Where to See Art in Philly This Summer

From grand celebrations of movement forefathers to up-and-comer shows to puppets, here’s what to see at the city’s galleries and museums this summer. (Plus, a sneak peek for fall.)

Jayson Musson, in collaboration with The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, His History of Art, 2022 / Photograph by Carlos Avendaño.

Philly is known for its plethora of inspiring murals and public art. But it’s a destination for great art programming on the gallery walls as well, beyond just the PMA. (Though, they do have some exciting stuff coming this fall, too.)

On View Now

Wild/Mild: Vox Populi’s 17th Annual Juried Exhibition
Through July 10th

This year, the contemporary gallery and artist collective’s juried exhibition explores both unremarkable and unhinged moments from the last two years. From hundreds of applicants, 19 selected artists of various forms practicing in and around the city present two different rooms of paintings, prints, sculptures that consider what it’s like to live in extremes.
Vox Populi, 319 North 11th Street #3

A Brand New End: Survival and Its Pictures
Through July 16th

This exhibition is just one piece in a five-component undertaking by multimedia mastermind Carmen Winant, to investigate how images and self-representation intersect with domestic violence and feminism. The genre-bender and intense researcher uses imagery from the archives of Women in Transition and the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence for many of the new pieces in the center’s galleries. And if you’re a fan, keep an eye out for Winant’s book including materials from the showcase, coming this fall.
The Print Center, 1614 Latimer Street

Keith Haring: A Radiant Legacy
Through July 31st

Born in Reading and raised in Kutztown, the instantly recognizable style of Keith Haring is one of the most prominent of the AIDS crisis and the 80s at large. Until the end of the month, this exhibition will contain over 100 colorful works produced during his brief career in uniting NYC street art and queer counterculture with art aristocracy.
Michener Art Museum, 138 South Pine Street, Doylestown

Derrick Adams: Sanctuary
Through August 28th

Multidisciplinary artist Derrick Adams brings a reimagination of the Green Book, a series of Jim Crow era travel guides for Black motorists, to the African American Museum. Inspired by the life of the text’s creator, Victor Hugo Green, the exhibit will contain over 50 works by Adams that bring to life the archive of sanctuaries from Green’s directories.
African American Museum in Philadelphia, 701 Arch Street

Pool: A History of Segregation
Through August 30th

For the past 20 years, Black children have had a higher rate of accidental drowning than white children by 50 percent – an undeniable result of racially discriminatory public pools. This free show at Fairmount Water Works delves into the ties between water and social issues through photography, murals, rarely seen archival footage and an animated film from recent Pulitzer Prize winner James Ijames.
Fairmount Water Works, 640 Waterworks Drive

Gatecrashers: The Rise of the Self-Taught Artist in America
Through September 5th

If you’re seeking art for art’s sake rather than the more stiff collar stuff, this is it. The over 50-piece exhibition pays tribute to post-WWI artists who crossed boundaries and rose in prominence without formal training, such as West Chester-born Horace Pippin and Anna Mary Robertson “Grandma” Moses.
Brandywine River Museum of Art, 1 Hoffman’s Mill Road, Chadds Ford

Installation view from the entrance of the Weitzman / Photograph by Robert Hakalski

The Future Will Follow the Past: An Exhibition By Johnathan Horowitz
Through December

Curated by artist Johnathan Horowitz, this collaboration with the Lowell Milken Center at UCLA will supplement the Weitzman’s existing collection of pieces interpreting over 360 years of Jewish life. Alongside a series of installations from Horowitz’s own sociopolitically probing body of work, the exhibition includes contributions from big names like Jenny Holzer, Adrian Piper and art-rock legend, Kim Gordon.
Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History, 101 South Independence Mall East

Coming Soon

Sunny Days & Lonely Nights
July 8th, 6-9 p.m.

The Corridor Contemporary’s three floor gallery contains work from the likes of Warhol, KAWS, and coming this Friday night, Bronx-born painter Anthony Rondinone. Stop by this Fishtown solo exhibition for pieces reminiscent of a less gruesome, pop-culturally aware Francis Bacon.
Corridor Contemporary, 1315 Frankford Ave

Women In Motion: 150 Years of Women’s Artistic Networks at PAFA
July 9th to 24th

Once upon a time, Cecelia Beaux, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art’s first full-time female painting professor, hoped for the day that the work of women in art would be as normal as commonplace as men in art. This month, the exhibition will introduce viewers to the artist networks created among women like Beaux, her peers like the acclaimed Mary Cassatt, and more who produced work at the academy.
Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, 118-128 North Broad Street

Jayson Musson: His History of Art
July 22nd to November 13th

Going to the art museum doesn’t have to be a humorless, no-nonsense trudge down silent, ice-cold hallways. Yes, art can be fun. Funny, even. In the early 2010s, UArts and UPenn grad Jayson Musson made a name wittily criticizing elitism of the art world through his YouTube series “ART THOUGHTZ.” Coming later this month, Musson turns it up to 11 and takes aim at the field’s male domination issues with an exhibition featuring costuming, props, puppetry and inspiration from nun-turned-BBC-art-critic Sister Wendy Beckett. A selection of workshops and lectures with Musson will also be available at the museum throughout the fall.
The Fabric Workshop and Museum, 1214 Arch Street

nkwiluntàmën: I long for it; I am lonesome for it (such as the sound of a drum)
October 8th to October, 2023

From the curators of 2019’s holographic Ghost Ship exhibition by the riverfront, comes a new immersive installation to Pennsbury Manor. Opening on Indigenous Peoples Day weekend, multidisciplinary artist and recipient of a Pew Center for Arts & Heritage grant, Nathan Young will transform the historical sight into a meditative space to consider colonialism, Indigenous agency, and the artist’s own connection to his ancestral Lenape homeland. The experience will feature original music, personal narrative and environmental recordings.
Pennsbury Manor, 400 Pennsbury Memorial Road, Morrisville

Matisse in the 1930’s
October 20th to January 29, 2023

The largest collection of the famed father of fauvism is making its first stop in Philly, where Matisse visited during a pivotal decade in his career. This vast, multi-room collaboration with the Musée de l’Orangerie and the Musée Matisse Nice will explore this period in the 1930s, displaying over 100 items from his most renown works to seldom seen paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, and a documentary film.
Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway