Category Archives: Art Museums

Art museums DoN has visited.


PICTURE-PERFECT GARDENSSet between two flowing fountains and tree-lined pathways, the James A. Michener Art Museum’s Pfundt Sculpture Garden captures the essence of Bucks County’s rolling terrain. Credit: Photo by B. Krist for VISIT PHILADELPHIA®


Art Often Comes With A Side of Floral Beauty In Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA – Throughout the Philadelphia region, art galleries and museums sit amid colorful gardens, quiet woodlands and serene meadows that accentuate the art found in both indoor and outdoor galleries. Here’s a look at some of the region’s museums and attractions that celebrate beauty inside and out:

  • Abington Art Center  This vibrant cultural organization, known for its summer concert series, occupies part of the 27 acres of historic Alverthorpe Manor in Montgomery County. Inside, three galleries show as many as six regional and national art exhibitions annually. Outside, Katasura trees dot a meandering walkway through Sculpture Park, which is open and free to the public 365 days a year. 515 Meetinghouse Road, Jenkintown(215)
  • The Barnes Arboretum & Foundation In suburban Merion, the Barnes Foundation’s 12-acre arboretum is astonishingly diverse for its size, with more than 2,500 varieties of woody and herbaceous plants, many rare. The arboretum opens to visitors May to September. The Barnes Foundation on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway honors its horticultural legacy with landscaped lawns, trees, park, fountain, contemplative walkways and outdoor seating on its 4.5-acre site. That location’s Garden Restaurant also features outdoor courtyard dining, while internal gardens throughout the building encourage visitors to imagine they are strolling directly into the landscapes they’re admiring on the walls. Arboretum, 300 N. Latch’s Lane, Merion, (215) 278-7200; Foundation, 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway(215)  
  • Brandywine River Museum of Art  It takes just one glimpse of the Virginia bluebells, Cardinal flowers and holly and bayberry bushes that border this onetime gristmill to understand why this landscape has served as muse for so many local artists. The Brandywine River Museum is internationally known for its unparalleled collection of works by three generations of Wyeths and its fine collection of American art. Outside, visitors can join guided walks through the wildflower and native plant gardens, which were dedicated by Lady Bird Johnson and, during the annual plant sale on Mother’s Day weekend, can take home seeds cultivated right on the grounds, as well as lovely in-bloom plants. 1 Hoffman’s Mill Road, Chadds Ford(610)  
  • James A. Michener Art Museum This Bucks County destination is home to the Edgar N. Putman Event Pavilion, a 2,700-square-foot indoor-outdoor space designed by architecture firm KieranTimberlake. The pavilion showcases museum programs—jazz nights, lectures, lively family events—within an elegant, all-glass structure that extends into the Patricia Pfundt Sculpture Garden. Inside, the museum’s eight galleries accommodate special exhibitions and a 3,000-piece permanent collection, including many Pennsylvania impressionist paintings that capture the essence of the county’s rolling terrain. 138 S. Pine Street(215) 340-9800, Doylestown,  
  • Penn Museum – After viewing the impressive collection of international art and artifacts inside this historic University of Pennsylvania museum, visitors can relax in two magnificent gardens. The Warden Garden, now wheelchair accessible, features a classic koi pool, expansive lawns and mosaics created by Louis Comfort Tiffany. The Stoner Courtyard, built on the philosophy that places for nature are necessary in our built-up world, includes sculptural pieces by A.S. Calder, a cobblestone walkway and a beautiful marble fountain. Inside, guests marvel at ancient objects including African and Native American masks, Maya sculpture and Egyptian mummies. 3260 South Street(215)
  • Philadelphia Museum of Art Best known for its international exhibitions and world-renowned collections of more than 240,000 works, the crown jewel of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway is more than a museum. It’s also the unofficial gateway to Fairmount Park. The museum’s bi-level sculpture garden, with its combination of terraces, lawns, flora and water features, showcases an ever-changing sculpture collection overlooking Fairmount Park, the Schuylkill River, the four-acre Azalea Garden and the grand, neoclassical Fairmount Water Works. Works on display include large-scale pieces by Claes Oldenburg Ellsworth Kelly and Sol LeWitt. 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway(215)
  • Rodin Museum Movie-theater magnate, philanthropist and Rodin collector Jules Mastbaum, known for his eye for elegance, hired architects Paul Cret and Jacques Gréber to create this jewel-box museum. The venue’s intimate settings are perfect for taking in the extensive Rodin collection, one of the greatest single collections of his work outside Paris. Visitors seem to enjoy the front garden’s reflecting pool and tapestry of magnolia trees, shrubs and colorful flowers—some dating back to the 1920s—as much as they do The Thinker and Eternal Springtime. 2151 Benjamin Franklin Parkway(215)  
  • Second Bank of the United States – Inside this Parthenon-like structure is a first-rate collection of approximately 200 historic portraits of Founding Fathers, early leaders, explorers and others, many by Charles Willson Peale. Just steps away are several gardens. The Signers’ Garden, with native plants and trees, commemorates the creators of Declaration of the Independence. The 18th-Century Garden replicates formal English gardens of the day with geometrically patterned raised flowerbeds, walking paths, and a pergola. The Rose Garden and Magnolia Garden are secluded, colorful and fragrant refuges. Second Bank, 420 Chestnut Street; Signers’, 5th & Chestnut Streets; 18th-Century, Walnut Street between 3rd & 4th Streets; Rose and Magnolia, Locust Street between 4th & 5th Streets; (215)  
  • Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library Textiles, paintings, prints, furniture and ceramics dating from 1640 to 1860 make the former home of Henry Francis du Pont a favorite for fans of Americana. Nature enthusiasts are drawn to the 60-acre garden nestled in the 1,000-acre country estate. Highlights of the garden include eight acres of azaleas, naturalized bulbs displays, peonies and primroses. Trails lead from the garden through rolling meadow, woodlands and waterways. If the kids get antsy, a short trip across the Troll Bridge leads to the Faerie Cottage in the Enchanted Woods. 5105 Kennett Pike, Winterthur, Delaware(800)
  • Woodmere Art Museum – At the top of the Chestnut Hill neighborhood of Philadelphia, this gem of a venue tells stories of Philadelphia’s art and artists, including N.C. Wyeth, Benjamin West and Violet Oakley, as well as new and emerging contemporary artists. The 19th-century stone Victorian mansion sits on six acres dotted with sculptures by Dina Wind and other Philadelphia-area artists surrounding Harry Bertoia’s sinuous fountain sculpture, Free Interpretation of Plant Forms9201 Germantown Avenue(215)

