Press Release

PAFA Announces Latest Additions to Permanent Collection

Works by Catherine Murphy, Jonathan Lyndon Chase, Arcmanoro Niles, Maria Berrio, and Kenyon Cox, among others, are included

PHILADELPHIA (October 1, 2019) -- The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) is pleased to announce the addition of 13 historic, modern, and contemporary works to its permanent collection of American art. These new acquisitions include works of painting, collage, reclaimed material, and works on paper, created between 1905 and 2019.

In keeping with PAFA's longtime commitment to acquiring and exhibiting art by women artists, over half of the new acquisitions are works by women. Among the works in this group of acquisitions are Catherine Murphy's painting Self-Portraits (1985); The Oracle's Silence (2019), a new collage work by Maria Berrio; Marie Watt's Skywalker/Skyscraper (Allegory) (2012), a large-scale work crafted from reclaimed wool blankets; Study of a Wild Goose (1905) by Kenyon Cox; and Homesick for a Home I Never Had (2018), a self-portrait by PAFA alumnus Arcmanoro Niles. Also included among these new acquisitions are two works by Jonathan Lyndon Chase, the inaugural artist-in-residence at The Brodsky Center at PAFA.

"The museum is focused on expanding the breadth and depth of our permanent collection with works that reflect the diversity of voices across American art history," said Brooke Davis Anderson, Edna S. Tuttleman Director of the Museum. "These exciting new acquisitions are indicative of PAFA's mission to celebrate and expand the stories of American art."

One of the highlights of this group of new acquisitions, Self-Portraits by Catherine Murphy is a beguiling and masterful "double" self-portrait, depicting both Murphy and her husband, sculptor Harry Roseman, at work in their respective mediums. The work's challenging perspectives and finely-observed details are among the artistic hallmarks that have made Murphy an inimitable figure of 20th- and 21st-century painting.

Jodi Throckmorton, Curator of Contemporary Art, said, "These new acquisitions showcase PAFA's commitment to bringing work to our collection that is challenging conventions and shaping our conception of contemporary American art. It is especially exciting that PAFA's collection will be enriched by the work of these important contemporary women artists."

Growing and diversifying its permanent collection through gifts and purchases is a key focus of PAFA's mission. The purchases are made through collections endowments and dedicated collections funds, as well as gifts. PAFA's extraordinary commitment to expanding its collection of art made by women was recently recognized by a national Artnet News / In Other Words study. Over the past decade, 58% of the art acquired by PAFA was created by women, the highest percentage among the 26 major national institutions included in the study. The national average over the same time period, based on the institutions surveyed, was 11%.

About PAFA

Founded in 1805, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts is the United States’ first school and museum of fine arts. A recipient of the National Medal of Arts, PAFA offers a world-class collection of American art, innovative exhibitions of historic and contemporary American art, and educational opportunities in the fine arts. The PAFA Museum aims to tell America's diverse story through art, expanding who has been included in the canon of art history through its collections, exhibitions, and public programs, while classes educate artists and appreciators with a deep understanding of traditions and the ability to challenge conventions. 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.