June 18, 2016 |
There's a stuffed bald eagle giving a wild turkey a little side eye at a museum on Independence Mall, a stern look of "Don't make me fly up there. " In the United States of America, the bald eagle is most definitely the boss, the symbol of our nation, even though Benjamin Franklin preferred the gobbler over that snowy-headed raptor. On June 20, 1782, the Second Continental Congress voted to make the bald eagle a national symbol, and 200 years later, President Ronald Reagan deemed June 20 "National Bald Eagle Day. " "Whether silhouetted against the sky on a rocky pinnacle in Alaska or soaring majestically overhead in Florida, the bald eagle is admired as one of nature's most spectacular creatures," Reagan said in a proclamation at the time.
June 17, 2016 |
The Museum of the American Revolution, whose building at Third and Chestnut Streets has been under construction for two years, plans to announce Thursday that it will open its doors to the public April 19, 2017 - the 242nd anniversary of the battles of Lexington and Concord, considered the opening of hostilities between Britain and its North American colonies. When the smoke cleared following those nasty Massachusetts skirmishes so long ago, 122 fighters on both sides had lost their lives, and the colonies were launched on a revolutionary road that would not reach the goal of independence for eight arduous years.
June 16, 2016 |
I always assumed the vibrantly printed array of wrap skirts, maxi dresses, and kufis sold at African street fairs like last weekend's Odunde Festival were inspired by fabrics and silhouettes indigenous to the continent. Turns out I was only half right. The styles - iros (wraparound skirts), geles (head wraps), and bubas (loose-fitting blouses) - are native to central and west African countries. But ankara, the striking wax-coated cotton fabric from which the clothing is often fashioned, traces its heritage to the Netherlands.
June 13, 2016 |
Here are a few outstanding museum and gallery shows you should not miss this summer. Creative Africa (Through Sept. 25, Philadelphia Museum of Art) This big show is simply a revelation - the visionary work of artists throughout Africa, from contemporary photography, fashion, and architecture to centuries-old sculpture. Also programs, artist talks, family festivals, and community conversations. (215-763-8100, philamuseum.org ) Daylight Harmony: Larry Francis (Through June 30, Gross McCleaf Gallery)
June 11, 2016 |
"A lot of us know what to do when we go to a baseball game: You buy a hotdog, yell a lot, clap and cheer and whistle," said Ruth Anderson, director of arts education at Doylestown's James A. Michener Art Museum. Less obvious: How you and your kids should approach a staid and seemingly stodgy art museum. Five big-deal venues share tips for introducing children to their collections, exhibitions, and programs - and have fun doing it. Barnes Foundation 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, 215-278-7200 . Family programming is relatively new - as in, fewer than five years old - at the Barnes.
June 8, 2016 |
Carved canoes and hand-drawn carriages climb the walls. Woven baskets and wooden cradles hang from the ceiling. In the dimly glowing concrete tower, a gorgeous mess of early-American relics seems to come alive. "We call this the 'oh, my gosh' room," said director Doug Dolan - because that's what people generally say when they walk into the central court, crafted by Doylestown-born archaeologist and historian Henry Mercer in 1916. It's a spell that has been cast for the last 100 years upon visitors to the Mercer Museum, where the display of artifacts from 19th-century life has remained largely unchanged.
May 27, 2016 |
In one of Theodore Harris' collages, now on view at the African American Museum in Philadelphia, bursts of red bleed over a printed ballot form, stickers and images layer the surface: U.S. Out of Iraq Now, Does Praying Do Any Good?, Stop Executions, the Death Penalty Is a Hate Crime. At the center of this jittery, violent triptych, beneath a plume of exploding, cascading black, is an image of Malcolm X. Harris' piece is called The Ballot or the Bullet , a very direct reference to Malcolm X's famous 1964 speech: "It's time now for you and me to become more politically mature and realize what the ballot is for; what we're supposed to get when we cast a ballot; and that if we don't cast a ballot, it's going to end up in a situation where we're going to have to cast a bullet.
May 23, 2016 |
One of the first things visitors encounter in "Look Again: Contemporary Perspectives on African Art," the centerpiece exhibition of the five-show " Creative Africa " event at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, is a diviner's kit. The kit, from the Ovimbundu culture of Angola, consists of an array of seemingly miscellaneous objects, including some tiny figurines, a colored crystalline rock, and a number of more enigmatic items. The diviner carried them in a basket, and when someone sought his advice or predictions, he tossed them out. His skill was in looking at how they landed and interpreting the position and juxtaposition of the objects in a way that was useful to those who sought his services.
May 21, 2016 |
Over the roar of a backhoe and the shriek of power tools, archaeologist Rebecca Yamin stood on the edge of a dusty pit and examined what was left of the western wall of the Van Dyke Building, which stood at Third and Chestnut Streets in the middle of the 19th century. It was the last piece of a puzzle in four dimensions - mapping the site of the Museum of the American Revolution over more than 250 years. "The philosophy behind this work is, if you're going to destroy a site that's historic, we map all the features so at least there is a record," said Yamin, of the Commonwealth Heritage Group in West Chester.
May 18, 2016 |
The building that once housed the Please Touch Museum near 21st and Race Streets is to be demolished to make way for an eight-townhome development, according to permits on the website of the Department of Licenses & Inspections. The project is being completed by Philadelphia-based U.S. Construction Inc., according to Logan Square Neighborhood Association President Drew Murray, whose group endorsed the proposal at a meeting last year. The demolition permit was issued May 10. Horsham-based homebuilders Toll Brothers had previously been under agreement to acquire the 30,000-square-foot building at 208 N. 21st St. with plans to build a five-story condo project at the site.