VISIT PHILADELPHIA® is our name and our mission. As the region’s official tourism marketing agency, we build Greater Philadelphia’s image, drive visitation and boost the economy.

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Keith Smith, At Home, Philadelphia Museum of ArtBook Number 141, May 1989, by Keith Smith, American, b. 1938. Snake format artist’s book of gelatin silver prints with colored ink washes, watercolor, and machine stitching. Philadelphia Museum of Art: Purchased with funds contributed by Richard L. and Ronay Menschel, Marion Miller, The Paul & Emily Singer Family Foundation, Peter C. Bunnell, and Trevor Drake and Anne Albright, and with the Lynne and Harold Honickman Fund for Photography, 2015-51-1. © Keith Smith.

Keith Smith at Home

February – July 8, 2018

This winter, the Philadelphia Museum of Art presents Keith Smith at Home, the first major monographic presentation of the artist’s work in five decades. Spanning his entire career, the exhibition brings together over 60 exceptional and varied examples of his handmade artist’s books and experimental photographs, prints, collages, and fabric pieces made over the last half century. The exhibition places special emphasis on his artist’s books, the work for which he is best known. Many of these works are from the artist’s collection and have not been exhibited publicly before.

Keith Smith, At Home, Philadelphia Museum of ArtMargaret Gave me a Rainbow, 2:30pm 21 November, 1971, 1971, by Keith Smith, American, b. 1938. Collage of 3-M Color-in-Color photocopy transferred to buff-colored manila paper, gold star, multicolored thread, gelatin silver print, and rayon braid and tassels, hand and machine stitched to green plain weave cotton with gold rayon faille backing. Courtesy of Bruce Silverstein Gallery, New York. © Keith Smith.

