Jennifer Bartlett, (1941-2022) Shadow, 1984 Etching, soft-ground, aquatint, spit bite, and drypoint (7 plates) on Fabriano Tiepolo paper each sheet: 30 x 22 1/4 in. (76.2 x 56.515 cm.) (4 sheets) John S. Phillips Fund and the Collector's Circle, 1989.15

PHILADELPHIA – February 13, 2024 - The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) has opened the exhibition, Artists as Cultivators, an examination of how artists have fostered critical social dialogues over three centuries through their use of nature as a subject, theme, and material. The…

Press Release
Black and white photograph of a Black man wearing a hat working on a sculpture of Frederick Douglass
John Rhoden's enduring legacy lies in his notable public sculptures, such as the Frederick Douglass statue at Lincoln University and the Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth bust at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, inviting reflection on civil rights, historical remembrance, and cultural unity.
second floor landing

The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) today announced plans to wind down its BFA and MFA degree-granting programs and return to its roots, recommitting itself to expanding the stories of American art through its collections and exhibitions and providing arts education for the full…

Press Release
Peale House Gallery Exhibition: Peter Miller: Paintings (Exhibition dates: January 30, 1969 - March 9, 1969)

“I would rather fail at painting than succeed at anything else in life” writes Peter Miller on her 1933 application to study at The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA. 

The next time you visit Center City, be warned - a visit to Morton Contemporary will leave you deeply…

Shiva Ahmadi - Red Light, 2020, Acrylic on canvas, 56 x 72 in. Commissioned by PAFA for Rising Sun: Artists in an Uncertain America, courtesy Haines Gallery, San Francisco
Rising Sun: Artists in an Uncertain America will be closing soon at PAFA. Featured here are a selection from all the amazing artists who contributed to the exhibition.
Determined To Be: The Sculpture of John Rhoden, at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, October 5, 2023– April 7, 2024 in the Hamilton Building. Courtesy of PAFA. Photography by Adrian Cubillas.

“I can’t overstate the importance of the archives, you really need to have a bit of an understanding and appreciation for his life, to fully understand his work,” says Dr. Brittany Webb, curator of the collection.

"Along with the Evelyn and Will Kaplan Curator of Twentieth Century Art and the John…

In the News
John W. Rhoden, (1916-2001) (Bust of Richanda), n.d.

In Determined to Be: The Sculpture of John Rhoden, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts presents the first comprehensive retrospective of the sculptor and international envoy, who absorbed cultures and networked with artists from Zanzibar to Uzbekistan.

Read the full article "A World at His

In the News
People walking around the Lenka Clayton, Story of a Stone, exhibition.

At the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA), wandering spaces with paint on canvas or sculptures in a gallery only describes a fraction of the experience. PAFA is a space for vibrant and ever-evolving conversations, where voices from every background are heard, where artists at every age and…

John Rhoden at the installation of his sculpture, Zodiacal Curved Wall, at the Sheraton Hotel in Philadelphia in 1957.

The first retrospective for John Rhoden at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts sheds light on the history and meaning behind his public art in Philadelphia. 

In the latter half of the 20th century, the renowned Black American sculptor completed several commissions in and around the region. 


In the News
John Rhoden carving a sculpture
Determined to Be: the Sculpture of John Rhoden is more than just an exhibition of artworks; it's a discovery show about love, art, life, travel, and determination. As you wander the exhibition, you'll explore not only John Rhoden's sculptures but also through themes, styles, and materials, the story…
Multiple people stand together posing for a picture

It is with great sadness that PAFA joins in mourning the death of Dr. Constance E. Clayton, Philadelphia’s first Black and female schools’ superintendent and longtime collector of African American art.  

In 2019, Dr. Clayton gifted to PAFA a collection of 78 paintings, works on paper and sculptures…

Black and white image of John Rhoden sculpting

From Oct. 5 through April 7, his work will be on display in “Determined to Be: The Sculpture of John Rhoden” at PAFA. Through about 70 of his works in bronze, stone, and wood, as well as archival materials, the exhibit will seek to tell the story of an artist some people say is unsung, yet ahead of…

In the News

About PAFA

Founded in 1805, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts is America's first school and museum of fine arts. A recipient of the National Medal of Arts, PAFA offers undergraduate and graduate programs in the fine arts, innovative exhibitions of historic and contemporary American art, and a world-class collection of American art. PAFA’s esteemed alumni include Mary Cassatt, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Thomas Eakins, William Glackens, Barkley L. Hendricks, Violet Oakley, Louis Kahn, David Lynch, and Henry Ossawa Tanner.