A Rising Tide Lifts All Ships: New Galleries of Early American Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
Alexandra Alevizatos Kirtley, Philadelphia Museum of Art
We invite all Forum members to celebrate our first 2022 in-person program in April! Renew and join the fun! Come to the Legion Cafe at 6:00 for Pre-Program Prosecco (PPP) and sparkling water. Proceed to the Gunn Theater at 6:30 for Alexandra Kirtley's lively program. Don't miss the fun! Bring proof of vaccination for cafe access. Mask up for the 6:30 talk in the theater.
In May 2021, the Philadelphia Museum of Art opened nearly 90,000 square feet of additional gallery spaces, the culmination of two decades of planning, design, and construction. The newly reimagined spaces are the result of the renovation, reorganization, and interior expansion of the museum’s landmark 1928 building by the celebrated architect Frank Gehry. Called the Core Project because it has focused on the renewal of the museum’s infrastructure and has opened up the very heart of the main building, its completion after four years of construction represents an enormous step forward for the museum. Central to the construction on the first floor was the addition of new gallery spaces for contemporary art (in the north wing) and early American art (in the south wing).
Join Alexandra Kirtley, The Montgomery-Garvan Curator of American Decorative Arts at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, on a slide-tour of the new early American galleries with a behind-the-scenes look into how the galleries were planned and designed and how curators chose and interpreted what is displayed. As the first expansion and reinstallation since 1976, the new galleries showcase the museum's storied collection after more than five years of intensive study, conservation treatments, and re-interpretation geared for these dynamic new spaces. Emanating off of a central spine with an enfilade, the nine new galleries are painted in vibrant colors in displays arranged to tell the history of the art, artists and artisans as well as the patrons who commissioned them.