Smith is an especially private person, and one whose life at home has been the inspiration for much of his art. Central to the installation is Book Number 82, Keith Smith at Home (1982), showing a sequence of views of his residence in Rochester, New York, where he has lived since 1975. Page by page, it conveys the passage of time: views of the same room shift, household objects trade places, and friends appear and reappear in framed artwork on the house’s walls. Visitors will be able to page through this book digitally on an iPad in the gallery.

Keith Smith, At Home, Philadelphia Museum of ArtMe at My Shed ‑ About to Go after the Mail, 1973, by Keith Smith, American, b. 1938. Gelatin silver print with colored ink washes, machine stitched to secondary support. Courtesy of Bruce Silverstein Gallery, New York. © Keith Smith.

The exhibition highlights books that challenge perceptions of what a book can be. Book Number 11, Up (1969) explores the interplay of images by alternating film-positive transparencies with opaque pages. As the film-positive page is turned, it creates the appearance of an image moving from one side of the page to the next. Book Number 91: a string book (1982) consists of cord, punched holes, and blank pages. Strings are extended across each page and spread in different patterns, sometimes taut and other times slack, creating an abstract and rhythmic narrative. Smith considers his string book to be photographic, as it deals with light, shadow, focus, motif, and sequence.

Keith Smith, At Home, Philadelphia Museum of ArtBook Number 11, Up, 1969, by Keith Smith, American, b. 1938. Artist’s book with photographs, drawings, prints, and transparencies. Courtesy of Bruce Silverstein Gallery, New York. © Keith Smith.

Smith has referred to his work as an open diary. Self-representation is a key motif, whether appearing lighthearted or uneasy. Some self-portraits reflect the struggles and joys the artist has experienced in coming out as a gay man, as in Untitled, from Roadside Attractions (1979), a multilayered photograph in which two silhouetted male figures caress each other’s shoulders.

Smith has said, “Social intimidation is not as odious as repression that is self-inflicted. When I permitted my work to speak openly, I gained my freedom and my self-respect.”

Keith Smith, At Home, Philadelphia Museum of ArtSelf Portrait, November 1969, by Keith Smith, American, b. 1938. 3-M Color-in Color-photocopy, hand stitching, and pen and red ink. Courtesy of Keith Smith. © Keith Smith.

Also on view is a selection of handmade postcards, a format that Smith has experimented with since the 1960s. He made these cards with particular recipients in mind, but, feeling unable to part with them, has kept them. In addition, the exhibition features fabric pieces from the 1960s and 1970s. Among these is Margaret Gave me a Rainbow 2:30pm 21, November 1971, a collage of a photograph of an ear, curtain tassels, and an impression of the artist’s profile made on a color photocopier affixed to an army-issue bedsheet. Smith made Eye Quilt (1965), a full-size quilt screenprinted with a dense pattern of eyes, while a student at the Art Institute of Chicago.
Keith Smith: Word Play is a related installation on view in the Museum’s Library. This intimate display highlights the ways in which Smith uses word play, poetry, typography, and sequencing to create surprising relationships between images and text in his books.

Exhibition organizer Amanda N. Bock, The Lynne and Harold Honickman Assistant Curator of Photographs, said: “While Smith may seem shy personally, his art is candid, intimate, delightfully irreverent, and transgressive. To share a large body of his work with the public is an exciting and rare opportunity, and it underscores our commitment to showing provocative work by living artists.”

Keith Smith, At Home, Philadelphia Museum of ArtAatis with his arm on his hip, August 30, 1973, by Keith Smith, American, b. 1938. Postcard: pen and ink, graphite, and colored ink washes on gelatin silver print, machine stitched to secondary support. Courtesy of Keith Smith. © Keith Smith.

