter Barberie, The Brodsky Curator of Photographs, Alfred Stieglitz Center Location: The Honickman Gallery Press Images
- Gauguin, Cézanne, Matisse: Visions of Arcadia
June 20 to September 3, 2012Shortly after it was completed in 1898, Paul Gauguin’s mural-scale masterpiece Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston) was exhibited in Paris at the art gallery of Ambroise Vollard. At that moment, Paul Cézanne was in Paris working on a portrait of the art dealer and Henri Matisse was just then deciding to abandon his legal studies in the French capital for a career in art. To what degree Cézanne or Matisse were aware at that moment of Gauguin’s vast representation of a pastoral theme—his vision of Arcadia—is far from clear, but to examine this monumental painting work in relation to Cézanne’s largest and most ambitious work, The Large Bathers (1906, Philadelphia Museum of Art), and Matisse’s equally grand-scaled Bathers by a River (1909-1917, The Art Institute of Chicago) is to embark on a journey to the very foundations of modern art. Gauguin, Cézanne, Matisse: Visions of Arcadia will place these legendary paintings in dialogue with each other, and in doing so explore the potent theme of Arcadia—the idea of an earthly paradise—in French painting during the two decades leading up to the first World War and also the attraction it held many of the leading figures in the development of modern art. The exhibition will include significant paintings by Picasso, Matisse, and Derain as well as other leading artists of this period such as Albert Gleizes, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, and Paul Signac that can be understood as responses to the challenge of giving contemporary expression to the timeless—and deeply human—ideal of Arcadia.
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: Dorrance Galleries Press Images
- Prom: Photographs by Mary Ellen Mark
July 1—October 28, 2012Between 2006 and 2009, American photographer Mary Ellen Mark visited thirteen high school proms to create portraits of attendees with a 20-by-24-inch Polaroid Land Camera. Only five such cameras exist, and they make extraordinary and unique large-format prints. Mark used the camera previously for her 2003 project Twins, and in Prom she applies it to the quintessential American coming-of-age ritual, selecting high schools from across the country that reflect the regional and class differences among Americans. Approximately sixty of Mark’s portraits are included in the exhibition, demonstrating the egalitarian spirit of her project and the continuing democratic potential of photography.
Prom: Photographs by Mary Ellen Mark is presented in conjunction with the J. Paul Getty Museum’s publication of the book by the same name, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art is the first public venue of photographs from this series. Mark’s husband, filmmaker Martin Bell, produced a 33 minute video about the portrait subjects at the same time Mark made her photographs. Bell’s film is a touching and humorous window into the project and a superb complement to the photographs.
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
- The Rodin Museum (Re-opening)
Summer 2013From 2008 to 2011, the Rodin Museum underwent the first two phases of a three-stage rejuvenation project, with the ultimate goal of restoring the building and grounds in the spirit of their original 1929 design. During the first phase, the garden was revitalized. Drawing upon the plans and correspondence of the original architects Paul Cret and Jacques Gréber, the new design by OLIN partners enhances and amplifies their vision while placing special focus on the relationship of the Museum’s entrance to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. In the second stage of the project the Museum’s exterior was completely renewed. With the rejuvenated exterior, two freestanding, life-sized bronzes, The Age of Bronze and Eve, will be placed in the niches of the Museum facade that were originally designed for them. The Burghers of Calais now stands in the east garden, from which it was removed in 1955. The sculptures Adam and The Shade will find new homes in the garden.
Inside the Rodin Museum, the most significant goal of the work is the historically accurate renovation of the galleries and a reinstallation of the collection that will reflect the inspired intentions of Cret, who conceived the original ensemble, as well as provide the visitor with a richer experience of the thematic and stylistic range of Rodin’s art and the contributions he made to the history of sculpture. To enhance the visitor experience, the building will contain upgraded amenities and new interactive tools that will continue to make the museum an increasingly lively and engaging destination for learning and discovery. With The Thinker at the Parkway entrance and the Gates of Hell at the doorway to the museum, visitors will enjoy a greater understanding of the site as a whole and gain an appreciation for how Rodin’s sculpture functions in indoor and outdoor settings.
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.
- Sol LeWitt: Lines in Four Directions in Flowers
Summer 2012—Summer 2014A leading figure in the international conceptual art movement, stressing the importance of ideas in a work of art. Sol LeWitt (1928-2007) uses basic geometric forms—the quadrilateral, triangle, and sphere—or variations of these shapes and a limited palette of the three primary colors, red, yellow, blue, as well as black, to devise systems that are not based on theory or logic, but are randomly selected. Throughout his career, LeWitt was commissioned to produce proposals for site specific outdoors drawings, most of which remained unrealized. The proposal for “Flower Garden (Fairmount Park, Philadelphia)” was conceived in 1981 when the artist was invited to create a work for a site in Fairmount Park. He selected the Revolutionary War Heroes Park, behind the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and submitted a drawing with instructions. The project was not realized at the time.
Originally, LeWitt proposed a garden which would consist “of flowers paintings 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 inches 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.” The proposed flower garden will now be installed in mid-summer 2012 at its intended site, between the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s West Entrance and the Italian Fountain. LeWitt’s vision will be executed by Philadelphia-based architectural firm OLIN, who is also responsible for designing the Museum’s Anne d’Harnoncourt Sculpture Garden adjacent to the Sol LeWitt: Lines in Four Directions in Flowers site.
With support from the Philadelphia Historical Commission, the Fairmount Park Art Association, the City of Philadelphia Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy, and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, this project will activate the area of Fairmount Park as seen from the Museum’s Anne d’Harnoncourt Sculpture Garden and illuminate the expansive breadth of the oeuvre of an artist in the Philadelphia Museum of Art collection.
Sol LeWitt Lines in Four Directions in Flowers is made possible by a generous grant from The Pew Charitable Trusts.
- Full Spectrum: Prints from the Brandywine Workshop
September 7—November 23, 2012In 2009 the Brandywine Workshop donated one hundred prints by eighty-nine artists to the Philadelphia Museum of Art in memory of the Museum’s late director, Anne d’Harnoncourt. Full Spectrum: Prints from the Brandywine Workshop celebrates this generous gift and the fortieth anniversary of the workshop’s founding. With approximately sixty works by sixty artists on view, this exhibition reflects the broad and diverse range of the workshop’s participants as well as their creative use of both the traditional printmaking techniques and contemporary technologies offered by the workshop. Among the artists represented are John Biggers, Moe Brooker, Barbara Chase-Riboud, Joyce deGuatemala, Sam Gilliam, Mei-ling Hom, Ibrahim Miranda, Betye Saar, Vuyile Voyiya, and Kay WalkingStick. Subjects range from politics, cultural identities, and other social issues, to landscape, patterning, and pure abstraction. The donation is illustrated in its entirety in an accompanying catalogue, which includes an essay by Philadelphia native and noted contemporary print scholar Ruth Fine, Curator of Special Projects in Modern Art at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Since its founding in 1972, the Brandywine Workshop has become an international center for printmaking as well as a resource for community organization and development in Philadelphia. Through its art education programs, the workshop promotes printmaking as a fine art and enhances the role of people of diverse ethnicities and nationalities as both visual artists and audiences. 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 2012Engaging age-old themes of peril at sea and the power of nature, Winslow Homer’s masterpiece The Life Line (1884) is the center of an exhibition about the making and meaning of an iconic American image of rescue. One of the great popular and critical successes of the artist’s career, The Life Line anchors a selection of more than 50 works that celebrate modern heroism and the thrill of unexpected intimacy between strangers thrown together by disaster. Arranged by theme, Shipwreck!includes paintings, etchings, engravings, sketches and ceramics encompassing all manner of disastrous marine scenarios and ranging in date from a 1640 painting by Bonaventura Peeters (Flemish, active Antwerp, 1614 - 1652) to Homer’s final exploration of the rescue theme in the 1890s.
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
- Dancing Around the Bride: John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, and Marcel Duchamp
Late October 2012–Mid-January 2013