Expanding the Audience for Art in the 19th Century at The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

April 8 – July 31, 2016

This exhibition of work from the collection of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts will be selected by students in a curatorial seminar at the University of Pennsylvania.
Throughout the 19th century, artists strived to enlarge the audience for art.  To accomplish this they employed new image technologies or used traditional media in new ways; they took up popular subjects and adapted fine art traditions to new venues and formats; and they developed collaborative working relationships with publishers and technicians to produce massive editions of printed pictures.   PAFA itself attempted to expand its audience by introducing Sunday hours with free admission, which they hoped would appeal to the working classes.  Many of PAFA’s faculty and alumni were among the prominent popularizes of art, including Rembrandt Peale, Thomas Sully, Christian Schussele, John Sartain, Alice Barber Stephens, William Glackens, Violet Oakley, John Sloan, and Maxfield Parrish, to name a few.  These artists helped shape the image culture and the mass market for pictures that have come down to us.

 

Here are photos from the opening reception event on April 7, 2016
https://www.flickr.com/photos/arts_at_penn/albums/72157666911529265

 

C. D. Weldon, A Free Sunday at the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts, Wood engraving published in Harper's Weekly, June 11, 1887

C. D. Weldon, A Free Sunday at the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts,
Wood engraving published in Harper’s Weekly, June 11, 1887