New Year, New Acquisitions!

Contributed by Alexander Till, Associate Registrar

The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Art’s collection, which includes artworks in various media—from painting and sculpture to media art arts and photographs—reveals key aspects of America’s rich artistic history. In recent years, the museum has made a concerted effort to build its collection by acquiring works by underrepresented artists.

Brooke Davis Anderson, Edna S. Tuttleman Director of the Museum, along with Barbara Katus, Manager of Imaging Services, marveling over recently acquired Violet Oakley charcoal drawings.

These works will need some conservation before they will be ready to be exhibited.







Before works of art can enter storage, they need to be cataloged and properly housed. Jennifer Johns, Senior Registrar, and myself work with Liz McDermott to remove the artwork from its shipping container. The works came in rolled and we needed to lay them out to flatten them.


Our work-study student, Sami Russels helping me unpack a new acquisition.







We’re also very excited to announce that PAFA has recently acquired 278 sculptures by 20th century African American artist John Rhoden. We won’t be keeping all works, but we will help broker the rest of the collection for other institutions! Read more here.

The “Genius” Alumna

Contributed by Hoang Tran, Director of Archives

PAFA Alumna Njideka Akunyili Crosby was announced as one of the winners of the prestigious 2017 MacArthur Fellowship, otherwise known as the “Genius Grant.” In honor of the award, PAFA has hung her monumental two panel work, I Always Face You, Even When it Seems Otherwise. Now on View in the Samuel M.V. Hamilton Building at PAFA.



It took extra hands to hang such a large work. Our Team consisted of Liz McDermott, Michael Gibbons, Mark Knobelsdorf, and myself.

The MacArthur fellowships are awarded annually by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to extraordinarily creative people who inspire the masses.