Museum Reopening and Updated Exhibition Schedule Announced

PAFA Announces Museum Reopening and the Debut of Three Exhibitions; Updated Exhibition Schedule and Museum Hours for Winter/Spring 2021

PHILADELPHIA (January 21, 2020) -- The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) announces the Museum reopening on January 21, 2020 and an updated exhibition schedule and Museum hours of operation for Winter/Spring 2021. For the second time, PAFA was closed to the public in mid-November in response to the public health threat of COVID-19. After two delays, three exhibitions celebrating regional, national, and international artists will finally debut. The exhibitions champion women artists, African American artists, and LGBTQ artists and are all sourced from the permanent collection and recent acquisitions. PAFA's Museum looks forward to welcoming back visitors and members when it reopens to the public, maintaining comprehensive health and safety measures.

Opening Thursday, January 21 are Taking Space: Contemporary Women Artists and the Politics of Scale (through September 5, 2021), Roll, Press, Pull: Contemporary Prints from the Brandywine Workshop and Archives (through April 4, 2021), and Only Tony: Portraits by Gilbert Lewis (through September 5, 2021). The current exhibition, "Awakened in You": The Collection of Dr. Constance E. Clayton, has been extended and will now be on view through April 4, 2021.

Taking Space: Contemporary Women Artists and the Politics of Scale (January 21–September 5, 2021) examines the approaches of women artists for whom space is a critical feature of their work, whether they take the space on a wall, the real estate of a room through sculpture and installation, engage seriality as a spatial visual practice, cast a broad legacy in art history or claim the space of their body. Curated by Jodi Throckmorton, Curator of Contemporary Art and Dr. Brittany Webb, Curator of the John Rhoden Collection, this exhibition invites viewers to consider how size and repetition can be interpreted as political gestures in the practices of many women artists.

Taking Space, initially scheduled for 2020 in honor of the 100th anniversary of the passing of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, is an exhibition about women and by women. This exhibit seems prescient and even more relevant in our COVID-19-era, where space has new meaning.

Consisting of works from the permanent collection, many of which are new acquisitions, this exhibition features the following artists: María Berrío, Joan Brown, Elizabeth Colomba, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Eiko Fan, Mary Frank, Viola Frey, Hope Gangloff, Nancy Graves, Clarity Haynes, Ellen Harvey, Orit Hofshi, Barbara Kruger, Leah Modigliani, Elizabeth Murray, Wangechi Mutu, Dona Nelson, Louise Nevelson, Ebony G. Patterson, Debra Priestly, Faith Ringgold, Brie Ruais, Betye Saar, Miriam Schapiro, Mira Schor, Alyson Shotz, Sylvia Sleigh, Becky Suss, Mickalene Thomas, Marie Watt, and Deborah Willis.

With Only Tony: Portraits by Gilbert Lewis (January 21, 2021–September 5, 2021) PAFA presents an exhibition of approximately 25 paintings by the beloved Philadelphia artist Gilbert Lewis (b. 1945). Lewis is a longstanding fixture of the Philadelphia art community—as an art therapist, teacher, and clerk at a local art supply store (many have stories about his useful advice)—yet his work has had little exposure at Philadelphia museums. Curated by Jodi Throckmorton, PAFA's exhibition will focus on one model—Tony—whom Lewis painted numerous times in the 1980s. The history of art in Philadelphia—especially PAFA—is essential to studying figurative art in the United States. Lewis' work represents a critical queer perspective on this tradition that has yet to be fully recognized.

In response to popular demand, the current exhibition "Awakened in You": The Collection of Dr. Constance E. Clayton will be open through April 4, 2021. Featuring over seventy works by major African American artists gifted to PAFA from the collection of Philadelphia educator and arts advocate Dr. Constance Clayton, "Awakened in You" is a showcase of paintings, works on paper, and sculptures that invite visitors to experience the arc of African American art history. Featured artists include Sam Gilliam, Augusta Savage, Jacob Lawrence, PAFA alumni such as Barkley L. Hendricks, Henry O. Tanner, and Laura Wheeler Waring, and many more.

The health and safety of visitors and the PAFA community is always the highest priority. As such, PAFA has implemented and is maintaining preventative measures and policies to reopen its physical spaces. PAFA continues to closely monitor and comply with advisories from government and health agencies. To protect the well-being of the community, all entrants to the PAFA campus buildings will be required to abide by these policies and procedures.

The revised hours of operation are:

Thursday–Friday 10:00 AM–4:00 PM

11:00 AM–12:00 PM
Priority access for immunocompromised guests

12:00 PM–5:00 PM
Open to the general public 

Monday–Wednesday Closed

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, William Glackens, Barkley L. Hendricks, Violet Oakley, Louis Kahn, David Lynch, and Henry Ossawa Tanner.