Six Galleries to Close on April 11, 2018, Reopening in Early 2019
The Philadelphia Museum of Art will soon begin the first comprehensive renovation and reinstallation of its galleries of Chinese art in many decades. This initiative will enable its staff to reimagine the presentation of this important part of the Museum’s collection and interpret it in new ways for the benefit of visitors. This represents the next step in an ongoing series of reinstallations of the Museum’s collection that began with the Rodin Museum in 2012 and continued with the renovation of its galleries of South Asian art in 2016. Beginning April 11, 2018, six galleries in the wing of the Museum devoted to Asian art will close for approximately ten months and then re-open to the public in early 2019.
Timothy Rub, The George D. Widener Director and Chief Executive Officer, said: “This once-in-a-generation project follows the success of our new galleries of South Asian art, and is proceeding in tandem with the implementation of the next phase of our Facilities Master Plan. It will transform the experience of one of the most important, but still underappreciated parts of our collection. In addition to renovating these galleries, a step that is long overdue, this project will enable us to re-present and reinterpret our extensive holdings of Chinese art for the benefit of our visitors and will also serve as the basis for a new, purpose-built curriculum taught by our educators. These efforts will create relevance, deepen understanding, and renew our visitors’ appreciation for different cultures and artistic traditions around the world.”
Scope of work
A $2 million initiative, this project on the second floor of the main building will promote improved visitor engagement with Chinese art through the implementation of significant physical improvements, including new gallery furniture and the creation of better sight lines. Select windows will be enclosed, improving conditions for the display of light-sensitive textiles and paintings not previously exhibitable in these galleries, while new lighting will enhance the viewing experience. The Museum’s exhibition team is designing purpose-built casework, some equipped with internal lighting that will dramatically improve viewing clarity. These changes will allow for greater flexibility in the rotations of works of art, giving curators the opportunity to regularly refresh the installations and offering returning visitors new works to experience. The project will also benefit from a multi-year study of interpretation strategies, including the development of new learning resources and training, for teacher workshops and new school visits.
The reinstallation is led by project director Dr. Hiromi Kinoshita, The Hannah L. and J. Welles Henderson Associate Curator of Chinese Art, supported by staff specialized in Exhibition Design, Education, and Publishing. Dr. Kinoshita’s interpretive plan is arranged around key themes through which four thousand years of art can be understood. It will present a new comprehensive display of Chinese art in all media, including paintings, sculpture, porcelains, ceramics, carvings, metalwork, costume and textiles, furniture, and contemporary works.
The galleries will focus on key concepts in Chinese culture, and groupings will be arranged thematically and chronologically. The first two galleries dedicated to The Afterlife: Tombs and Immortality will highlight the collection’s strength in Chinese funerary art to explore ideas of life after death and filial piety. The next gallery will focus on Fascination with Nature: Expressing the Self Through Art, with works having been made, used, or collected by Chinese scholars and artists, from the Song Dynasty (960-1279 CE) onwards. A gallery will focus on Exchange and Globalization: China and the West from the 16th century to the present, encouraging visitors to think about the enduring Western interest in the materials and techniques of Chinese art and highlighting the evolution of the export market. Another gallery will be dedicated to the importance of Ordering the Universe: The Imperial Court, which will feature works of art collected and used by the imperial court emphasizing the highly symbolic nature of Chinese art. Colors, auspicious symbols about in silk robes, porcelain, and other art will be displayed as the formal side of court life (ruling), contrasted with the informal, private side.
This new installation will also make direct interpretive connections to the Museum’s three celebrated Chinese architectural interiors in adjacent galleries, all from Beijing. These include a 17th-century Chinese Reception Hall from an official residence, an 18th-century Scholar’s Study, and the Ceiling from the Hall of Wisdom Transformed at the Zhuhai Temple, an early Ming Dynasty Buddhist monastery. The Museum has recently completed an innovative, digital interpretive resource for this remarkable 15th-century temple ceiling. It greatly enhances the opportunity for visitors to understand more fully the imagery and iconography of this elaborately carved work from one of the earliest and best-preserved examples of Chinese monastic architecture. Conservation and analysis of the paint surface of a Seated Luohan (enlightened monk) displayed in this gallery has provided more information about later Buddhist wood sculpture, a relatively understudied area. Rotating displays from the Museum’s rich collection of textile sutra covers are also planned for this space.
When the renovated galleries devoted to Chinese art reopen next year, the Museum will host a family and community festival, along with Final Fridays performances and a classical music series in the Reception Hall. New in-gallery demonstration kits will also be available for visitors, offering tactile experiences of porcelain, ink painting, and lacquer ware to help deepen their understanding of the creative process. These kits will encourage social engagement and will be available to school and tour groups and to visitors during Pay-What-You-Wish hours and events.
