In Fall 2020, A Lifetime Retrospective Dedicated To Jasper Johns Will Be Presented Simultaneously In New York And Philadelphia
In an unprecedented collaboration, this major exhibition is jointly organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Philadelphia Museum of Art
October 28, 2020–February 21, 2021
The most ambitious retrospective to date of the work of Jasper Johns, organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art, will be presented simultaneously in New York and Philadelphia this fall. A single exhibition in two venues, this unprecedented collaboration, Jasper Johns: Mind/Mirror, will be the artist’s first major museum retrospective on the East Coast in nearly a quarter century. It opens concurrently in Philadelphia and in New York on October 28, 2020. Visitors who attend the exhibition at one venue will enjoy half-price adult admission at the other when presenting their ticket. And throughout the duration of the exhibition, members of each institution will receive free admission at both venues. (Additional details will be available at whitney.org and philamuseum.org.)
Filling almost 30,000 combined square feet across the two venues, the exhibition will contain nearly 500 works. It is the most comprehensive exhibition ever devoted to Johns, creating an opportunity to highlight not only his well-known masterpieces but also many works that have never been exhibited publicly. Conceived around the principles of mirroring and doubling that have long been a focus of the artist’s work, this two-part exhibition, which follows a loose chronological order from the 1950s to the present, offers an innovative curatorial model for a monographic survey. It will chronicle Johns’s accomplishments across many mediums—including paintings, sculpture, drawings, prints, working proofs, and monotypes—and highlight the complex relationships among them.
Adam D. Weinberg, the Whitney’s Alice Pratt Brown Director, commented, “We are delighted to present this unique retrospective together with the Philadelphia Museum of Art, an important occasion for both museums, which have had connections with the artist going back decades. The Whitney has been collecting and showing Johns since the 1960s and we are thrilled to honor his ninetieth birthday in 2020, which also marks the ninetieth anniversary of the Whitney’s founding. Enigmatic, poetic, rich, and profoundly influential, Johns’s work is always ripe for reexamination.”
“Given the crucial place that Jasper Johns holds in the art of our time, this collaboration enables our two museums, together, to examine the artist’s vision in all its multiplicity and depth,” added Timothy Rub, the George D. Widener Director and CEO, Philadelphia Museum of Art. “The Philadelphia Museum of Art has long dedicated a gallery to the display of Johns’s work, which, given his admiration of Cézanne and Duchamp, richly resonates with our collection. Along with our colleagues at the Whitney, we hope to introduce a new generation of visitors in our respective cities to the exceptional achievements of this artist over the course of a career that now spans nearly seven decades.”
Jasper Johns (b. Augusta, Georgia, 1930) grew up in South Carolina where he pursued an interest in art at an early age. He attended the University of South Carolina before moving to New York in 1948, and briefly attended Parsons School of Design. For two years he served in the army and was stationed in South Carolina and Japan. He returned to New York in 1953, where he met Robert Rauschenberg, John Cage, and Merce Cunningham, with whom he would famously collaborate. His work has been the subject of numerous retrospectives and solo shows, including Jasper Johns: A Retrospective at the Jewish Museum (1964), Jasper Johns at the Whitney (1977), Jasper Johns: Works Since 1974 at the PMA (1988–89, which traveled to the Venice Biennale, where Johns was awarded the Golden Lion Award for Lifetime Achievement), Jasper Johns: A Retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (1996–97, the last comprehensive East Coast survey), and most recently Jasper Johns: ‘Something Resembling Truth’ at the Royal Academy, London, and The Broad, Los Angeles (2017–18). The innovative collaboration and structure of the Whitney and PMA’s retrospective distinguishes it from these previous shows and will account not only for the complexity and originality of Johns’s body of work at a new scale, but also will seek to test some of the conventional perceptions of it.
Since the early 1950s, Jasper Johns (b. 1930) has produced a radical and varied body of work distinguished by constant reinvention. In his twenties, Johns created his now-canonical Flag (1954–55), which challenged the dominance of Abstract Expressionism by integrating abstraction and representation through its direct, though painterly, deadpan visual power. His works have continued to pose similar paradoxes—between cognition and perception, image and object, painting and sculpture—and have explored new approaches to abstraction and figuration that have opened up perspectives for several generations of younger artists. Over the course of his career, he has tirelessly pursued an innovative body of work that includes painting, sculpture, drawing, prints, books, and the design of sets and costumes for the stage.
