Hennessy Youngman & Nathaniel Snerpus Present: The Grand Manner

The Morris Gallery Program continued with Philadelphia based artist Jayson Musson’s presentation of a critical intervention by Hennessy Youngman, Nathaniel Snerpus, and Jameson Ernst—assumed alter-egos created by Musson.

In The Grand Manner, Musson’s hip-hop art commentator Hennessy Youngman—whose “Art Thoughtz” videos went viral on the web—applied his sharp witted cultural analysis to artworks in PAFA’s collection. Visitors could listen to Youngman’s take on American art history and art institutions through a cell-phone self-guided tour, and ponder two video works that poetically engaged with works from the collection. Meanwhile, Musson’s art critic-at-large, Nathaniel Snerpus, provided a critical art historical perspective on paintings in PAFA’s collection in large didactic labels that also revealed the art critic’s personal problems. Augmenting these critical analyses, Musson brought Jameson Ernst, a neglected Abstract Expressionsist painter, into the mix with the presentation of three works by this fictional hero.

Although best known through his popular web presence as Hennessy Youngman, Jayson Musson has been previously visible in the public domain through a column called “Black Like Me” that he wrote during 2007 for Philadelphia Weekly. Born in the Bronx, Musson studied at the University of the Arts, receiving a BFA in Photography in 2002, and at the University of Pennsylvania where he graduated with an MFA in Painting in 2011.

Curator: Julien Robson, Curator of Contemporary Art
Dates: November 5, 2011 – February 5, 2012
Location: Historic Landmark Building


Leading support for this exhibition is provided by the William Penn Foundation

PAFA's special exhibitions in 2011-12 are supported by generous contributions from Max N. Berry, Esq, Donald R. Caldwell, and Jonathan L. Cohen.

The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts’ public programs are funded in part by a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency).