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Our 2019 Public Art Highlights

An aPA membership supports Philadelphia’s growing collection of exceptional outdoor sculpture. From conserving our long-held treasures to bringing the best contemporary public art to the city, aPA promotes Art for Everyone, Anytime.

 

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Disassembling Jacob Epstein’s Social Consciousness at the Philadelphia Museum of Art for relocation to Penn. Photo Gregory Benson © 2019 for the Association for Public Art.

aPA’s Nevelson and Epstein Sculptures to Penn

This summer, aPA placed two monumental works on long-term loan to Penn: Atmosphere and Environment XII (1970) by Louise Nevelson and Social Consciousness (1954) by Sir Jacob Epstein. Both sculptures were moved from the West Terrace of the Philadelphia Museum of Art to Shoemaker Green and the Memorial Garden Walkway, respectively. Penny Balkin Bach, Executive Director & Chief Curator of aPA summarized the relocations as optimal sites where the works “can be viewed and appreciated by new audiences” and “revisited by existing fans.” Curator & Executive Director of Penn’s Arthur Ross Gallery, Lynn Marsden-Atlass, agrees that the sculptures will “become integral to experiencing Penn’s campus.” »More on the relocation

Installation of Louise Nevelson's bronze, geometric "Atmosphere and Environment" sculpture on Penn's campus
Installing Louise Nevelson’s Atmosphere and Environment XII on Penn’s campus after the sculpture was relocated from the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Photo Gregory Benson © 2019 for the Association for Public Art.

 

Did You Know? Established in 1872, the Fairmount Park Art Association, now the Association for Public Art, is the first non-profit public art organization in the U.S. In 2022, aPA will celebrate our 150th anniversary. »See our timeline

 

Conservators treating a bronze statue of Walt Whitman in south philadelphia
Conservation of the Walt Whitman sculpture by artist Jo Davidson for the poet’s 200th birthday. Photo Caitlin Martin © 2019 for the Association for Public Art.

Walt Whitman Conserved for 200th Birthday

The aPA sent our conservators from Tatti Conservation to give the Walt Whitman statue in South Philadelphia some special treatment for the regional celebration of the poet’s 200th birthday. The sculpture, by artist Jo Davidson, was cast in 1957 and purchased and installed by the Fairmount Park Art Association (now the Association for Public Art) in 1959. The aPA cares for over 30 outdoor sculptures in Philadelphia each spring, providing annual conservation maintenance and taking on special projects as needed. »Artworks treated in 2019

 

Did You Know? Our conservation program was launched in 1982, and is one of the longest continuously-operating programs of its kind in the United States. »Learn more

 

Sculpture Zoo in Logan Circle event - sculptor making sculpture of a duck
Artist Darla Jackson sculpting a duck at Sculpture Zoo in Logan Circle. Photo Alec Rogers © 2019 for the Association for Public Art.

Sculpture Zoo in Logan Circle

More than 1,200 visitors saw public art come to life at aPA’s free and family friendly Sculpture Zoo in Logan Circle event in June. Live turtles, toads, and ducks enlivened Alexander Stirling Calder’s Swann Memorial Fountain (1924) while participants enjoyed sculpture-making workshops and demonstrations by Philadelphia-based artists. The sweetest part? Free ice cream samples from our event partner Culture Republick, who joins our growing list of Partners for Public Art. »More on Partners for Public Art

 

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Related Artworks

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.

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

Walt Whitman

(1939, cast 1957)

by Jo Davidson (1883 - 1952)

Broad Street and Packer Avenue

The bronze by artist Jo Davidson captures the spirit of the free-striding American bard. This is a second cast from a plaster original.

Artwork

Swann Memorial Fountain

(1924)

by Alexander Stirling Calder (1870 - 1945)

Logan Square, Benjamin Franklin Parkway at 19th Street

Three bronze Native Americans that represent Philadelphia’s three main waterways: the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers, and Wissahickon Creek.

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