About Keith Smith (born 1938, Indiana)

Smith’s reluctance to categorize his work established him as a rogue member of both the photography and printmaking departments at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he graduated in 1967. His works are often radical departures from conventional books, and may unfold, light up, hang on the wall or in a corner, or be constructed of pencils or the shirt off the artist’s own back. Certain themes-friendship, love, desire, intimacy, and domesticity- recur. He has made over 300 artist’s books and over half a dozen seminal instructional manuals on bookbinding.

Keith Smith, At Home, Philadelphia Museum of ArtPeeled, August 30, 1973, by Keith Smith, American, b. 1938. Postcard: graphite and colored ink washes on gelatin silver print, machine stitched to secondary support. Courtesy of Keith Smith. © Keith Smith.

Smith’s work is represented in leading public and private collections, including the Art Institute of Chicago; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Center for Creative Photography, Tucson; the Nelson-Atkins Museum; the George Eastman Museum, Rochester; the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. He is the recipient of two Guggenheim Fellowships (1972 and 1980) and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship (1978), and has taught at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Visual Studies Workshop, Rochester.

Keith Smith at Home, Philadelphia Museum of ArtBook Number 91, a string book, 1982, by Keith Smith, American, b. 1938. Artist’s book with cut outs, punched holes, and string. Courtesy of Keith Smith and Philip Zimmermann.

Public Programs

Representing Queerness
Sunday, March 4 | 2:30 p.m. | Perelman Building
Community Conversations open discussions about socially relevant topics.
Included in Pay What You Wish admission.

Bookmaking Workshops
Saturdays, March 17, April 21, and May 5 | 1:30-4:30 p.m. | Perelman Building
Each session includes a tour of Keith Smith at Home with the exhibition curator.
Each workshop: $20 ($16 members); includes Perelman Building admission

Amanda N. Bock, The Lynne and Harold Honickman Assistant Curator of Photographs

Exhibition Location
Julian Levy Gallery, Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building
Installation Location, Library, Second Floor, Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building

Support for this exhibition was provided by The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation.

Social Media
Twitter/Facebook/Instagram/Tumblr/YouTube: @philamuseum

We are Philadelphia’s art museum. A landmark building. A world-renowned collection. A place that welcomes everyone. We bring the arts to life, inspiring visitors-through scholarly study and creative play-to discover the spirit of imagination that lies in everyone. We connect people with the arts in rich and varied ways, making the experience of the Museum surprising, lively, and always memorable. We are committed to inviting visitors to see the world-and themselves-anew through the beauty and expressive power of the arts.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is located on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway at 26th Street.

Thank you to The Philadelphia Museum of Art for the content of this post.

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Book 91- String Book; by Keith Smith (1984)


Virtually Rudy, Michener Art MuseumCharles Rudy with Cornish Red Chicken

Michener Art Museum to Present Innovative Sculpture Exhibition

Virtually Rudy: New Dimensions in Sculpture opens on February 17, 2018

DOYLESTOWN, PA–Beginning February 17, 2018, the James A. Michener Art Museum will present Virtually Rudy: New Dimensions in Sculpture, an innovative sculpture exhibition that joins 20th century art with 21st century technology. Nine sculptures by artist Charles Rudy (1904-1986) will be on display alongside three-dimensional representations made possible through a partnership with the Google Cultural Institute.

Through Google Cardboard viewers, visitors will be able to explore the sculptures in virtual-reality mode. The exhibition will be on view through April 8, 2018.

“This is a first-of-a-kind show–not only for the Michener, but for many art museums in the United States,” said Adrienne Neszmelyi-Romano, director of interpretation and innovation, who co-curated the exhibition with assistant curator Louise Feder. “We are very proud that our museum, which has long been committed to showcasing the work of important regional artists, is also at the forefront of technology, and is taking a leading role in understanding how technology can enhance the visitor experience.”