Dr. Kinoshita stated: “Updating these galleries will make a significant impact on our visitors’ experience of this part of our collection, allowing them to fully appreciate the breadth and richness of Chinese art. This will also provide us with a great opportunity to introduce works of Chinese art held in other departments—for example, Costume and Textiles and Contemporary Art—and integrate them with the collections for which I am responsible.”
Coinciding with the reopening of its galleries of Chinese art, the Museum will publish Chinese Art: Highlights from the Philadelphia Museum of Art, in association with Yale University Press (256 pp.) This lavishly illustrated book will feature one hundred highlights ranging from antiquity to the present day. It will include an introductory essay by Dr. Kinoshita about the collection’s formation, illuminating its unique character and importance. The volume will be available for purchase in the Museum Store or online via philamuseum.org.
The reinstallation of the Museum’s galleries of East Asian Art was made possible by Hannah L. Henderson, Marguerite and Gerry Lenfest, Maxine de S. Lewis, June and Simon K. C. Li, Joan Thalheimer, Sueyen and Gene Locks, Peter A. Benoliel and Willo Carey, E. Rhoades and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, Cynthia L. Johnson, Frank S. Bayley, and other generous donors.
(Credit as of February 16, 2018)
About the Collection of Chinese Art
The Philadelphia Museum of Art houses one of the country’s earliest Chinese art collections, initially established through purchases made at the Centennial International Exhibition held in Philadelphia in 1876. Today it includes more than 7000 works in a wide range of media spanning more than 4000 years. Strengths include Tang dynasty (618–907) tomb figures, Song dynasty (960–1127) ceramics as well as Ming (1368–1644) and Qing dynasty (1644–1911) imperial art and Buddhist sculpture. The collection includes more than 500 paintings, dating from the 12th to the 20th centuries, as well as costumes and textiles, furniture, jades, lacquer wares, and cloisonné. It also features three remarkable architectural interiors: an early 15th century coffered ceiling from an imperial Buddhist temple, a 17th century painted wood reception hall, and an 18thcentury scholar’s study that provide context for the collection and an exceptional immersive experience.
November 3, 2017 - February 19, 2018
Marking the centenary of the extraordinary bequest of John G. Johnson (1841-1917) to the city of Philadelphia, Old Masters Now: Celebrating the Johnson Collection, presents a fresh look at one of the finest collections of European art to have been formed by a private collector in this country.
On view will be major works by artists such as Botticelli, Bosch, Titian, Rembrandt, and Manet, among many others. It will also open a window on the work of Museum curators and conservators, illuminating how our understanding of these works continues to evolve.
The exhibition coincides with the celebration of the centennial of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia.
Click HERE for more details.
September 10–December 10
Old Masters Now: Celebrating the Johnson Collection
November 3–February 19
Patricia Urquiola: Between Craft and Industry
November 19–March 4
Keith Smith at Home
February 17–July 8
Seeing Takes Time: American Modernism at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (working title)
April 18–September 3
Witness: Reality and Imagination in the Prints of Francisco Goya
Through September 6
Wild: Michael Nichols
Through September 17
Cy Twombly’s Iliad
Through October 8
Marcel Duchamp and the Fountain Scandal
Through December 3
The Kiss at Rodin Museum
Through January 2019
South Asian Galleries
From taking early photos on tour with Ike and Tina Turner and capturing the early CBGB/Max’s Kansas City scene, to hanging out with John and Yoko and covering current stadium rockers such as Green Day, Bob Gruen has always been at the right place at the right time. As Alice Cooper says, what makes Gruen’s work so memorable is that “he always got the money shot.” Gruen’s photographs take the viewer backstage, on tour and into intimate moments – bearing witness to the rise of rock and roll and punk.
Gruen will appear at the Pearlstein Gallery on Thursday, April 13 at 5-7 p.m. for the opening reception of ROCKERS. On Wednesday, May 3, at 6 p.m. music journalist and rock and roll correspondent Rona Elliot will join Gruen for a conversation about his career and book signing for his monograph "Rock Seen". The Leonard Pearlstein Gallery is grateful for support from the Kal and Lucille Rudman Institute for Entertainment Industries in bringing ROCKERS to Drexel University.
Allentown ArtsFest is back for its third year!
ArtsFest returns to its original location of Cedar Beach, with a new weekend, September 30th through October 2nd.
ArtsFest 2016 features over 300 artists, vendors, musicians, buskers and performers. All admission and entertainment is FREE for all ages.