The exhibition is conceived as a unified whole, comprising two autonomous parts, and is co-curated by two longtime scholars who each has a close relationship with the artist: Carlos Basualdo, The Keith L. and Katherine Sachs Senior Curator of Contemporary Art at the PMA, and Scott Rothkopf, Senior Deputy Director and Nancy and Steve Crown Family Chief Curator at the Whitney. Basualdo noted, “We attempted to create an exhibition that echoes the logic of Johns’s work, and it is structured in a mimetic relation to his practice. Galleries at each venue will serve as cognates, echoes, and inversions of their counterparts at the other, allowing viewers to witness and experience the relationships between continuity and change, fragment and whole, singularity and repetition which Johns has used throughout his career to renew and transform his work.”
Rothkopf said, “One of our primary aims was to revivify the incredible sense of daring and discovery at the heart of Johns’s art. He stunned the establishment as a young man but continues to astonish audiences with surprising new ideas as he nears ninety. Surveying the whole of his career, we see an artist propelled by curiosity, constantly challenging himself—and all of us.”
The Philadelphia Museum of Art and Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Award Lawrence Abu Hamdan the Future Fields Commission in Time-Based Media
The Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo announced that Lawrence Abu Hamdan has been awarded the 2022 Future Fields Commission in Time-Based Media. This is the third in an ongoing series of commissions offered jointly by the two institutions to support the creation, production, and acquisition of new work by international artists working in the expanding fields of video, film, performance, and sound. Abu Hamdan has received many accolades and a number of commissions throughout Europe, the Middle East, and the United States. This project, in particular, stands as a singular and significant opportunity that will enable the artist to further develop, refine, and expand his growing practice and the subjects with which he works.
Lawrence Abu Hamdan (Lebanese/British, born in Amman 1985) lives and works in Beirut. His work is distinguished by the ways in which he experiments with voice and sound to create complex political narratives. In these he employs surveillance technologies and archival materials to explore the juridical implications of listening and the role of sound as a tool to silence, suppress, and resist. Combining science, journalism, a commitment to social justice, and art, Abu Hamdan’s aural investigations have served as evidence at the UK Asylum and Immigration Tribunal and advocacy for organizations such as Amnesty International. His research has also contributed to the work of the multidisciplinary research group Forensic Architecture.
For the Future Fields Commission, Abu Hamdan has proposed an installation, tentatively titled How to Hear Impossible Speech: Lessons from the Division of Perceptual Studies, which aims to expand our understanding of testimony and witness through narratives of reincarnation—a belief in the transmigration of the soul from one life to the next. Though distinct from the artist’s more widely known acoustic investigations, this commission will maintain a focus on ideas of resonance as Abu Hamdan charts the transmigration of speech, not through walls, but across time, bodies, and complex histories of unrest, subjugation, and colonization.
Abu Hamdan is developing the commission in close consultation with Amanda Sroka, the Museum’s Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art, as well as Irene Calderoni, Curator at the Fondazione. The work will premiere at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in spring 2022 and the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in Turin during the following winter. It will be jointly acquired by the two institutions.
Timothy Rub, The George D. Widener Director and CEO, Philadelphia Museum of Art, stated: “Lawrence Abu Hamdan has emerged as a powerful voice in contemporary art, and in this regard, he is the perfect choice for our Future Fields Commission. We look forward to the realization of his provocative project proposal, and are delighted both to partner once again with the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, and to share the outcome of our collaborations with visitors.”
Carlos Basualdo, The Keith L. and Katherine Sachs Senior Curator of Contemporary Art, said, “Future Fields is an extraordinary tool to explore contemporary art exactly where it is most vital, in the works of a new generation of artists, across the globe, developing new forms of visual production. We are delighted that Lawrence Abu Hamdan has accepted to be part of the already notable roster of artists that have received the commission.”
Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, President of the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, said: “We strongly believe that institutions today have a responsibility to support and foster art practices that are imaginative, daring, and committed, and Future Fields offers us a significant international platform to fulfil this aim. Lawrence Abu Hamdan is one of the most significant and innovative figures of his generation and we look forward to working with him on this ambitious project.”
are welcome to kick off the holiday season with the much-anticipated
Tree Lighting against the skyline at the Philadelphia
Museum of Art on Wednesday, November 27. Enjoy free live
music, complimentary candy canes and warm beverages on the East
Terrace starting at 5:00 p.m. With the official countdown set for
5:50 p.m., 12,000 LED lights will illuminate the stately 55-foot-tall
white fir on the terrace.