The James A. Michener Art Museum was the first institution on the East Coast to partner with the Google Cultural Institute 3D Operations team to digitize objects from its permanent collection, making 26 objects–including 15 of Rudy’s sculptures–accessible in 3D in 2015 to a global audience. Virtually Rudy pairs the tangible with the intangible, presenting scan and sculpture side by side for the first time. A graduate of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Charles Rudy achieved national status as a sculptor for his work on public buildings across the country as well as for his prize-winning sculptures. His most notable commissions include the Noah on the Bronx post office in New York and the Sun Seaman’s Memorial in Delaware. In 1936, Rudy and his wife purchased a 70-acre farm in Ottsville, Pennsylvania, where he located his studio. His sculptures of farm animals, several of which are featured in this exhibition, are said to have been inspired by his time spent on his farm. A 1942 Guggenheim fellow, Rudy taught as the head of Cooper Union’s sculpture department for ten years. He also held teaching positions at the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Art, Michigan State College, and Philadelphia Museum School of Art.

Through a partnership with the Perkiomen School in Pennsburg, PA, 3D-printed reproductions of Rudy’s sculptures will be available for visitors to handle, and live demonstrations of the 3D printing process will take place during visiting hours. The 3D printer and the models will be provided by the school’s Entrepreneur Institute, the students of its additive manufacturing class, and the Perk Tech Hub. Throughout the exhibition, museum visitors can register to win 3D-printed models of the sculptures through periodic drawings.

For more information and to purchase tickets in advance, visit

Thank you to the James A. Michener Art Museum for the content of this post.

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Exhibitions, Performances and Special Program Highlight Philly’s Month of Activities

The African American Museum in Philadelphia

Founded in 1976, The African American Museum in Philadelphia (above) is the first institution built by a major U.S. city to preserve, interpret and exhibit the heritage and culture of African-Americans.

Credit: Photo by J. Fusco for VISIT PHILADELPHIA®

Black History Month celebrates its 42nd anniversary this year, and Philadelphia honors the occasion with special events, exhibitions, film screenings and family activities. Philadelphia’s Black History Month features the nation’s longest running African American Children’s Book Fair; Black Pulp!, a new exhibition at The African American Museum in Philadelphia, and Henry “Box” Brown: The Musical, starringDice Raw. Here are highlights of Philly’s Black History Month:

Museum Happenings:

  • The African American Museum in Philadelphia (AAMP) hosts the regional debut of Black Pulp!, curated by William Villalongo and Mark Thomas Gibson. This visual overview offers up printed works by artists, graphic designers, writer and publishers—including comic books—to examine perspectives on Black identity from 1912 to 2016. February 2 – April 29701 Arch Street(215)
  • The Art Sanctuary exhibition Philadelphia Renaissance, curated by Noah Smalls, is an intergenerational showcase of area artists. The month-long display is in keeping with the gallery’s mission to “use power of Black art to transform individuals, create and build community and foster cultural understanding.” February. 628 S. 16th Street, (215)
  • African-American history is American history, and the National Constitution Center celebrates Black History Month with programming that includes Breaking Barriers, a show about the lives of Bessie Coleman, Jackie Robinson, Thurgood Marshall and other pioneering African-Americans. The center has planned also a workshop to taks a closer look at the Emancipation Proclamation and self-guided tours highlighting African-American history. February 2018. 525 Arch Street(215)
  • Penn Museums 29th annual Celebration of African Cultures features storytellers, artists, puppetry, art making, modern African dance, traditional African music and an African market. The setting for this activity: the African Gallery, with its rich collection of textiles, sculpture and masks, with statuary and tomb materials from 5,000 years of Egyptian culture in the Egyptian Galleries. February 24. 3260 South Street(215)
  • Last year, City Hall unveiled a new statue of Civil Rights hero Ocatvius V. Catto. This year, the Philadelphia History Museum exhibit Taking a Stand for Equity: Octavius V. Catto continues to celebrate the life and many achievements of the brave 19th-century Philadelphian. Through March 3115 S. 7th Street, (215)
  • Niama Safia Sandy makes her Philadelphia curatorial debut at Rush Arts Philadelphia with the multi-artist, multidisciplinary exhibition Giving Up The Ghost: Artifacts/A Study of Power and Solidarity Against White Violence in ModernityThe diverse artists and pieces in the show offer varying messages of individual and cultural truths—American aversion to recognizing Black women’s labor; commentary on the treatment of Muslim Americans, for example—in an effort to clear the air and move the nation forward. January 27-February 244954 Old York

