Press Release

New Wide-Ranging Acquisitions Join Prestigious PAFA Collection of American Art

New Wide-Ranging Acquisitions Join Prestigious

PAFA Collection of American Art

Works by Audrey Flack, Mickalene Thomas, Sonya Clark, Cassils, and others

PHILADELPHIA (September 22, 2017) – The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) announces the addition of more than 28 historic, modern, and contemporary works to its permanent collection of American art. The new acquisitions include paintings, photographs, sculpture, mixed-media collages, and works on paper by many leading artists working today.

Highlights in the latest group of purchases include Audrey Flack’s monumental photorealist painting World War II (Vanitas) (1976-77); Unraveling (2017) by Sonya Clark, which will be performed at PAFA on November 4; a sketchbook with drawings by Linda Kramer; and two mixed media print investigations into interior space from 2016 by Mickalene Thomas.

PAFA is also excited to announce the purchase of photographs from Cassils’ powerful performance Becoming an Image, shown at PAFA in December 2016. These photographs show the artist sweating, grimacing, and flying through the air, a primal force pummeling a block of clay and confronting the invisible histories of violence against transgender people. “Thinking of the body as raw sculptural material, transformed by strict physical training regimes, Cassils forges a series of powerfully trained bodies for different performative purposes,” states Jodi Throckmorton, PAFA’s Curator of Contemporary Art.

Among the museum’s newly acquired gifts are works from the Estate of Marion Boulton Stroud, including two untitled works from the 1990s by Ann Hamilton, a serape print (hand silk-screened and hand-painted on cotton) by Mary Heilmann, and a mixed media work, Untitled, by Joan Jonas. Other gifts entering the collection include the bound book Sacred Sisters (2017) by Holly Trostle Brigham, the painting Pluto: Robert Lucy (1994) by Sylvia Sleigh, two 2017 archival pigment prints by Rebecca Rutstein, as well as the bust Daniel Carl Müller (1906) by Charles Grafly.

“Powerful works by women from throughout the 20th century were highlighted this season, in both gifts and acquisitions,” says Museum Director Brooke Davis Anderson, “reflecting our commitment to collecting works by women artists and artists from communities often overlooked by the conventional canon of art history.”

A complete list of new purchases and gifts and a selection of images are available.

Last Updated
March 26, 2018 - 2:43 PM

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.