Tree Lighting once again headlines the museum’s holiday
program, which continues through the close of 2019 with events
ranging from holiday card making, caroling through the galleries, and
celebratory dining to a Feliz Navidad Fiesta and a Festival
promises to be a spectacular Tree Lighting, and we invite everyone to
join us here at the museum, where admission—following the
countdown—will be Pay-What-You-Wish until 8:45 p.m., as it is every
Wednesday evening,” said Timothy Rub, the museum’s
George D. Widener Director and CEO, who will officiate with
the Honorable Jim Kenney, Mayor of Philadelphia. “This
event brings out so many families and friends – last year’s Tree
Lighting drew a record 3300 well-wishers—and we invite everyone to
join us for what promises to be a festive evening full of community
Kenney said, “This Tree Lighting ceremony has become a
Philadelphia tradition that attracts so many people to our historic
museum every year. It looks spectacular, high above the Ben Franklin
Parkway. From the look on kids’ faces, it has to be one of the
happiest occasions in our city that every Philadelphian can enjoy the
day before the iconic Thanksgiving Day Parade. I look forward to
taking part in this year’s festivities.”
been rehearsing our classics like Let It Snow and Jingle Bells but
also some of the lesser known Christmas songs, by Louis Armstrong and
Ella Fitzgerald,” said Chelsea Reed of Chelsea Reed
and the Fairweather Nine. “I’m so excited to share all of
these with the people of Philadelphia!”
the museum, right after the Tree Lighting, visitors will be able to
stroll through the galleries and public spaces adorned with seasonal
decorations and enjoy festive foods and beverages. “Sister
Cities Girlchoir is looking forward to performing inside the museum,”
said founder Alysia Lee. “There’s no better way to top off
Philadelphia’s Tree Lighting than to get warm and cozy in the Great
Stair Hall, where the girls will bring their unique blend of songs of
empowerment, celebration, and meditation as they perform with such
grace under the majestic gilded statue of the Roman goddess Diana.”
at the street level next to Kelly Drive, the newly reopened
North Entrance, leading to the celebrated Vaulted Walkway,
is already decorated with evergreens for the holidays. Visitors may
enter there any time during museum hours and begin their holiday
shopping, too, in the new Main Store, access to which paid
admission is not required. On November 27, the Store will offer a 20
percent discount from 5 p.m. until 8:45 p.m.
museum’s East Entrance remains open during public hours and the
West Entrance is now closed until fall 2020.)
year, the holiday tree provides a magnificent spectacle overlooking
the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Planning for its placement
requires exceptional coordination. The Philly-bound evergreen makes a
300-mile trip, wheeling in from Hornell, New York, on a flatbed
truck. The 7500-pound tree is craned upright upon a platform; it is
then unwrapped, branching out to a 25 foot-wide-spread. Next, it is
adorned with thousands of lights, each one at .144watts, all powered
by (2) 20amp circuits. High on the apex of the tree, a star is
placed, measuring 6 feet in diameter and containing 175 lights
and installing the tree and generating the lighting would not be
possible without dedicated support. Seasonal decor is generously
provided by IBEW, Local 98, Dougherty Electric, Inc., PMC Property
Group, and the Women’s Committee of the Philadelphia Museum
of Art. Holidays at the Museum is sponsored by LF
Driscoll, with additional support from Dan Lepore & Sons
Company, The Berlin Steel Construction Company, JPC Group,
Inc., Thomas Company, Tracey Mechanical, Inc., ARC,
D.M. Sabia & Company, Inc., Colonial Electric Supply,
and Crescent Designed Metals.
Is The Full Schedule Of Holiday Events At The Museum To Close Out
It looks as if it will be another banner year of thought-provoking and wide-ranging exhibitions during the coming year at The Whitney Museum of American Art. (And one should not expect any less.) Announcing the schedule for 2020 at the Whitney Museum of American Art, Scott Rothkopf, Senior Deputy Director and Nancy and Steve Crown Family Chief Curator, noted: “In 2020 the Whitney will celebrate its ninetieth anniversary and fifth year downtown, so we’ve created a program that truly honors the spirit of artistic innovation both past and present. We remain focused on supporting emerging and mid-career artists, while finding fresh relevance in historical surveys from across the twentieth century. Also turning ninety, Jasper Johns closes out the year with an unprecedented retrospective that will reveal this American legend as never before to a new generation of audiences.”
February 17 the Museum opens Vida Americana: Mexican
Muralists Remake American Art, 1925–1945, a major
historical look at the transformative impact of Mexican artists on
the direction of American art from the mid-1920s until the end of
World War II. On October 28, in collaboration with thePhiladelphia Museum of Art,
a landmark retrospective of the work of Jasper Johns goes on
view simultaneously at both museums, paying tribute to the foremost
living American artist. In addition, the Whitney will devote
exhibitions to Julie Mehretu and Dawoud Bey, prominent
midcareer artists. The Mehretu exhibition, co-organized by the
Whitney with theLos Angeles
County Museum of Art, encompasses over two decades of the
artist’s work, presenting the most comprehensive overview of her
practice to date. In November, Dawoud Bey, one of the leading
photographers of his generation, will receive his first full-scale
retrospective, co-organized by the Whitney and the San
Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA).