Friday Sep. 30: 4 PM - 11 PM
Saturday Oct. 1: Noon - 11 PM
Sunday Oct. 2: 11 AM - 8 PM
MUSIC & LIVE PERFORMANCES
This year features 3 stages of entertainment: The ArtsFest Main Stage will showcase a diverse range of touring bands as well as local performers; the Social Medium stage will host stand-up comedians, spoken word, improv, underground theater and film screenings, & the Tape Swap Radio Stage, drawing from the eclectic DIY music scene in the Lehigh Valley, will feature over a dozen acts throughout the weekend including Lehigh Valley avant-garde drone jazz band, Pink Hex.
Some of the featured performers this year include; King Dead, Summer Scouts, Rumple Stiltskinz, KEG, VoirVoir, & more. All performance and entertainment schedules will be announced in late August.
The ‘Graffiti Jam’ section, curated by Meano, will once again feature breakdancing, DJs, & graffiti artists. Large panels will be painted live by some of the most celebrated graffiti artists on the east coast, including;
The panels will be on display for the duration of the festival and then installed in various locations throughout the Lehigh Valley.
The Blue Easel
Willow Street Pictures
Lost Soul Skateboards
Sons of Allentown
Laurel's Garden Handmade Soaps
Ink & Steel Tattoo
Lehigh Valley Phantoms
Chris P. Jones
Nikki O. Illustrations
Tarot By Kathi
Lucky 7 Foot Productions
Out of This World Fashion
Green Mountain Energy
Puerto Rican Cultural Preservation
Big Poppa's BBQ
Coffee House Without Limits
Hai Street Kitchen
Pig Placement Network
LV Girls Rock
Community Partners 4 Kids
Other featured activities at ArtsFest 2016 include:
- The ‘Alternative Clubhouse’ section will offer fun and unique art making activities & demonstrations for kids;
- Local non-profit LV Girls Rock will feature a weekend long ‘LV Kids Rock’ camp, in which participants will get to learn to write an original song and explore the songwriting process;
- Lehigh Valley Apparel Creations will have a screenprinting press onsite to demonstrate the screenprinting process and create one of a kind shirts for festival goers;
- Installations and yarnbombing by the Knitter’s Edge;
- A 3D printer exhibit by Filament Innovations, demonstrating a new cutting-edge 3D printer design, on display for the first time in public at ArtsFest;
- Shangy’s will be onsite with their refrigerated truck, hosting several local breweries and over a dozen craft brews in the ‘Brewhalla’ section;
- An ArtsFest short film by Matthew Blum, shot on 16mm film. The film will be shot, developed and then screened over the duration of the weekend;
- The Skate Park area will feature demos & contests by Homebase and Lost Soul Skateboards.
All posters and design materials for ArtsFest 2016 were created by local artist Alex Clare. Alex established himself as a prominent artist in the Lehigh Valley after winning the very first LV Art Wars in 2011. Since then, Alex has gone on to create labels for Brew Works, worked as a caricature artist, and has become a full time graphic designer in the creative department at Crayola. Alex’s work has been shown in the Alternative Gallery, Connexions Gallery and the Allentown Art Museum among many others. You can view Alex’s work at: http://www.alexandertheart.com/
Sponsors of ArtsFest 2016 include:
Green Mountain Energy
Lafayette Ambassador Bank
Adams Outdoor Lehigh Valley
East Penn Welding
Penn Sheet Metal
General parking is available in the main parking lot by the Ott Street entrance to the park, near the pool. Street parking is also available all the way down Parkway Blvd.
Please refer to the map on the website:
Allentown ArtsFest, the flagship project of the Alternative Gallery, was launched in September 2014. A free three-day festival held at the beautiful Cedar Beach Park in Allentown, ArtsFest welcomed over 5,000 members of our community in its first year and over 8,000 in its sophomore year to enjoy the diverse art, music and culture of the Lehigh Valley. Featuring ongoing live art demonstrations, installations, non-stop music on multiple stages, a technology area, film screenings, dance performances, over 150 participating artists and vendors, unique locally made food and craft beer, free children’s art activities and a full scale skate park. ArtsFest aims to create a one of a kind experience and showcase creators who take a unique approach to the creative process.
September 30th - October 2nd
Friday Sep. 30: 4 PM - 11 PM
Saturday Oct. 1: Noon - 11 PM
Sunday Oct. 2: 11 AM - 8 PM
Cedar Beach Park - Allentown
2600 Parkway Blvd.
FREE - ALL AGES
This Sunday, The Radio 104.5 Summer Block Party series continues at Festival Pier (601 N. Columbus Blvd., Philadelphia, PA 19123) with The Struts, Bishop Briggs, 888, The Rebel Light, and Sonnder. This event is FREE but you must have tickets. More info HERE
Eat and drink your way through a showcase of Philadelphia's vibrant local restaurant scene - this event will be a food connoisseur's dream! Presented by Modelo Especial...