An exhibition of "200 Years of African American Art" will be featured January 10 through April 5 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the classic structure that dominates that city's Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The Rodin Museum, also on the Parkway, closed January 8 and will reopen February 7 with a full-scale reinstallation that focuses on that sculptor's remarkable achievements as a portraitist.
A variety of subjects, styles, mediums and traditions are featured in "200 Years of African American Art," which includes such artists as Henry Ossawa Tanner, Horace Pippin, Jacob Lawrence, David Drake, William Henry Johnson, Elizabeth Catlett, Barbara Chase-Riboud, Martin Puryear and Carrie Mae Weems.
The exhibition explores the evolving ways in which African American artists have expressed personal, political and racial identity, with examples of art by both slaves and free individuals made in the 1800s, through the modernism of the early twentieth century, the abstract art period of the 1960s to 1980s, and the work of artists today.
The Rodin Museum, which holds one of the largest collections of works by the great French sculptor Auguste Rodin, will showcase his most iconic portraits as well as exceptional works that have not been on view for several years. Among the portraits are those of great French writers Honore de Balzac and Victor Hugo, which served as models for the magnificent sculptures he did of both men, as well as those of his wife, Rose Beuret, and his close artistic collaborator and lover Camille Claudel, who was described as "something unique, a natural rebel, a woman of genius."
Also in the new installation will be numerous figures from Rodin's masterpiece, The Gates of Hell, which has been a centerpiece of the museum since it opened.
The Rodin Museum will be open to the public from 10 am to 5 pm Wednesday through Monday. It will be closed on Tuesdays.
For an update on new exhibitions at museums in Philadelphia, New York and Washington, see A World of Art and Wonder Just Two Hours Away.