Music & Dance:

  • Henry Box Brown: The Musical stars The Roots’ own hip hop legend Karl “Dice Raw” Jenkins in the title role of a Virginia slave who escaped to freedom in Philadelphia by mailing himself in a wooden crate. This true theatrical treat is directed by Phill Brown and also stars Minister Jamie Knight and Gina Zo. February 1-17. Community College, Bonnell Auditorium, 1700 Spring Garden
  • Visitors can enjoy free, live, no reservations-required world music as presented by Temple University students during Drumming Traditions of Brazil, West Africa, and India. February 6. Temple Performing Arts Center, 1837 N. Broad Street(215)
  • In the 1930s, over 2,300 first-person accounts by former slaves—The Slave Narratives—helped create the Federal Writers’ Project (FWP). This Manayunk performance of six of these documents—also entitled The Slave Narratives—brings their experiences to life onstage. Venice Island Performing Arts & Recreation Center. February 9. 7 Lock Street(215)
  • Vocalist Beverly Owens and pianist Diane Goldsmith join in a “Sundays on Stage” concert of The Art of Sarah Vaughanatribute to one of the first singers to fully incorporate bop phrasing in her singing. Vaughan’s influence is still evident in contemporary jazz, Soul and R&B. February 11. Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Branch, 1901 Vine Street(215)

Children and Young Adults:

  • The 26th Annual African American Children’s Book Fair is one of the oldest and largest single-day events for African-American children’s books in the country. The free, open-to-the-public fair features nationally known, bestselling authors, illustrators and author-illustrators, many who have won some of the most prestigious American Library Association awards, including the Coretta Scott King Award. Guests can expect an afternoon filled with workshops, giveaways and affordable books for purchase. February 3. Community College of Philadelphia, 17th & Spring Garden Streets,
  • As the first stop for many visitors to Independence National Historical Park, the Independence Visitor Center is more than an information center: It’s a gathering spot. During Black History Month, historical figures appear to tell their stories. 6th & Market Streets, (800)
    • A historical re-enactor portrays Ned Hector, free Black patriot who refused to surrender his horses, wagons and armaments in the Battle of the Brandywine. February 10.
    • Storytellers from summer’s Once Upon a Nation program return for WinterStorytelling, with true tales of barrier-breaking African-Americans. February 16, 17, 19.
    • Harriet Tubman, American hero and icon, makes this one-time appearance to tell of her life and bravery in leading hundreds of people to freedom. February 24.
  • The Lucien E. Blackwell West Philadelphia Regional Library Children’s Department will offer family-friendly events covering African-American heritage. 125 S. 52nd Street, (215)
    • Based on the book by Christopher Paul Curtis, The Watsons Go to Birminghamis the film adaptation of the story of an African-American family’s road trip from Flint, Michigan to Birmingham, Alabama in 1963—and the tragic events that take place. For children ages 12 and under and their families. February 24.
    • The Art of Jean-Michel Basquiat: Share Your Creativity invites visitors to enjoy a reading of Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat by Javaka Steptoe and Life Doesn’t Frighten Me by Maya Angelou, illustrated by Jean-Michel Basquiat. Inspired participants can add their creations to the Young Artists’ Wall. For ages 12 and under. February 28.

Movies, Stories, Talks &Tours:

  • Murray Dubin and Daniel Biddle, co-authors of Tasting FreedomOctavius Catto and the Battle for Equality in Civil War Americapresent and sign copies of their book chronicling the life of this charismatic Black leader—a “free” man whose freedom was in name only. February 6. Free Library of Philadelphia,Philadelphia City Institute Branch, 1905 Locust Street(215)
  • Lauded by the New York Times for his “ferocious moral vision and astute intellect,” educator and philosopher Dr. Cornel West returns to Philadelphia on the 25th anniversary of the National Book Award-winning Race MattersFebruary 10. Sold out; simulcast tickets are available for purchase. Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Branch, 1901 Vine Street(215)
  • The Blackwell Regional Library will screen Paul Robeson, a documentary about the internationally acclaimed singer, actor and Civil Rights activist. Despite his talent, his political views lead to blacklisting; while unemployed, he moved to the West Philadelphia home of his sister Marian, who tended him until his death in 1976. February 17. 125 S. 52nd Street, (215)
  • As part of Black History Month and Philly Theatre Week, 202-year-old Mother Bethel AME screens Black Theatre: The Making of a Movement, Woodie King Jr.’s documentary highlighting accomplishments of Black men and women in theater, the importance of the Black Arts Movement and the funding crisis of Black theaters. February 18. 419 S. 6th Street,
  • Praised by Michael Eric Dyson as “the boldest young feminist writing today,” Brittney Cooper will join in conversation with Melanye Price, associate professor of Africana Studies at Rutgers University, to discuss Cooper’s new book, Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her SuperpowerFebruary 22. Free. Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Branch, 1901 Vine Street(215)
  • Now in its 22nd year, the Schomburg Symposium is an annual Taller Puertorriqueñoconference dedicated to Afro-Latino history and culture. This year’s symposium theme: Does Violence Have Color? February 24. 2600 N. 5th Street, (215)
  • The William Way LGBT Community Center’s second annual Philly Black Trans History: A Multigenerational Panel Discussionwill feature some of the city’s most influential trans pioneers. February 28.1315 Spruce Street(215)

VISIT PHILADELPHIA® is our name and our mission. As the region’s official tourism marketing agency, we build Greater Philadelphia’s image, drive visitation and boost the economy.

Greater Philadelphia’s official visitor website and blog, and make up the most-visited website network out of the 10 biggest U.S. cities. Visitors can explore things to do, upcoming events, themed itineraries and hotel packages. Compelling photography and videos, interactive maps and detailed visitor information make the sites effective trip-planning tools. Along with Visit Philly social media channels, the online platforms communicate directly with consumers. Travelers can also call and stop into the Independence Visitor Center for additional information and tickets.

Tweet It: Your 2018 guide to Black History Month in Philadelphia:

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Old Masters Now, PMASaint Francis of Assisi Receiving the Stigmata, 1430‑1432. Jan van Eyck, Netherlandish (active Bruges). Oil on vellum on panel, 5 x 5 3/4 inches. Philadelphia Museum of Art, John G. Johnson Collection, 1917.

A Guided Tour of Philadelphia in the Year 1430

by DoN Brewer

Party like it’s 1430! Art is a time capsule, and a lens on society, join me on a tour of Philadelphia to experience life like a Burgundian. Philly was a forest but in the year 1430, at the apex of the Late Middle Ages in Europe. In a country called Burgundy that once existed between France and Spain, a region that was a magnet for artists, there was ground-breaking innovation in technology in the arts.

Just like young artists do today, moving to cities, attending great art schools like The University of the Arts, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, seeking to achieve their creative and career goals, artists in 1430 would have become apprentices and joined guilds; the arts in Burgundy were already well established in the royal courts,  King Philip the Good inherited a well oiled arts department including sculpture and painting studios. Jan van Eyck was the duke’s personal friend and confidant, the story of his diplomatic trips to court the Queens of Europe, like a swipe right/left app, to consolidate power and find romance with art is really a trip.

Let us take a look around Philadelphia to find the influences of Burgundian life from the year 1430. In the three paintings I analyzed for A Guided Tour of Philadelphia in the Year 1430, there are architectural elements that resemble buildings we inhabit like Philadelphia City Hall with it’s French Gothic courtyard, grand steeples, turrets and towers of churches along Christian Street, and The Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral with glorious stained glass and vaulted ornate ceiling.

Weaving was the major economic force in the cities of Burgundy, trade of wool into textile the fabric of society, which we take for granted now with fast fashion. Weaving is still present in the arts today in Philadelphia, especially social practice artists like Kathryn Pannepacker, Lisa Kelley and Leslie Sudock.

Leslie Sudock is the instructor at Ready to Hand SOARI Philadelphia and she is a master weaver. Through her arts practice she connects Philadelphian empathy, sanctuary, and wealth of knowledge to the community.

