Last week I went to Philadelphia to visit the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, where I’ll be teaching an MFA Seminar and serving as a Visiting Critic this fall. Program director and painter Clint Jukkala gave me a tour of the school facilities and the museum, and it was a grand one indeed.
Cecilia Beaux, William Merritt Chase, Frank Duvenek, Thomas Eakins, Winslow Homer, Childe Hassam, Edmund Tarbell, Robert Henri, and John Sloan are well represented, as are more contemporary artists like Jennifer Bartlett, Richard Diebenkorn, Nancy Graves, Alex Katz, Philip Pearlstein, Robert Motherwell, Raymond Saunders, and Frank Stella. Harry Philbrick, former director of the Aldrich Museum and PAFA director since 2011, inventively shuffles the wide-ranging collection.
Although the museum’s selection of post-war abstraction may be relatively small, I found E, a terrific mid-scale Adolph Gottleib painting from 1949, hanging on the second floor.
I’m looking forward to working with the MFA students and faculty at PAFA and spending more time in Philadelphia when school starts in the fall. Perhaps I’ll get a chance to make some prints in PAFA’s outstanding print shop (pictured above). We’ll see.