Press Release

PAFA Announces Latest Additions to Permanent Collection

Works by Abelardo Morell, Didier William and Nick Cave are included

PHILADELPHIA (March 23, 2018) ­– The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) announces the addition of 20 historic, modern, and contemporary works to its permanent collection of American art.

The new acquisitions include works on paper, sculpture and photography, half of which are works by women, artists of color, and underrepresented artists.

"PAFA continues to build a permanent collection devoted to the American experience, and we are currently particularly interested in women artists and artists of color, so we are utilizing our resources to tell an expansive story about the art of America," notes Brooke Davis Anderson, Edna S. Tuttleman Director of the Museum.

Highlights in the latest group of purchases include a wood carving, ink and collage panel, Marassa Jumeaux (2017), by Didier William, Associate Professor of Art and Chair of PAFA's MFA program, and two archival pigment prints by Boston-based photographer Abelardo Morell: Camera Obscura – View of Philadelphia from Loews Hotel room 3013 with upside down bed (2014) and Camera Obscura – Night View of Philadelphia from the Loews Hotel room 3013 (2014).

"This pair of camera obscura images are a breakthrough for me," Morell said of his work. "They represent my first attempts to picture day and night views from the same viewpoint."

PAFA is also excited to announce the purchase of a mixed media sculpture by Chicago-based artist Nick Cave that comprises a current exhibition of his work glorifying found ceramic dogs on thrones of discarded flea-market objects. Nick Cave: Rescue is on view in the Morris Gallery of the Historic Landmark Building through May 13, 2018.

"We are thrilled to have a second work by Nick Cave in PAFA's collection, alongside his 2003-4 sculpture Soundsuit #26, acquired in 2006," states PAFA Curator of Contemporary Art Jodi Throckmorton. "Adding a second work by Cave to the collection strengthens PAFA's commitments to this nationally-significant contemporary artist and to acquiring works by African-American artists."

Also on the list of new purchases is Sketch for A Real Allegory of Her Studio (2015) by contemporary American painter Mequitta Ahuja ; Hand Some (2002), a photograph of animal portraiture by artist William Wegman; …doing what they always do… (…when they grow up…) (2016), a mixed media work by Ebony G. Patterson ; and an engraving by James Smillie (1807-1885) after The Voyage of Life: Manhood painted by Thomas Cole (1801 – 1848).

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.

View Select List of New Acquisitions

Last Updated
September 27, 2019 - 12:49 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, Thomas Eakins, William Glackens, Barkley L. Hendricks, Violet Oakley, Louis Kahn, David Lynch, and Henry Ossawa Tanner.