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The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts announces that it will be the recipient of a $300,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections (SCHC) Implementation Grant will be in the amount of $250,000 outright, with an additional $50,000 in matching funds.

The SCHC grant will support PAFA's construction of a collections storage expansion project on the fifth floor of its Samuel M.V. Hamilton Building. This project will provide a brand new space for the storage and care of the museum's immense Works on Paper and Archives Collections. Construction will begin in late 2015.

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The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) is pleased to announce that Jodi Throckmorton  has been named Curator of Contemporary Art, effective October 27, 2014.

Throckmorton comes to PAFA from the Ulrich Museum of Art at Wichita State University, where she currently serves as Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art (since June 2013). Prior to that, Throckmorton served as Associate Curator at the San Jose Museum of Art (2007-2013).

“I am delighted that Jodi will be joining PAFA. Her skill as a curator, as well as passion and enthusiasm, became clear when I had the pleasure of working with her on PAFA’s Eric Fischl exhibition in 2012,” says Harry Philbrick, the Edna S. Tuttleman Director of the Museum.

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The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) is hosting Modern Women at PAFA: From Cassatt to O’Keeffe through September 1, 2013. The exhibition, which features 40 works by pioneering female artists, is a companion installation to the exhibition The Female Gaze: Women Artists Making Their World, which is on view through April 7, 2013.

Modern Women at PAFA includes both paintings and sculptures and explores themes such as motherhood and beauty, the natural landscape, self-portraiture, women in their community, women illustrators, and modern women in motion. Artists on view include Mary Cassatt (1844-1926), Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986), Violet Oakley (1874-1961), and Susan Macdowell Eakins (1851-1938).

PAFA has been a notable supporter of female artists since its inaugural exhibition in 1811, which featured works by Anna Claypoole Peale (1791-1878), Margaretta Angelica Peale (1795-1882), and Sarah Miriam Peale (1800-1885), all members of the Peale family of American painters descended from the miniaturist and still-life painter James Peale (1749-1831). By 1844 PAFA encouraged female students to participate in art classes, distinguishing itself as a leader in arts education for women. A number of important female artists including Cassatt, Cecilia Beaux (1885-1942), and Emily Clayton Bishop (1883-1912) went on to forge important relationships with PAFA as both students and instructors.

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The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) in Philadelphia announced plans to build a new gallery to display their works on paper collection. The addition will be housed in the museum’s Historic Landmark Building, which was designed by the acclaimed American architect, Frank Furness (1839-1912). A $250,000 grant from The Richard C. von Hess Foundation will be used to fund the project.

Works on paper are a huge component of PAFA’s permanent collection, encompassing over 75% of the museum’s holdings. The collection features drawings, watercolors, sketchbooks, prints, photographs, and experimental media from all periods of American art. Highlights include a collection of photographs by Thomas Eakins (1844-1916), studies and sketchbooks by William Glackens (1870-1938), and works by John Singleton Copley (1738-1815), Mary Cassatt (1844-1926), Arthur Dove (1880-1946), and Robert Motherwell (1915-1991).

The new gallery will allow the institution to significantly expand public access to its vast collection while keeping the light-sensitive objects safe. A separate space will be allotted for scholars conducting research and curators and faculty who will use the collection for educational purposes. PAFA has selected the Philadelphia-based architectural firm Atkin Olshin Schade to design the Works on Paper Gallery. Construction is expected to start early this year and last until Summer 2013.

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On Saturday, Philadelphia newest public sculpture was installed at Broad and Cherry Streets.

On Monday many people working in Center City got their first look at Paint Torch, a 51-foot, blue-and-orange paint brush leaning over the sidewalk at a 60-degree angle. It was created by celebrated sculptor Claes Oldenburg.

The sculpture is the centerpiece of Lenfest Plaza at the Pennsylvania Acadmy of the Fine Arts, a block and a half above City Hall, which has been under construction for several months. Surrounded by chain-link construction fencing and lift cranes, the paintbrush is easy to miss.

"I look up and see a big blue thing hanging over my head," said Dominique Familia, surprised by the cartoonish object towering over her lunch-hour route.

"It looks like a blow-up duck, or something," said her companion, Donna Mangini. "At first, it looks like a duck."

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