Robert Indiana’s AMOR Sculpture Unveiled on Art Museum Steps

Going with the idea of our city being on a world stage while Pope Francis and the World Meeting of Families are in town this week, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Association for Public Art will unveil a Spanish/Latin edition of Robert Indiana’s famous Love statue on Tuesday morning. This one reads in similarly designed, red, six-foot-high, aluminum letters: Amor.

Placed prominently on the east terrace, the Spanish/Latin version of the culturally iconic pop sculpture is sure to photo-bomb its way into lots of the papal coverage during this week’s festivities with its message of red-hot love. It faces the parkway toward its english-speaking counterpart, Indiana’s Love sculpture, in JFK Plaza, (aka Love Park), across from City Hall.

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Joe Frazier Statue to Be Unveiled Next Month at Xfinity Live

joe frazier and statue

Joe Frazier and a model of his statue that will be unveiled next month at Xfinity Live.


Philly artist Stephen Layne’s 12-foot-tall, 1,800-pound Joe Frazier statue has been bronzed and is finally ready to be erected in its permanent home at Xfinity Live. It will be unveiled in a special ceremony next month.

The statue captures the former heavyweight boxing champion mid-punch. It was modeled after a photograph of the moment Frazier floored Muhammad Ali to win the heavyweight title in 1971. Layne, who attended and taught at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, says he chose that pose because of the way it represents Philadelphia. “The moment captured in the sculpture reflects the work ethic of Frazier and the city he called home,” he says.

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Should Philly Get to Vote on Its Public Art Installations?

Clothespin, B. Krist for Visit Philadelphia | Doctored <em>Paint Torch</em> via <a href="" target="_blank">Streets Dept.</a>

Clothespin, B. Krist for Visit Philadelphia | Doctored Paint Torch, Streets Dept.

I don’t have great taste in art. Or, maybe even worse, I don’t have any taste in art.

I have a couple of nice pieces courtesy of friends and family who haven’t yet realized their work is too good to give to me. But, left to my own devices, I gravitate toward the Basic Bitch Trifecta when decorating my walls: beaches, dogs and inspirational quotes. Part of me still misses my freshman dorm’s super-cheesy Audrey Hepburn print (another part of me misses it so bad that it’s in my Ikea shopping cart).

And so I’m never quite sure how to feel about some of Philly’s more abstract art. Is an oversized electrical plug art? Probably, considering it ended up in the Art Museum’s sculpture garden. How about a plastic, swirled dollop of paint? Perhaps. What if you dress up the dollop to look like the poo emoji? I’m going to go with definitely, but like I said, what do I know? Read more »

Six People Have Been Caught Urinating On A Ben Franklin Statue This Semester


Like all old, rich colleges, the University of Pennsylvania has a ton of stupid traditions. Many of them are steeped in history — the day where Penn juniors carry canes and wear fake straw hats dates to 1937 — and others are more recent.

Here’s one that’s less than 30 years old: It’s tradition to pee on the statue of Benjamin Franklin that sits at 36th Street and Locust Walk. The statue of Franklin sitting on a bench went up in 1987.

It’s quite popular, though: Six people have been caught doing it already this year. Other urinators, and they no doubt exist, have escaped detection by Penn Police. Pee for Pennsylvania! Public urination on public art!

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“Band of Brothers” Heroes to Get Statues in Philadelphia

Edward “Babe” Heffron and William “Wild Bill” Guarnere — two World War II heroes from South Philly immortalized in the book and miniseries Band of Brothers — will be honored with bronze statues somewhere in the city.

Heffron’s statue will be near where he grew up, at the Herron Playground at 2nd and Reed streets in South Philly. It will be dedicated next year. Guarnere, who lost a leg in the Battle of the Bulge, will get a statue likely near the Philadelphia Vietnam Veterans Memorial and Philadelphia Korean War Memorial in Center City. Family and friends of the two men raised the money for these statues separately.

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“Playing Angels” Sculpture Returns to Kelly Drive

Yesterday a beloved sculpture was restored to its proper place in Fairmount. Carl Milles’ “Playing Angels” have danced and played in the grass above Kelly Drive since 1972 and recently received a long-awaited makeover.

The Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy (Creative Philadelphia) had the “Playing Angels” fully restored and reengineered their anchoring system, so now they can be enjoyed for decades to come. The angels were cast from a group of five originals created by the famous Swedish sculptor around 1950, which currently reside in Millesgården, overlooking Sweden’s Stockholm harbor.

According to the Association for Public Art, the five casts were originally headed for a private site in Philadelphia. When plans fell through, one angel headed to Kansas City and another to Virginia. The Association for Public Art (then called the Fairmount Park Art Association) bought the other three in 1968 and installed them four years later.

The playful bronze casts sit lightly atop concrete pedestals – similar to those at Millesgården – giving them the appearance of flight. Now the “Playing Angels” can once again be seen frolicking in the sky while they make their music where Kelly Drive meets Fountain Green Drive, overlooking the Schuylkill River.

Photos courtesy of the Association for Public Art.

PHOTOS: Have You Seen the Giant Chair in the Lobby at the Kimmel Center?

If you haven’t been to the Kimmel Center lately, you may be surprised when you walk in to see a giant chair dwarfing the lobby and all the attendants scurrying around underneath. Simply called “Folding Deck Chair,” the work, by multi-disciplinary artist Tristin Lowe, is part of a rotating collection of works from the West Collection—the same folks who donated those busts of composers made out of pages of books.

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WATCH: Penn State Kids Chant for Return of Joe Paterno Statue

Yesterday, the NCAA announced it had lifted Penn State’s sanctions stemming from the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal. The Nittany Lions — now 2-0 this season after wins in State College and, um, Dublin — would be returned to their full set of scholarships, and were immediately eligible for the postseason.

Via Onward State comes this video of Penn State students’ impromptu celebration rally last night, which included the students chanting “Where’s the statue?” outside of Old Main.

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Mural Arts: “Fear Not, It’s a Face Lift”

Photo: Mural Arts' Facebook page

The Mural Arts Program (MAP) knows how much people love the 1987 Keith Haring mural We the Youth at 22nd & Ellsworth. That’s why the city arts organization issued a reassuring heads up on its Facebook page before the beginning of a six- to eight-week restoration, during which there will be scaffolding and workers and other oft-suspicious signs of doom.

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