Philadelphia Art Alliance
In 2018, the celebrated Philadelphia Art Alliance merged with University of the Arts, uniting two century-old institutions as the Philadelphia Art Alliance at University of the Arts.
Founded by playwright Christine Wetherill Stevenson in 1915 and located in the former Wetherill Mansion on Rittenhouse Square, the Philadelphia Art Alliance is considered one of the first multidisciplinary art spaces in the U.S. Its remarkable legacy includes presenting the work of visionary writers, composers, dancers, musicians, sculptors and architects from Igor Stravinsky and Gertrude Stein to Martha Graham, Buckminster Fuller and Diego Rivera, among many other dazzling luminaries.
University of the Arts is in the midst of envisioning and developing the next chapter of the Art Alliance as a multidisciplinary, contemporary arts forum in the heart of Philadelphia. Following its incredible history, the Art Alliance will once again be animated by leading visionaries of our time and aims to serve as a lively social hub—a living room for the arts in Philadelphia.
An exciting renovation is currently underway to update and restore the intimate gallery, performance and convening spaces of the Wetherill mansion, which was originally designed by architect Charles Klauder and built in 1906.
Upcoming Events and Exhibitions
Presented by the University of the Arts Rosenwald Wolf Gallery, Invisible City: Philadelphia and the Vernacular Avant-garde will highlight and explore Philadelphia’s significant contributions to visual culture in the 1950s through the 1970s in an exhibition, a publication and performances. The project will invite audiences to envision Philadelphia as “a city of firsts,” which produced the first Pop Art exhibitions; innovations in architecture and urban planning; one of the country’s first rock music magazines, and a substantial postwar growth of art schools.
On view at the University of the Arts’ Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery, Gershman Hall, the Philadelphia Art Alliance and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Invisible City will include works by major architects, photographers, sculptors, craftspersons, painters and conceptual artists of the period, including Denise Scott Brown, Rafael Ferrer, Ray Metzker, Ree Morton, Italo Scanga, and Robert Venturi. The exhibition will be enriched by time-based ephemeral pieces such as posters, pamphlets, and films. In examining the region’s performance art history, Alex Da Corte will reinvent Allan Kaprow's important happening Chicken at the Gershman , where it was originally performed in 1962. Invisible City builds on extensive research and website documentation that was initiated by the university’s director of exhibitions, Sid Sachs, and is supported by a 2014 Pew Center for Arts & Heritage Discovery grant.
Invisible City: Philadelphia and the Vernacular Avant-garde has been supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.
Site Effects is an exhibition curated by Katja Toporski and Anja Eichler that will explore jewelry in Europe and the United States. If jewelry is considered a form of communication, do people speak the same language on either side of the Atlantic?
Metalsmith Gary Griffin, when regarding the works in the International Jewelry Exhibition 1900 – 1980 at the ‘Künstlerhaus’ in Vienna, observed: ‘The European work appeared far more minimal than the American. It represented a design distillation process, which resulted in a reductivist aesthetic.’
Griffins was speaking to the jewelry of the last century. But what about the current moment? In Site Effects, a series of questions is posed: have the differences between jewelry created in Europe and the US been blurred in the era of globalization or do they still exist? If there are differences, are they solely aesthetic or are they conceptual as well? And what role does knowing an artist's name and location play in the perception of a work and the potential for cultural stereotyping? Does the Atlantic still exist as a dividing line? Or has this been replaced by a more individualized approach?
Site Effects will feature the works of 11 artists from the United States and 11 from Europe. Each artists will produce two pieces of work: one of their own conception and one in response to a prompt from a partnering artist from across the Atlantic, whose identity they will not know at the time of the jewelry creation. The exhibition seeks to engage with audiences’ preconceived notions of geography and nationality when reflecting on art and to consider what role, if any, the dividing line of the Atlantic plays on the style and substance of these pieces.
The Art Alliance at the University of the Arts will be the United States venue for Site Effects; the European venue is the Bavarian Society of Applied Arts in Munich, Germany, which will host the exhibition from Mid-January to the end of February 2020. A catalogue will accompany the exhibition.
Art Alliance Writers' Workshop
The Art Alliance Writers' Workshop is for emerging writers who work in fiction, non-fiction, and/or poetry. Participants improve their writing while working with an accomplished cohort over a year of intensive courses. Upon completion of coursework, students earn a certificate in Creative Writing.
During our current renovation, we are closed to the public.
For any inquiries please contact us:
251 S 18th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103