Multitudes: Music and Poetry inspired by Making American Artists
Music, poetry and art combine for a powerful illumination of what it means to be an American and an American artist today.
World Cafe Live and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) present Multitudes, a multisensory event series. Hear world premiere works from some of Philadelphia’s top musicians and poets, all inspired by PAFA’s current exhibition, Making American Artists, and commissioned by World Cafe Live.
Inspired by the exhibition’s presentation of new narratives in American art history— spotlighting stories about women artists, LGBTQIA+ artists, and artists of color—Multitudes asks five musicians and three poets to share their personal reactions to the artwork. The result is a highly personal and powerful illumination of what it means to be an American and an American artist today.
Making American Artists: Stories from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1776–1976
With over one hundred of the most acclaimed and iconic pieces in American art on display, Making American Artists: Stories from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1776–1976 takes you on a journey across time, medium, and identity.
The exhibition offers new narratives in American art history, embracing stories about women artists, LGBTQIA+ artists, and artists of color. It also poses central questions about the artist’s experience: what did it mean to be an American artist when the nation was founded? How had that changed by the late-twentieth century?
Organized by theme—portraiture, history painting, still life, genre scenes, and landscape—and not chronology, the exhibition affords the opportunity to enjoy familiar works in a new light and find new favorites.
Each of the featured artists’ careers were shaped by PAFA, whether through their education or the exhibition and display of their work. Making American Artists critically re-examines PAFA’s legacy while shedding light on its continuing role in shaping American art of the twenty-first century.
Making American Artists is also your final chance to see these beloved works before they temporarily leave PAFA on a national exhibition tour, organized by the American Federation of Arts, from June 2023–May 2025.