January 9, 2016 |
For fans of public art in Philadelphia, it still stings to think about that day in 1998 when word got out that an iconic wall sculpture by artist Ellsworth Kelly had been removed from the old Greyhound office building, quietly sold, and given to New York's Museum of Modern Art. It wasn't the first or last great work of public art to be lost to Philadelphia through some combination of intercity poaching, heedless development, and neglect. In fact, even as the Gallery mall closed for renovations Jan. 1, the fate of its public art remained unclear.
December 30, 2015 |
The city's first piece of abstract public art - an iconic 1957 wall-mounted sculpture that once adorned Penn Center's Philadelphia Transportation Building at 17th and Market Streets - now nests in storage at New York's Museum of Modern Art. After several years of neglect, it was retrieved from Philadelphia in 1996 by the artist and his agent. But that is not Ellsworth Kelly's legacy in Philadelphia, where more than a dozen of his works are on prominent, permanent display, and one of his sculptures gleams on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
April 24, 2014
The newest jewel in the Philadelphia Museum of Art treasure trove is a 97-work collection that may tend toward minimalist tastes. But there's nothing bare-bones about its likely impact on the museum, its patrons, and the region's cultural landscape. Indeed, the decision by collectors Keith and Katherine Sachs to donate a substantial portion of their collection - whose acquisition poignantly represents a scrapbook of their 45-year marriage - requires a grand gesture in response. That came from museum officials this week with the renaming of the galleries of modern and contemporary art for the couple.
January 11, 2014 |
Art collectors Keith and Katherine Sachs, who have amassed one of the finest collections of contemporary work in the country, will donate the vast majority of it to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, transporting that institution into the front ranks of large museums with holdings of late-20th and early 21st-century art. Museum director Timothy Rub called the gift of 97 works, to be announced Friday, transformational and placed it among the three greatest...
May 6, 2013 |
The past has come back to haunt us at the Barnes Foundation, big time. It returned this weekend in the form of a monumental mural by painter and sculptor Ellsworth Kelly called Sculpture for a Large Wall . Kelly created the mural in 1956-57 as a commission for the former Philadelphia Transportation Building at 17th and Market Streets. It's a landmark work of art, the first abstract sculpture in Philadelphia and a piece that looks as fresh and lively today as it did when it was installed in the building's lobby 56 years ago. The sculpture left Philadelphia in 1998 under circumstances that shocked the city's cultural community.
December 2, 2012 |
An exhibition of wall sculptures by Ellsworth Kelly - including a large piece that once graced the old Greyhound terminal at 17th and Market Streets - will be presented at the Barnes Foundation from May 4 through Sept. 2, Barnes officials announced Thursday. It will be the first show of non-foundation works at the new Barnes on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The initial special exhibition included foundation works not regularly on public view. "We are thrilled to inaugurate our program of contemporary exhibitions with a presentation of works by Ellsworth Kelly, an acknowledged master of the 20th and 21st centuries," said Derek Gillman, Barnes president and director.
April 12, 2012
A photo caption in Wednesday's Inquirer incorrectly identified artist Ellsworth Kelly, above, whose new work, The Barnes Totem , was installed Tuesday at the Barnes Foundation on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. In Annette John-Hall's Tuesday column, the wrong date was given for the Score 4 Scholarships Basketball Tournament. The tournament is on Sunday, April 15. The Inquirer wants its news report to be fair and correct in every respect, and regrets when it is not. If you have a question or comment about news coverage, contact assistant managing editor David Sullivan (215-854-2357)
April 11, 2012 |
Shortly before 8 on Tuesday, with the long morning sunlight coming in low over the city, Ellsworth Kelly's The Barnes Totem finally settled into its permanent home outside the new gallery of the Barnes Foundation on the Parkway. The slanting sunlight caught the bead-blasted steel surface of the 40-foot sculpture, brightening its matted gray and propelling geometric shadows onto the limestone panels of the new Barnes building nearby. Gusty wind Monday had delayed the installation a day - no one, and certainly not the 88-year-old artist, wanted an eight-ton artwork swirling uncontrollably high above 20th and Callowhill Streets.
April 10, 2012 |
The artist Ellsworth Kelly was there. Joseph Neubauer, the Barnes Foundation vice chairman and donor extraordinaire, was also there. So were dozens of skilled movers, installers, crane operators, and art handlers. A swarm of project managers and members of the Kelly entourage talked and looked on in the shadow of a giant yellow crane angling from the parking lot of the Barnes' new gallery on the Parkway. They had all turned out Monday morning, waiting, as the artist put it, to "bring something back to Philadelphia" - a monumental sculpture by Kelly, his 40-foot-high, eight-ton, stainless steel The Barnes Totem . The Neubauer Family Foundation made the acquisition possible for the Barnes and, as Joseph Neubauer said, for "everyone in the city passing by. " It is the first public work installed here by Kelly, 88 and an undisputed master of American art, since his massive Transportation Building Lobby Sculpture was quietly removed from the old Greyhound office building on Market Street and sold in 1996.