October 24, 2014 |
When Mary DeWitt began painting portraits of lifers in the Pennsylvania correctional system - people even prison administrators believed deserved clemency - she was filled with optimism. "It was 1993, 1994, when I started the program, with the idea that they should've been pardoned in the '90s," she recalled. Twenty years later, DeWitt, 65, has painted new portraits of the women - all of whom remained incarcerated. "Then and Now: Women in Prison," an exhibition of portraits from 1996 and 2014, is on view at Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral through next Thursday.
March 20, 2014 |
A preliminary plan for the sale of artworks in the collection of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary should be announced by the end of March, seminary officials say. The seminary is home to about 200 paintings, including six portraits of clerics by Thomas Eakins and others by Alice Neel and Philip Pearlstein. The Inquirer reported Monday that the seminary was considering sales from its collection to help defray the costs of consolidation and renovation of its Wynnewood campus on City Avenue.
March 18, 2014 |
For a year, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia has been mulling how to carry out its plans for consolidation at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary on City Avenue. About 46 acres will be leased or sold, the diocese announced last March, and the campus will shrink to the remaining 30 acres, away from City Avenue. The announcement caught the attention of the seminary's Main Line neighbors, who formed a coalition to watch over issues of density, traffic, and development. Lost in the real estate concerns, however, has been another part of the fund-raising plan: the sale of seminary artworks, including portraits by Thomas Eakins, Philip Pearlstine, and Alice Neel.
April 29, 2013 |
Woodmere Art Museum has brought another forgotten Philadelphia artist out of history's back closet, to her benefit and ours. If you haven't heard of Ethel V. Ashton (1896-1975), the exhibition's title, "Private Artist/Public Life," explains why. Ashton was a fixture at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, where she was active for years in the Fellowship organization, which supports PAFA students and artists. She also was the school's librarian from 1957 until the early 1970s.
October 27, 2006 |
The advance material about "Philadelphia Selections 6," an exhibition at Moore College of Art & Design featuring works selected by guest curators Thora Jacobson, Mary Ellen Mark, and Linda Nochlin, made it tempting to guess what the show would look like. I was curious what these three mature, independent thinkers - all recipients of Moore's 2006 Visionary Women Awards - would find moving, compelling and worthy of selection in the works of nine area artists over the other 1,500-plus entries in the Levy Gallery Artists Registry.
March 18, 2005 |
It was eminently logical that the Abington Art Center, known for its on-site environmental art projects, would hire Amy Lipton as its first full-time curator. Lipton came to the center from ecoartspace, a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising environmental awareness through the arts. It's equally logical that Lipton's first curatorial effort should be "Trouble in Paradise," a group exhibition by 14 artists that calls attention to environmental loss. "Trouble in Paradise" is an impressive debut.
April 4, 2002 |
We live in a time when cell phones bleep loudly during school performances of The Sound of Music and budgeting for the arts is put on the back burners of school and government stoves everywhere. That's why it was particularly warming to see elementary students literally falling off their art-room stools so they could be the first to answer a question about a painting by Claude Monet. I witnessed this as part of an amazing program called Art Goes to School. PTA volunteers travel through school districts in the Philadelphia region with a portfolio of 20 to 25 artistic reproductions, some famous and some not so famous.
March 24, 2002 |
On Pennsylvania artists, reams could be written. Enormous exhibits could be organized around the subject, but seldom have been. Now two complementary displays, relatively modest ones, highlight Pennsylvania realist painters from the second half of the 20th century. This twin bill at the State Museum of Pennsylvania comprises a sizable survey. Brought together with care and consideration, the "traveling half" of the event is understandably the weightier portion, and it achieves many goals.
February 23, 2001 |
Popular culture finally is catching up with Philadelphia artist Alice Neel, famous during her lifetime (1900-1984) for her libido, lovers and liberalism. The fact that she was the Van Gogh of the 20th century is beginning to register with the general public. A traveling exhibition of 88 paintings and watercolors, on view at the Philadelphia Museum of Art until April 15, was organized by Ann Tempkin, curator of modern and contemporary art at the museum, and assistant curator Susan Rosenberg.
February 18, 2001 |
A version of this review of "Alice Neel" was published July 2 in The Inquirer, marking the show's debut at New York's Whitney Museum of American Art. It took a long time for Alice Neel to be recognized as an important painter, four decades at least, but she had a lot going against her. She was a woman working when male artists got all the attention; she was a figurative painter when abstraction was king during the 1940s and '50s; and...