Museum will also present Agnes Pelton: Desert
Transcendentalist—organized by the Phoenix
Art Museum—the first exhibition of work by the visionary
symbolist in nearly a quarter century; and Working Together:
The Photographers of the Kamoinge Workshop, an unprecedented
exhibition organized by the Virginia
Museum of Fine Arts, which chronicles the formative years of
this collective of Black photographers who lived and worked in New
York City. The year will also bring a range of focused exhibitions
dedicated to emerging and midcareer artists, including Darren
Bader, Jill Mulleady, Cauleen Smith, and Salman Toor, as
well as Dave McKenzie and My Barbarian, who continue
the Whitney’s commitment to performance and its many forms.
September the Museum will also unveil David Hammons’s
monumental public art installation Day’s End on Gansevoort
Peninsula, across the street from the Whitney. The debut of
this public artwork will be preceded by an exhibition entitled Around
Day’s End: Downtown New York, 1970–1986, which will
present a selection of works from the Museum’s collection related
to the seminal work that inspired Hammons’s sculpture: Gordon
Matta-Clark’s Day’s End (1975).
EXHIBITIONS AND EVENTS
Americana: Mexican Muralists Remake American Art, 1925–1945”,
February 17–May 17, 2020
cultural renaissance that emerged in Mexico in 1920 at the end of
that country’s revolution dramatically changed art not just in
Mexico but also in the United States. With approximately 200 works by
sixty American and Mexican artists, Vida Americana reorients
art history, acknowledging the wide-ranging and profound influence of
Mexico’s three leading muralists—José Clemente Orozco, David
Alfaro Siqueiros, and Diego Rivera—on the style, subject
matter, and ideology of art in the United States made between 1925
and 1945. By presenting the art of the Mexican muralists alongside
that of their American contemporaries, the exhibition reveals the
seismic impact of Mexican art, particularly on those looking for
inspiration and models beyond European modernism and the School of
by both well-known and underrecognized American artists will be
exhibited, including Thomas Hart Benton, Elizabeth Catlett, Aaron
Douglas, Marion Greenwood, Philip Guston, Eitarō Ishigaki, Jacob
Lawrence, Isamu Noguchi, Jackson Pollock, Ben Shahn, Thelma Johnson
Streat, Charles White, and Hale Woodruff. In addition to
Orozco, Rivera, and Siqueiros, other key Mexican artists in the
exhibition include Miguel Covarrubias, María Izquierdo, Frida
Kahlo, Mardonio Magaña, Alfredo Ramos Martínez, and Rufino
Organized by Barbara Haskell, curator, with Marcela Guerrero, assistant curator; Sarah Humphreville, senior curatorial assistant; and Alana Hernandez, former curatorial project assistant. (See previously-posted article here.)
Mehretu, June 26–September 20, 2020
This mid-career survey of Julie Mehretu (b. 1970; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia), co-organized by The Whitney with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), covers over two decades of the artist’s career and presents the most comprehensive overview of her practice to date. Featuring approximately forty works on paper and more than thirty paintings dating from 1996 to today, the exhibition includes works ranging from her early focus on drawing and mapping to her more recent introduction of bold gestures, saturated color, and figuration. The exhibition will showcase her commitment to interrogating the histories of art, architecture, and past civilizations alongside themes of migration, revolution, climate change, and global capitalism in the contemporary moment. Julie Mehretu is on view at LACMA November 3, 2019–March 22, 2020, and following its presentation at the Whitney from June 26 through September 20, 2020, the exhibition will travel to the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA (October 24, 2020–January 31, 2021); and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN (March 13–July 11, 2021).
Mehretu is curated by Christine Y. Kim, associate curator
in contemporary art at LACMA, and Rujeko Hockley, assistant
curator at the Whitney.
Johns, Opens October 28, 2020
Johns (b. 1930) is arguably the most influential living American
artist. Over the past sixty-five years, he has produced a radical and
varied body of work marked by constant reinvention. In an
unprecedented collaboration, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the
Whitney will stage a retrospective of Johns’s career simultaneously
across the two museums, featuring paintings, sculptures, drawings,
and prints, many shown publicly for the first time. Inspired by the
artist’s long-standing fascination with mirroring and doubles, the
two halves of the exhibition will act as reflections of one another,
spotlighting themes, methods, and images that echo across the two
venues. A visit to one museum or the other will provide a vivid
chronological survey; a visit to both will offer an innovative and
immersive exploration of the many phases, facets, and masterworks of
Johns’s still-evolving career.
Designs for Different Futures is organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Walker Art Center, and the Art Institute of Chicago.
role of designers in shaping how we think about the future is the
subject of a major exhibition that will premiere at the Philadelphia
Museum of Art this fall. Designs for Different Futures
(October 22, 2019–March 8, 2020) brings together some 80
works that address the challenges and opportunities that humans may
encounter in the years, decades, and centuries ahead. Organized by
the Philadelphia Museum of Art, theWalker
Art Center, Minneapolis,
and the Art Institute of Chicago,
Designs for Different Futures will be presented at the Walker
(September 12, 2020–January 3, 2021) and the Art Institute
of Chicago (February 6–May 16, 2021) following its
presentation in Philadelphia.
the questions today’s designers seek to answer are: What role
can technology play in augmenting or replacing a broad range of human
activities?Can intimacy be maintained at a distance? How can
we negotiate privacy in a world in which the sharing and use of
personal information has blurred traditional boundaries? How might we
use design to help heal or transform ourselves, bodily and
psychologically? How will we feed an ever-growing population?
no one can precisely predict the shape of things to come, the works
in the exhibition are firmly fixed on the future, providing design
solutions for a number of speculative scenarios. In some instances,
these proposals are borne of a sense of anxiety, and in others of a
sense of excitement over the possibilities that can be created
through the use of innovative materials, new technologies, and, most
importantly, fresh ideas.
Rub, the George D. Widener Director and Chief Executive Officer of
the Philadelphia Museum of Art, stated: “We often think of
art museums as places that foster a dialogue between the past and the
present, but they also can and should be places that inspire us to
think about the future and to ask how artists and designers can help
us think creatively about it. We are delighted to be able to
collaborate with the Walker Art Center and the Art Institute of
Chicago on this engaging project, which will offer our visitors an
opportunity to understand not only how designers are imagining—and
responding to—different visions of the futures, but also to
understand just how profoundly forward-looking design contributes in
our own time to shaping the world that we occupy and will bequeath as
a legacy to future generations.”
about the future has always been part of the human condition. It has
also been a perennial field of inquiry for designers and architects
whose speculations on this subject—ranging from the concrete to the
whimsical—can profoundly affect how we imagine what is to come.
Among the many forward-looking projects on view, visitors to Designs
for Different Futures will encounter lab-grown food, robotic
companions, family leave policy proposals, and textiles made of
of these possibilities will come to fruition, while others will
remain dreams or even threats,” said Kathryn Hiesinger,
the J. Mahlon Buck, Jr. Family Senior Curator of European Decorative
Arts after 1700, who coordinated the exhibition in Philadelphia with
former assistant curator Michelle Millar Fisher. “We’d like
visitors to join us as we present designs that consider the possible,
debate the inevitable, and weigh the alternatives. This exhibition
explores how design—understood expansively—can help us all
grapple with what might be on the horizon and allows our imaginations
to take flight.”
exhibition is divided into 11 thematic sections. In Resources,
visitors will encounter an inflatable pod measuring 15 feet in
diameter, part of the work Another Generosity first created in
2018 by Finnish architect Eero Lundén and designed in this
incarnation in collaboration with Ron Aasholm and Carmen
Lee. The pod slowly expands and contracts in the space,
responding to changing levels of carbon dioxide as visitors exhale
around it, and provoking questions about the ongoing effect of the
human footprint on the environment.
section titled Generations will explore ways in which the
choices we make today may contribute to the well-being or suffering
of those who come after us. Here, visitors will find a model of the
Svalbard Global Seed Vault, a repository that stores the
world’s largest collection of crop seeds. Located within a mountain
on a remote island near the Arctic Circle, the facility is designed
to withstand natural or human-made disasters. The Earths section
of the exhibition speculates on the challenges of extra-terrestrial
communication in Lisa Moura’s Alien Nations installation and
showcases typeface from the 2016 science-fiction film Arrival.
Bodies, designers grapple with choices about how our physical and
psychological selves might look, feel, and function in different
future scenarios. Featured here is one of the world’s lightest and
most advanced exoskeletons, designed to help people with mobility
challenges remain upright and active. Also notable is the CRISPR
Kit, an affordable and accessible gene-editing toolbox, which has
the potential to revolutionize biomedical research and open
opportunities for gene therapy and genetic engineering.
is a section that explores how technologies and online interfaces may
affect love, family, and community. Here, urban experiences of sex
and love are the focus of Andrés Jaque’s Intimate
Strangers, an audio-visual installation focusing on the gay
dating app. Through internet-enabled devices, designers explore the
possibility of digitally mediated love and sex, suggesting what
advanced digital networks hold for human sexuality.
contains projects that explore the future of the human diet.
Among them is a modular edible-insect farm, Cricket Shelter,
by Terreform ONE, which offers a ready source of protein for
impending food crises. A kitchen installation suggests how technology
and design may contribute to new modes of food production, including
an Ouroboros Steak made from human cells.
sections of the exhibition will focus on the future of Jobs and how
Cities will function and look 100 years from now—with
robotic baby feeders, driverless cars, and other
developments—affording a glimpse at how we might navigate living
beyond this planet. Shoes grown from sweat are among the innovations
visitors will find in a section devoted to Materials, while
Power will look at how design may affect our citizenship and
help us retain agency over such essentials as our DNA, our voices,
and our electronic communications in a future where the lines between
record-keeping, communication, and surveillance blur. Data
acknowledges and questions the different ways that information
might be collected and used, with all its inherent biases and
asymmetries, to shape different futures.
curatorial team is comprised of: at the Philadelphia
Museum of Art, Kathryn B.
Hiesinger, The J. Mahlon Buck, Jr. Family Senior
Curator of European Decorative Arts after 1700, and Michelle
Millar Fisher, formerly The Louis C. Madeira IV Assistant
Curator of European Decorative Arts after 1700; At the Walker
Art Center, Emmet Byrne,
Design Director and Associate Curator of Design; and at the Art
Institute of Chicago, Maite
Borjabad López-Pastor, Neville Bryan Assistant Curator of
Architecture and Design, and Zoë Ryan,
the John H. Bryan Chair and Curator of Architecture and Design.
Consulting curators are Andrew Blauvelt,
Director, Cranbrook Art Museum, Bloomfield
Hills, Michigan, and Curator-at-Large, Museum of Arts
and Design, New York; Colin Fanning,
Independent Scholar, Bard Graduate Center,
New York; and Orkan Telhan,
Associate Professor of Fine Arts (Emerging Design Practices),
University of Pennsylvania School of Design,
B. Hiesinger is the J. Mahlon Buck, Jr. Family Senior Curator of
European Decorative Arts after 1700 at the Philadelphia
Museum of Art. Her work focuses on decorative arts and
design from the mid-nineteenth century to the present and includes
the exhibitions and publications Zaha Hadid: Form in Motion
(2011), Out of the Ordinary: The Architecture and Design of
Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown and Associates (2001),
Japanese Design: A Survey since 1950 (1994) and Design
since 1945 (1983).
Millar Fisher is the Ronald C. and Anita L Wornick Curator of
Contemporary Decorative Arts at the Museum
of Fine Arts, Boston. She is a graduate of the University
of Glasgow, Scotland, and is currently completing her
doctorate in architectural history at the Graduate
Center of the City University of New York. She is the
co-author, with Paola Antonelli, of Items: Is Fashion
Byrne is the Design Director and Associate Curator of Design at
the Walker Art Center in
Minneapolis. He provides creative leadership and strategic direction
for the Walker in all areas of visual communication, branding,
publishing, while overseeing the award-winning in-house design
studio. He was one of the founders of the Task Newsletter in
2009 and is the creator of the Walker’s Intangibles platform.
Borjabad López-Pastor is the Neville Bryan Assistant Curator of
Architecture and Design at the Art Institute
of Chicago. She is an architect and curator educated at
the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid and Columbia
University, New York. She is the author and curator of
Scenographies of Power: From the State of Exception to the Spaces
of Exception (2017). Her work revolves around diverse forms of
critical spatial practices, operating across architecture, art, and
Ryan is the John H. Bryan Chair and Curator of Architecture and
Design at the Art Institute of Chicago.
She is the editor of As Seen: Exhibitions That Made Architecture
and Design History (2017) and curator of In a Cloud, in a
Wall, in a Chair: Six Modernists in Mexico at Midcentury (2019)
and the 2014 Istanbul Design Biennial, The Future is Not
What it Used to Be. Her projects explore the impact of
architecture and design on society.
on the innovative contemporary design objects, projects, and
speculations of the exhibition’s checklist, the accompanying volume
proposes design as a means through which to understand, question, and
negotiate individual and collective futures, giving provocative voice
to the most urgent issues of today. It asks readers to contemplate
the design context within broader historical, social, political, and
aesthetic spectrums. Designs for Different Futures addresses
futures near and far, exploring such issues as human-digital
interaction, climate change, political and social inequality,
resource scarcity, transportation, and infrastructure.
primary authors are Kathryn B. Hiesinger, Michelle Millar Fisher,
Emmet Byrne, Maite Borjabad López-Pastor, and Zoë Ryan,
with Andrew Blauvelt, Colin Fanning, Orkan Telhan, Juliana Rowen
Barton, and Maude de Schauensee. Additional contributions
include texts by V. Michael Bove Jr. and Nora Jackson,
Christina Cogdell, Marina Gorbis, Srećko Horvat, Bruno Latour,
Marisol LeBrón, Ezio Manzini, Chris Rapley, Danielle Wood, LinYee
Yuan, and Emma Yann Zhang; and interviews with Gabriella
Coleman, Formafantasma (Andrea Trimarchi and Simone
Farresin), Aimi Hamraie and Jillian Mercado, Francis
Kéré, David Kirby, Helen Kirkum, Alexandra Midal, Neri Oxman,
and Eyal Weizman.
for Different Futures will be distributed by Yale University
Press. The book was overseen by Philadelphia Museum of Art
publishing director Katie Reilly and editors Katie Brennan
and Kathleen Krattenmaker. It is designed by Ryan Gerald
Nelson, Senior Graphic Designer at the Walker Art Center, under the
direction of Walker design director Emmet Byrne.
part of the exhibition, visitors to the Philadelphia Museum of Art
galleries will also encounter a space for community meetups, public
programs, school visits, and self-directed activities. The Futures
Therapy Lab will weave personal connections between visitors and
the exhibition as part of a collaboration between the museum’s
Education Department and the curatorial team. Weekly programs,
many of which will occur on Pay-What-You-Wish Wednesday Nights,
will connect visitors with designers, artists, and locally based
creatives. The Futures Therapy Lab will contain a crowdsourced
Futures Library that includes everything from science-fiction
books to the exhibition catalogue. “Thinking about possible
futures is both exhilarating and anxiety-provoking,” said
Emily Schreiner, the Zoë and Dean Pappas Curator of Education,
Public Programs. “The Futures Therapy Lab is a place for
conversation, critique, and creativity in which visitors can imagine
their own hopes, fears and solutions for the future through
reflection, discussion, and art making.”
Philadelphia, this exhibition is generously supported by the
Annenberg Foundation Fund for Major Exhibitions, the Robert
Montgomery Scott Endowment for Exhibitions, the Kathleen C.
and John J.F. Sherrerd Fund for Exhibitions,Lisa Roberts and
David Seltzer in Honor of Collab’s 50th Anniversary, the Women’s
Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Laura and
William C. Buck Endowment for Exhibitions, the Harriet and
Ronald Lassin Fund for Special Exhibitions, the Jill and
Sheldon Bonovitz Exhibition Fund, and an anonymous donor.
Futures Therapy Lab will host a series of weekly happenings:
in the Lab
and designers share their work through talks, demonstrations, and
workshops. Wednesday Nights, 5:00–8:45 p.m.
Designer is In
it out. One-on-one sessions with local designers offer new
perspectives on your everyday life. Thursdays & Saturdays,
readings that explore narratives of the future. Select Sundays,
This fall, the Philadelphia Museum of Art will premiere Bury Our Weapons, Not Our Bodies!, a new site-specific public performance by acclaimed Israeli-born artist Yael Bartana. Scheduled to take place on September 22, 2018 (through to January 1, 2019) at the Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia, this performance will be presented as part of a solo exhibition at the Museum dedicated to the artist’s provocative film trilogy, And Europe Will Be Stunned (2007-2011). Marking its Philadelphia debut, this trilogy will be an immersive installation in the Joan Spain Gallery of the Museum’s Perelman Building.
Portrait of Yael Bartana. Photo by Birgit Kaulfuss. Image courtesy of the artist and Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2018.
Born in 1970 in Kfar Yehezkel, Israel, Yael Bartana lives and works in Berlin and Amsterdam. In her films, installations, and photographs, Bartana investigates the ideas of homeland, return, and belonging, often in ceremonies, memorials, public rituals, and actions that are intended to reaffirm and question collective identities and ideas of the nation or the state.
Image from “Zamach (Assassination),” 2011, by Yael Bartana. From the trilogy “And Europe Will Be Stunned.” (Collection of both the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; purchased by the PMA with funds contributed by Nancy M. Berman and Alan Bloch and the Philip and Muriel Berman Foundation, and the Committee on Modern and Contemporary Art; and purchased by the WAC, T. B. Walker Acquisition Fund, 2013). Image courtesy of the artist and Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2018.
Taking the complex history of Jewish-Polish identity as its point of departure, And Europe Will Be Stunned addresses the themes of nationhood, memory, and belonging that are integral to Bartana’s work. It first debuted at the Venice Biennale in 2011, where Bartana represented Poland. Shortly thereafter, the trilogy was jointly acquired by the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. Employing a visual vocabulary reminiscent of Stalinist and Zionist propaganda of the early 20th century, And Europe Will be Stunned chronicles the radical program of a fictional political movement called the Jewish Renaissance Movement in Poland (JRMiP). Created by Bartana, together with Polish activist Sławomir Sierakowski, the JRMiP advocates for the return of over three million Jews to their forgotten Polish homeland. Informed by the histories of the Israeli settlement movement, Zionism, anti-Semitism, and the Palestinian right of return, the trilogy uses the real and the imagined to speak to global complexities about identity and self-determination in an increasingly unstable world.
