Many Voices, Many Visions

On view January 23 – March 28, 2021
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In the United States of America 2020 has been a defining moment. The COVID-19 pandemic has claimed to date over 350,000 lives. With the economic shutdown millions of Americans lost their jobs. Protesters took to the streets denouncing systemic racism and demanding change. The Presidential election has revealed deep political divides. The Supreme Court has been challenged. Immigrants and refugees have been turned back at our borders. Hurricanes, floods, and wildfires have devastated large swathes of our country. Feelings of grief, anger, fear, loss, and uncertainty have marked these unprecedented times.

Many Voices, Many Visions is the 8th in a series of collaborative exhibitions organized by the Office of the Curator and the Arthur Ross Gallery that highlight the Penn Art Collection. This exhibition presents both historical and contemporary images that reflect on issues of humanity, the environment, governance, justice, resilience, and social change. The works of art on view resonate with these timely issues. The paintings, prints, sculpture, and photographs are insightful, compassionate, and at times provocative. From William Hogarth’s A Rake’s Progress to Honoré Daumier’s Les Marionettes politiques to Shirin Neshat’s Ghada, to David Driskell’s Mask Series II, these artists have chronicled their social and political times. In many instances their art has been a harbinger of change.

Background photo: Margaret Bourke-White (American, 1904–1971), Exodus, Pakistan, 1947; Silver Gelatin Print, 11 x 14 inches, University of Pennsylvania Art Collection; Gift of Myron A. Portenar, M.D. and Anne Jaffe Portenar (C’49)


Human Condition
Time of Change