Joan Semmel sits in studio between two paintings
"SEMMEL’S RETROSPECTIVE AT the PAFA is a thoughtfully curated (by Jodi Throckmorton), beautifully hung presentation of an entirely ravishing collection of her work."
In the News
installation view of two walls of paintings by Joan Semmel
Co-chief art critic of The New York Times, Roberta Smith, included PAFA's Joan Semmel retrospective in the "Best Art Exhibitions of 2021."
In the News
Eric Pryor in Museum
The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) is pleased to announce that Eric Pryor has been appointed president of the historic museum and college, beginning January 18, 2022. One of Philadelphia’s cornerstone cultural institutions, PAFA is poised to move forward into its next significant…
Press Release
Athena Scott with back turned works on large painting of figures

“An artist enrolled in a school such as PAFA finds their practice transitioning from one realm of exploration to another until discoveries are made.” So begins the description of the Paths exhibit, which displayed works by PAFA’s Master’s of Fine Art Class of 2022 this past summer and early fall…

Kristy Jane smiles, doing the splits in front of a large PAFA sign

This academic year Lily Jane Brown, Kristy Jane, and Marley Massey Parsons lead PAFA’s Visiting Artist Program. With untold opportunities for attendees and coordinators alike, the program is entirely student-run—Lily and Marley are enrolled in the Master of Fine Arts program and Kristy participates…

artist Arcmanoro Niles standing between paintings in studio

After graduating from PAFA with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2013, award-winning painter and Washington, D.C. native Arcmanoro Niles has gone on to exhibit in solo and group shows around the United States, China, Costa Rica, and Ireland—including an upcoming show at ICA Boston in 2022—and his works…

Alumni News
Joan Semmel's Centered Oil on canvas 48 x 53 in
The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) presents the first-ever retrospective of iconic painter Joan Semmel in a career-spanning exhibition, Joan Semmel: Skin in the Game, October 28, 2021 through April 3, 2022. With over 50 works that will trace the artist’s career from early abstract…
Press Release
painted illustration of carnations by rosa m towne

Edward Tabor shares the discovery of hidden illustrated books in Harvard's Botanical Museum and how it connects to Shakespeare and a PAFA student, Rosa M. Towne (1827-1909), who painted illustrations of  plants mentioned by Shakespeare.

From Tabor: 

"She wrote that she had decided to do the…

In the News
Hiro Sakaguchi sits in studio with crossed arms and artwork in background

Perhaps few of us can sympathize with a fish. A drawer and painter—and self-described as awkward and imaginative—PAFA’s continuing education instructor Hiro Sakaguchi is one of those few. 

One of Sakaguchi’s most-seen paintings depicts Niagara Falls with a bear catching one of several airplanes…

Alumni News
Artist Eustace Mamba stands on top of marble balcony

Originally from Manhattan, N.Y., Eustace Mamba entered PAFA in 2016. He received a BFA in illustration and is currently pursuing his MFA. Among other prizes, Mamba has received the 2019–2020 Raymond D. & Estelle Rubens Travel Scholarship. His “Weighing Escape Options” was acquired through the Judith…

Alumni News
Camp Still Life

PAFA has partnered with the Satell Institute – a Philadelphia-based Think and Do Tank dedicated to Corporate Social Responsibility - in their YES (Youth Enrichment Series) Initiative in 2021, to provide free scholarships to any student who wanted to learn safely and socially online over the summer…

Custom sheets of paper in yellow, orange, and red dry on a large table

“I’m primarily a painter”—an understatement from PAFA alumna Sarah McEneaney, whose autobiographical paintings can be seen in permanent collections from coast to coast—"but I have made some sculpture in the past throughout the years and they've mostly been animals. I think that’s because I live with…

Alumni News

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.