Still from “Mur i wieża (Wall and Tower),” 2009, by Yael Bartana. From the trilogy “And Europe Will Be Stunned.” (Collection of both the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; purchased by the PMA with funds contributed by Nancy M. Berman and Alan Bloch and the Philip and Muriel Berman Foundation, and the Committee on Modern and Contemporary Art; and purchased by the WAC, T. B. Walker Acquisition Fund, 2013). Image courtesy of the artist and Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2018.
Beyond the walls of the Philadelphia Museum, Bartana will realize Bury Our Weapons, Not Our Bodies! as a means of extending the themes of the artist’s trilogy into the birthplace of American democracy – Philadelphia. Bartana’s performance is a call to action, aiming to make visible the systems of violence and displacement that have been perpetuated through weapons, both literal and symbolic. As the title suggests, the performance will bury these weapons, rendering them useless, as they are incorporated into a choreographed funeral—a living monument—that will include a staged procession and a collective eulogy about war and survival. The movements of the performers are inspired by those of Israeli artist and dance composer Noa Eshkol (1924-2007), specifically evoking Eshkol’s 1953 memorial assembly performed in remembrance to the Holocaust. Bringing together funerary tradition, military ritual, and personal testimony, Bartana’s new performance will deepen the artist’s investigations into the construction of memory and the aesthetics of national identity.
Still from “Mary Koszmary (Nightmares),” 2007, by Yael Bartana. From the trilogy “And Europe Will Be Stunned.” (Collection of both the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; purchased by the PMA with funds contributed by Nancy M. Berman and Alan Bloch and the Philip and Muriel Berman Foundation, and the Committee on Modern and Contemporary Art; and purchased by the WAC, T. B. Walker Acquisition Fund, 2013). Image courtesy of the artist and Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2018.
This fall, the Philadelphia Museum of Art will present Little Ladies: Victorian Fashion Dolls and the Feminine Ideal, (November 11, 2018 – March 3, 2019, Dorrance Special Exhibition Galleries, first floor) an exhibition starring four extraordinary dolls and their extravagant wardrobes. Known as Miss Fanchon, Miss G. Townsend, Miss French Mary, and Marie Antoinette, they were made in France in the 1860s and 1870s. The ultimate toys for privileged girls of this period, these dolls reflected the world of adult fashion, being fully equipped with miniature versions of the myriad garments, accessories, and other personal possessions of a well-to-do Victorian lady. As models of womanhood, these fashion dolls represented Victorian culture, when most believed that the aim of a girl’s life was to marry and raise children, and women were exhorted to dress well, follow the strictures of contemporary etiquette, and excel in their proper sphere of domestic and social duties.
“Miss G. Townsend” Fashion Doll, 1870s, France (Gift of Edward Starr, Jr., 1976-58-9)
“Miss French Mary” Fashion Doll, around 1875, France. Gift of Mrs. James Wilson Wister, née Elizabeth Bayard Dunn, 1970-215-1a.
The dolls, which measure between 18 to 22 inches in height and have painted bisque heads, leather bodies, and hair wigs, come with tiny accouterments that are notable for their number, detail, and variety. Miss Fanchon’s trunk, for example, contains over 150 objects, including eighteen dresses, and her gloves, which measure just over two inches tall, have all the features of full-size gloves, including gussets, points, and button closures.
Three doll dresses from Miss Fanchon’s wardrobe, late 1860s-1870s, possibly France. Gift of Gardner H. Nicholas in memory of Mrs. Gardner H. Nicholas, 1922-58-9a—c, 14a,b,3.
The dolls are furnished with dresses for every occasion, from housework to fancy social events, as well as undergarments (chemises, drawers, petticoats, corsets, hoop skirts, bustles, and even tiny dress shields), outerwear, and accessories including bonnets, hair ornaments, jewelry, fans, and footwear.
Miss Fanchon’s Gloves, late 1860s-1870s, France. Gift of Gardner H. Nicholas in memory of Mrs. Gardner H. Nicholas, 1922-58-109a,b. Doll’s Handbag, late 1860s-1870s, France. Gift of Mrs. William Hill Steeble and Martha B. Newkirk in memory of their mother, Mrs. I. Roberts Newkirk, 1977-189-4aa.
In addition to personal care items such as a toothbrushes, combs, and mirrors, two dolls are provided with clothes hangers (not yet common in full-size households), while the plethora of other objects includes tiny books, visiting cards, a photo album, sewing kit, sheet music, writing set, alarm clock, newspaper, opera glasses, and even roller skates.
Doll’s Sewing Equipment, late 1860s-1870s, France. Gift of Edward Starr, Jr., 1976-58- 9Ah1-7 and Gift of Mrs. William Hill Steeble and Martha B. Newkirk in memory of their mother, Mrs. I. Roberts Newkirk, 1977-189-4y.