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The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts has acquired a number of significant works by Hudson River School artists of the 19th century, as well as work by contemporary artists, including etchings by Sue Coe and David Lynch's first foray into a kind of filmmaking.

Funds for the acquisitions, which totaled more than $2 million, were drawn from a number of sources, said Harry Philbrick, director of PAFA's museum. Acquisition of the etchings by Coe and an oil painting by Katherine Bradford marked the first time the academy has used funds generated by the sale of Edward Hopper's East Wind Over Weehawken, which fetched $40.5 million at a 2013 auction.

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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 presents "The Artist's Garden: American Impressionism and the Garden Movement, 1887–1920." On view February 13 – May 24, 2015, the exhibition illuminates the intertwining stories of Impressionism, Philadelphia’s role in the national garden movement, and the growing popularity of gardening among middle-class Americans during the Progressive era.

Philadelphia boasts a distinguished gardening history dating back to William Penn’s 17th century vision of the city as a wholesome “green country town.” It is in the City of Brotherly Love that the Colonial Revival Garden movement originated with the Centennial Exhibition in 1876, and where, in 1913, the Garden Club of America was founded.

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In a letter he wrote in 1825, the American painter John Vanderlyn said that paintings by the itinerant portraitist Ammi Phillips were “... cheap and slight, for the mass of folks can’t judge of the merits of a well-finished picture.” Vanderlyn had gone to France for academic training. His masterpiece, “Ariadne Asleep on the Island of Naxos” (1809-14), a suavely erotic, neo-Classical vision of a nude woman dozing in a pastoral landscape, is one of the gems of the collection of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. But a discerning viewer today might well prefer Phillips. His “Girl in Red Dress With Cat and Dog” (1830-35) is one of the loveliest paintings by any American artist.

A wonderful painting attributed to Phillips is included in “A Shared Legacy: Folk Art in America,” an inspiring exhibition at the American Folk Art Museum.

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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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At Philadelphia’s Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) first-year art students enroll in “Cast Drawing,” a discipline with a long history in Europe and America. Artists have practiced drawing plaster casts of ancient sculpture for over two centuries, yet today’s students soon learn to appreciate what might seem like a very conservative pursuit. Indeed, they realize, as one graduate put it: “Drawing a cast is challenging. You have to capture subtle variations in tone across curved surfaces, and observe changes in the light at the same time.” For Academy students the cast drawing studios represent more than just faded displays of naked gods and heroes from ancient history. They are true classrooms, where aspiring artists solidify their drawing skills in a manner that goes back more than two hundred years (Fig. 1).

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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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