“I have introduced SAORI weaving to public school children in the Philadelphia recreation system, to homeless and physically-challenged neighbors in churches, shelters and health facilities, and to the general community through my participation in Arts Street Textiles: handmade with the homeless.  My own excitement at discovering SAORI continues undiminished, and I love enabling others to experience the peace, pleasure and freedom to be found in weaving SAORI-way.” – Leslie Sudock

Kathryn Pannepacker and Lisa Kelley thread the needle of the opioid crisis in Kensington with weaving and textile design classes. As a mural artist, she has used weaving as the central idea and main communicative device to connect concepts of reality to the wider community. Just as master weavers of Burgundy portrayed the economic status of the royal houses to the world, Kathryn Pannepacker and Lisa Kelly, by using weaving and textile, exposes the empathic thread of the economy that is now shredded and how through the economics of creating art stimulates healing in the community.

Kensington Storefront is a new Porch Light community space at 2774 Kensington Avenue, Philadelphia. It’s a place to make art and connect to health resources in your community.

We believe that hands-on art-making provides a pathway for individual and community healing. This new Porch Light space at 2774 Kensington Avenue, Philadelphia, is a place for creating art and connecting to resources to live a better, healthier life.

Porch Light is an initiative of Mural Arts and Philadelphia’s Department of Behavioral Health in partnership with NKCDC, Impact Services Corporationand Prevention Point Philadelphia—along with many other community members and organizations.

— Apply to use the space!

— Strengthening community wellness through public art:
— Southeast by Southeast–another Porchlight project in Philly:

There are many Philadelphia artists comparable to the traditions of arts and painting that we see in the transformative era of the Late Middle Ages. The artist and teacher Katya Held, an accomplished portrait artist who studied with the master Nelson Shanks at Studio Incamminati recently sent me a link to miniature paintings by artist Ludmila BognychevaMiniatures were the main source of communications through illustrated manuscripts and devotional objects and alter pieces in 1430. Being able to communicate an abundance of information distinctly with minimal data is an art that transcends technology from weaving to painting to writing; a correlation can be made between the the technological breakthrough of oil painting on economic growth with the growth of the internet, the world wide web.

Fashion and fine textiles are a part of everyday life now, but some artisans make fibre, jewelry, and design speak in a modern language. In Burgundian times status was announced with wardrobe, today high fashion is available at the consumer level. To differentiate from the masses one must choose wisely to stand out in the crowd. Philadelphia fashion designer Diane Litten creates multi-useful fashions that are transformable, jewelry made with coils and magnets, and stretch wacky hats with fibrous dreads.

In our art tour stop at the Jan van Eyck painting, I mentioned the portrait of Queen Isabella of Portugal‘s style and beauty, fashion and physique, and the spatial illusion in the composition. It was really important that the picture accurately portrayed the Queen, Jan van Eyck lived in Portugal for months to make the portrait; a prototype dating app. It’s not hard to imagine the luxuriousness of the lifestyle in Spain, like Burgundy there were fabulous textiles, furs, lace, the best of everything.

Fine foods Jan van Eyck would have eaten on his grand diplomatic trip are available in Philly, the royal houses were great consumers of meat, imagine the feasts in the high castles by visiting a Brazilian steak house. Roasted meats served on swords, carved at the table connects over space and time through the recipes from the the wedding feast of Philip the Good to Queen Isabella of Portugal, at the change of the decade 1430 in a land called Burgundy.

Music! Piffaro, The Renaissance Band

“Piffaro delights audiences with highly polished recreations of the rustic music of the peasantry and the elegant sounds of the official wind bands of the late Medieval and Renaissance periods. Its ever-expanding instrumentarium includes shawms, dulcians, sackbuts, recorders, krumhorns, bagpipes, lutes, guitars, harps, and a variety of percussion — all careful reconstructions of instruments from the period.”


Link to A Guided Tour of Philadelphia in the Year 1430

Link to Robert Campin, Christ and the Virgin

Link to Jan van Eyck art tour blog post – click here.

Link to Blasco de Grañén art tour blog post – click here.

Link to Old Master Now at Philadelphia Museum of Art press release on DoNArTNeWs

Written by DoN Brewer.

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