A muted tint to displays of artwork

An 1876 watercolor by David J. Kennedy depicts the intersection of 32d and Chestnut Streets in Philadelphia. The work is part of "West Philadelphia: Building a Community" at the University of Pennsylvania's Arthur Ross Gallery.
An 1876 watercolor by David J. Kennedy depicts the intersection of 32d and Chestnut Streets in Philadelphia. The work is part of "West Philadelphia: Building a Community" at the University of Pennsylvania's Arthur Ross Gallery.
Posted: September 13, 2009

As any casual art-world observer could have predicted, this fall season looks to be a muted, sensible one - of reflecting, selecting from under-the-radar holdings and archives, shoring up, and sticking close to home. It's a correction, yes, but in many instances the scrutiny was long overdue.

Case in point: an exhibition at the University of Pennsylvania's Arthur Ross Gallery displaying the talents of David J. Kennedy (1816/17-1898), an immigrant to Philadelphia and a self-taught artist who was recognized in his day, but whose paintings became virtually unknown to Philadelphians over the last century. He and others illuminate the fall season. I'll be back to look at spring in January.

- Edith Newhall,

Inquirer gallery critic

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