Press Release

Dr. Brittany Webb Named PAFA's Curator of Twentieth Century Art and the John Rhoden Collection

Dr. Brittany Webb is named the Evelyn and Will Kaplan Curator of Twentieth Century Art and the John Rhoden Collection at PAFA

PHILADELPHIA (November 2, 2020) -- The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) is pleased to announce that Dr. Brittany Webb has been named Evelyn and Will Kaplan Curator of Twentieth Century Art. A member of the PAFA community since 2018, Dr. Webb is the Curator of the John Rhoden Collection. With her new curatorial appointment, Dr. Webb becomes the inaugural Evelyn and Will Kaplan Curator of Twentieth Century Art and the John Rhoden Collection.

In her new role, Dr. Webb will oversee the Museum’s renowned collections, exhibitions, and programs of 20th century art, furthering PAFA’s mission to celebrate and investigate the stories of American art. She will also support the School of Fine Arts by providing instruction for the student body at PAFA. Dr. Webb is currently organizing a major retrospective exhibition and catalogue of the work of the African American sculptor John Rhoden (1916-2001), scheduled for 2022. She stewards a collection of nearly 300 sculptures by Rhoden, leading PAFA’s ongoing effort to place his artworks into the permanent collections of museums around the world. Dr. Webb’s first exhibition as the Evelyn and Will Kaplan Curator of Twentieth Century Art and the John Rhoden Collection, Taking Space: Contemporary Women Artists and the Politics of Scale, features works by some of the most important women artists of the 20th century, including Joan Brown, Vija Celmins, Viola Frey, Nancy Graves, Barbara Kruger, Alice Neel, Louise Nevelson, Faith Ringgold, and Betye Saar. Opening November 19, her co-curator in this project is Jodi Throckmorton, Curator of Contemporary Art at PAFA.

“Dr. Webb is a treasured colleague whose intellectual rigor, collegiality and commitment to PAFA’s mission are evident in everything that she does,” said Brooke Davis Anderson, the Edna S. Tuttleman Director of the Museum. “I am thrilled that, in accepting this new role, Brittany’s work will now encompass the full sweep of American art in the 20th century, providing an opportunity for her creativity and curiosity—her voice—to expand the understanding of our country during a transformational century.”

“I am excited to shape such a rich permanent collection and further contribute to a strong foundation to support our exhibitions, programs and teaching,” said Dr. Brittany Webb. “I’m eager to continue envisioning futures for the Museum with my generous colleagues in the field and here at PAFA.”

Dr. Webb holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Temple University and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Southern California. Prior to joining PAFA, she was a member of the curatorial staff of the African American Museum in Philadelphia.

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.