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aPA to Relocate Nevelson and Epstein Sculptures to Penn

Jacob Epstein's bronze Social Consciousness sculpture
Jacob Epstein’s Social Consciousness. Photo © Caitlin Martin for the Association for Public Art

Two monumental sculptures owned by the Association for Public Art that have stood at the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s West Entrance for decades – Sir Jacob Epstein’s Social Consciousness (1954) and Louise Nevelson’s Atmosphere and Environment XII (1970) – will be getting a new home on the other side of the Schuylkill River.

We are thrilled to have worked with the University of Pennsylvania to add to the collection of public art on their campus, where the sculptures can be viewed and appreciated by new audiences, and revisited by their existing fans in a different setting.

The Association for Public Art (aPA) and the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) have announced that the multi-ton sculptures will be relocated to Penn’s campus – on long-term loan from aPA to Penn – to accommodate the upcoming renovations at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Epstein’s Social Consciousness will be installed along the Memorial Garden Walkway near Penn’s Van Pelt Library, and Nevelson’s Atmosphere and Environment XII will be installed on Shoemaker Green. The process of moving the artworks will begin Monday, July 15th (weather permitting) and require the disassembly of each sculpture. The works will be transferred by professional conservators, art handlers, and riggers, and reinstallation is intended to begin immediately thereafter. Once relocated, the sculptures will receive conservation treatment where necessary.

Louise Nevelson’s Atmosphere and Environment XII. Photo © Joseph Hetrick for the Association for Public Art

“It was a challenge to simultaneously find new, appropriate locations for two enormous sculptures,” said Penny Balkin Bach, aPA’s Executive Director & Chief Curator. “We wanted to keep these important artworks in continued public view and avoid placing them in storage, which sometimes is inevitable in situations like this one. We are thrilled to have worked with the University of Pennsylvania to add to the collection of public art on their campus, where the sculptures can be viewed and appreciated by new audiences, and revisited by their existing fans in a different setting.”

>>PRESS RELEASE: Association for Public Art Relocates Multi-Ton Nevelson and Epstein Sculptures from Philadelphia Museum of Art to University of Pennsylvania

>>Philadelphia Inquirer: Art Museum sculptures that have stood sentry for decades are moving to Penn for 99 years

>>Penn Today: Two monumental sculptures arrive on campus

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About the Association for Public Art
The Association for Public Art (aPA, formerly Fairmount Park Art Association) commissions, preserves, interprets, and promotes public art in Philadelphia. The aPA is the nation’s first private nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a “Museum Without Walls” that informs, engages, and inspires diverse audiences. Established in 1872, aPA integrates public art and urban design through exemplary programs and advocacy efforts that connect people with public art. For more information about aPA visit www.associationforpublicart.org.

About the University of Pennsylvania
The University of Pennsylvania, founded in 1740, is an Ivy League institution with a distinctive past. Its 12 undergraduate, graduate and professional schools are located in Philadelphia on an attractive urban campus that serves a diverse community of more than 20,000 students from throughout the nation and around the world. Ranked consistently among the top universities in the nation, Penn has a longstanding reputation for excellence in graduate and professional education. For more information visit www.upenn.edu.

Related Artworks

Artwork

Atmosphere and Environment XII

(1970)

by Louise Nevelson (1899 - 1988)

University of Pennsylvania, Shoemaker Green (east of 33rd Street between Walnut and Spruce Streets)

Atmosphere and Environment XII is a product of the mature style of Louise Nevelson, one of the most influential artists of the decades following World War II.

Artwork

Social Consciousness

(1954)

by Sir Jacob Epstein (1880 - 1959)

University of Pennsylvania, Memorial Garden Walkway near the Van Pelt Library

The Eternal Mother, seated with arms outstretched, has for decades cast a stern, sorrowful look at visitors entering the west doors of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Flanking her are two standing female figures: one representing Compassion and another that personifies Death.

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