Eat This Now: Survival Menu at the Philadelphia Assembled Kitchen

Philadelphia Assembled — the culmination of the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s multi-year project in the Perelman Building that examines the spirit of Philadelphia by illuminating the collective experience of some of the city’s most resilient communities — officially opens tomorrow night.

The exhibit includes a huge, breathtaking mural map marking these varied communities’ cultural milestones and landmarks across the city, plus curated rooms featuring pieces around themes like reconstruction, sovereignty, sanctuary, futures, and movement created by community members.

And it also includes food: the Philadelphia Assembled Kitchen is in residence at the Perelman Building’s cafe through December, and we’ve got the menu.

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OPINION: “Philadelphia Assembled” Is No Template for a Modern City

If the times were a-changing in the 1960s, the cosmic speedometer has so accelerated that the times have already been transformed.

I’m talking about “Philadelphia Assembled,” a two-year “art” project sponsored by the Philadelphia Museum of Art that’s now in its second year, in which Dutch artist Jeanne van Heeswijk’s ideas about community and Philadelphia’s future have been given a world stage — thanks mainly to Carlos Basualdo, curator of contemporary art at PMA, who invited van Heeswijk to Philadelphia. Read more »

Sorry, Tourists: The Rocky Statue Is Temporarily Off-Limits

Starting today, the Rocky statue at the foot of the Art Museum will be closed until mid-June for “site improvements,” according to the city’s Parks & Recreation Department and VisitPhilly.

That means no more selfies with our city’s most legendary fighter for the time being, to the dismay of out-of-towners and the boxing layman. (At least we finally got that statue of Smokin’ Joe and his thunderous left hook up at XFINITY Live!) Read more »

“Man Made” and Mass Produced: How Stephen Burks Squares the Circle

Stephen Burks | Photo portrait: Rainer Hosch, 2012. Other photos by JPG Photography unless otherwise noted

Stephen Burks | Photo portrait: Rainer Hosch, 2012. Other photos by JPG Photography

According to Stephen Burks, design as we know it is a fundamentally Western concept.

But that doesn’t mean that there’s no design outside the West.

“In other places in the world, people solve problems, people make beautiful things, people manipulate material for the betterment of humanity, passionately, every day,” he says. “It’s part of life, and it’s always been part of life. Everyone is capable of design.

“And I think the more we recognize that, the more space we can create [for the rest of the world] in what is traditionally a European narrative.”

This insight, which Burks first gained on a trip to South Africa in 2005, has informed everything Stephen Burks Man Made produces. What may be equally notable is that he got one of the pillars of French high-end design to buy into it too. Read more »

Philly’s Rock Star of Art

Da Corte in his Juniata studio | Photograph by Jauhien Sasnou

Da Corte in his Juniata studio | Photograph by Jauhien Sasnou

Outside a leaky old candy factory in Juniata, the season’s first snowstorm is caking the sidewalk in slush. A fire-engine-red door opens with the push of a tattooed hand belonging to artist Alex Da Corte. He ushers me inside a cavernous space the size of a basketball court, past a series of installations in mid-assembly, up a flight of stairs, and into a room that has the makings of a David Lynch dream sequence. There’s a bushy-tailed dog ablaze in peach-hued sunlight, propped up on all fours, staring at me from the perch of a plywood table. It’s stiff as the Sphinx. “That’s Nicole Brown Simpson’s Akita. It’s the dog they say found the bodies,” Da Corte explains, showing me its scraggily wire innards with gleeful delight. The pup will soon be placed on a mechanical track and rotate in circles, as if searching for something. To add a touch of dementedness, Da Corte has adorned the replica with a rubber Halloween dog mask. The dog is wearing a dog mask. “It’s maniacal,” Da Corte says. “It’s just not right.”

Photos after the jump »

Art Museum Painting Removed from Facebook for “Suggestive Content”

Collection of Serge Goisse, Belgium

Collection of Serge Goisse, Belgium

The Philadelphia Museum of Art’s International Pop exhibition starts on February 24th. To promote it, an Art Museum staffer posted the image above — Belgian artist Evelyne Axell’s 1964 painting “Ice Cream” — on Facebook. It’s on loan to the PMA from the Collection of Serge Goisse.

Per the Art Museum, it was removed from the site for “containing excessive amounts of skin or suggestive content.” The Art Museum has since reposted the painting with a note. Read more »

Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show

Marta Adelson, Robert and Penny Fox with John Binswanger

Marta Adelson, Robert and Penny Fox with John Binswanger

The Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show kicked off its 39th year with a glitzy gala on Wednesday night. Ellen Caplan, chair of this year’s show, welcomed guests to the event before introducing Timothy Rub, the museum’s CEO. He presented the 2015 Craft Show Awards to 10 of the outstanding artists participating in the show, determined by a panel of judges. Each winner received $1,000 from the sponsor of each individual award, with the Best of Show winner — Agnieszka Winograd, a jewelry designer — receiving $1,500. Presented by The Women’s Committee and The Craft Show Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the craft show is the single largest fund-raiser for the museum. More 1,000 applicants apply to show at the annual event, but only 195 are chosen. Proceeds from the show support educational programs and exhibitions and fund purchases of art and contemporary crafts for the permanent collection. To date, the committee has raised over $10.9 million for the museum. The Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show is at the Pennsylvania Convention Center through Sunday.

Photos after the jump »

The 15 Essential Paintings in PMA’s New American Still Life Exhibition

If you’re an impatient type of person or easily bewildered in art museums, we’ve made things easy for you — with the help of Kathy Foster, head of the American Art Department at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. We’ve assembled a list of the essential works to seek out at the Art Museum’s recently opened major exhibition, “Audubon to Warhol: The Art of American Still Life,” which explores the tradition of American still-life painting. Nearly 100 artists are represented — from the Philadelphia Peale family of the late 18th century to 20th-century pop icons Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol. The exhibit is an abundant feast for the eye. Here are our essential 15, with images when they were available.

Venus Rising From the Sea — A Deception (1822), Raphaelle Peale


The Peales were a Philadelphia family of artists and naturalists who created their own museum here. The father, Charles Willson Peale, an artist himself, wasn’t taking any chances about the future careers of his sons and named them accordingly: Rembrandt, Raphaelle, Titian and Rubens. Raphaelle committed himself to the still life genre that examined objects and our relationship to the material world — much to the displeasure of his father who would have preferred he take up the more illustrious narrative painting to teach morality. This painting is a beguiling trompe l’œil, depicting a coy conceptual deception. The painted handkerchief appears to be placed on the artist’s easel to block the image behind it of a nude Venus. Peale has even painted the Venus in a different style from the handkerchief superimposed in front. All we can see peeking out from behind the handkerchief is a slender foot below and a delicate hand above. The picture conveys the idea of temptation and attempts to entice you into the picture. It is a perfect welcoming painting to begin the exhibition.

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