Connoisseur: Amy Sadao

The director of the Institute of Contemporary Art shares the places, people and things on her radar.

Amy Sadao. Photograph by Jauhien Sasnou.

Amy Sadao. Photograph by Jauhien Sasnou.

Since becoming director of the Institute of Contemporary Art in 2012, Sadao, a Rittenhouse resident, has used her keen eye and business acumen to help catapult the University City museum to national recognition. Here, the acclaimed aesthete shares the places, people and things on her radar.

Favorite Things

Books photograph by Jauhien Sasnou. | Perfume photo via Michael Weiss.

Books photograph by Jauhien Sasnou. | Perfume photo via Michael Weiss.

On my wrist: Casio digital watch.

On my bookshelf: Books by local authors Asali Solomon, Jay Kirk and Cynthia Arrieu-King. “Obviously, my favorite poet and writer is my partner, Thomas Devaney.”

Signature scent: CB I Hate Perfume #202.

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Annual art buy: ICA benefit prints. “Every year, the ICA commissions a print — usually a 50-edition run — by an artist with whom we’ve worked in the past.”

Most meaningful possession: Drawings by my nieces and nephews.

Around Town

Cocktail: The Dandelion’s Iron Lady. “It’s a spin on a manhattan — they substitute Thatcher’s Apple Spice Ginger Liqueur for the vermouth.”

Date night: Performances produced by Ars Nova Workshop or Bowerbird, local nonprofits that specialize in experimental music, jazz, film and dance.

Must-have meal: Grace’s beef noodle soup from Ray’s in Chinatown.

Hidden gem: “I always take visitors to Philly’s last wooden street, on Locust Street between 12th and 13th.”

Go-to frame shop: Old City’s Seven Arts Framing.

On Her Calendar

Business trips: “In the past several years, I’ve traveled to Brazil, Turkey, Korea, China and Mexico to see artists’ exhibits and museums.”

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On weekends, I visit: Charles Burchfield’s Hill Top at High Noon at PAFA’s Historic Landmark Building. “It’s a Frank Furness and George W. Hewitt wonder.”

Summer plans: BlackStar Film Festival in August. “When it’s on, Philly becomes ground zero for the best people working in film today.”

Last vacation: Le Diamant, Martinique. “It’s a French territory, so all the bakeries sell fresh bread for one euro.”

Sculpture photo via Jessi Reaves/Bridget Donahue, New York.

Sculpture photo via Jessi Reaves/Bridget Donahue, New York.

Upcoming exhibit: Jessi Reaves’s furniture sculptures go on display this month. “Her furniture is really bizarre, wonderful, formalist and weird.”

Published in the April 2017 issue of Philadelphiamagazine.

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