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In Private Hands: 200 Years of American Painting

October 1, 2005 - January 8, 2006



(above: Albert Bierstadt (1830­1902), Wind River Wyoming, ca. 1870, oil on canvas, 54 x 85 inches. Courtesy of The Anschutz Collection)


The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts presents In Private Hands: 200 Years of American Painting, a once-in-a-lifetime exhibition of 100 paintings from 55 lenders - representing some of the very finest works of American art held in private collections across the country.

Private collectors have loaned works in the exhibition, and the majority rarely have been seen in public. In Private Hands is the first and only time all these paintings will be showcased together. The exhibition will explore the history of American art and the artists who have provided a visual record of America's cultural and social identity. (right: Andy Warhol (1928­1987), Sixteen Jackies,1964, silkscreen on canvas, 80 x 64 inches. Private Collection. © Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Source image [on image nos. 1 and 14): photograph Henri Dauman, 1963) 

The Pennsylvania Academy's extraordinary legacy as the nation's oldest museum and school of fine arts makes it the obvious venue for an exhibition that reflects on the broad scope of American art during the past two centuries. In Private Hands is made possible by the generous support of a small group of individual major donors who form the 200th Anniversary Circle and by corporate sponsors Bank of America and BUCKS Magazine.

"This is a truly magical exhibition representing America's huge achievement in the visual arts. In Private Hands offers a really unique opportunity to see 100 extraordinary works of art that remain in private hands," said Derek A. Gillman Academy President and the Edna S. Tuttleman Director.

"We are awed by the generosity of the collectors," Gillman continued. "When we conceived of this show as the final exhibition in our 200th Anniversary Celebration, we hadn't fully anticipated the great enthusiasm that this 200th Anniversary exhibition would generate from major collectors across the country, and just how many important works would be so generously lent.

"In Private Hands celebrates the legacy of American art and is a perfect complement to the Academy's 200th Anniversary Celebration," Gillman said.

In Private Hands will be on view October 1, 2005 - January 8, 2006 in the Frank Furness-designed historic landmark building (118 North Broad St.) and across Cherry Street in the soaring first-floor Fisher Brooks Gallery of the Academy's new Samuel M.V. Hamilton Building (128 North Broad St.).

Guest curator Nicolai Cikovsky, emeritus senior curator of American and British Paintings at the National Gallery of Art, and the Academy's Senior Curator Lynn Marsden-Atlass have been researching private holdings and meeting with collectors for nearly two years in preparation for the exhibition. Professor Robert Rosenblum of New York University, Cikovsky and Marsden-Atlass have produced a scholarly catalogue on this unique exhibition. Underwritten by the Connelly Foundation, the hardbound catalogue will be available in the Academy's store.


Among the paintings to be seen are:


Following the VIP Opening Celebration for members and other guests Friday evening, September 30, the exhibition will open to the public Saturday, October 1. A special Members' Day is planned for the following Monday, October 3, with activities designed to enhance members' knowledge and experience. Support for the Member's Day generously provided by The Dietrich Foundation.


((above: Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960­1988), Untitled, 1981, acrylic, oil paint stick and spray paint on wood, 73 1/4 x 49 1/4 inches. Collection of Aimee and Robert Lehrman, Washington, D.C. © The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat / ADAGP, Paris / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York)


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