Invisible City Catalog Now Available for Purchase!

August 19, 2020

Invisible City catalog cover with neon yellow overlay

The much-anticipated Invisible City catalog its here!  

Purchase Now


Invisible City: Philadelphia and the Vernacular Avant-garde is the first book to examine Philadelphia's cultural impact from the 1950s to the Bicentennial. As an interdisciplinary exploration, Invisible City highlights Philadelphia's unique contributions to visual, literary, and musical culture featuring significant architects, photographers, sculptors, designers, craftsmen, writers, musicians, painters and conceptual artists.

The vernacular avant-garde reflects the everyday. From Duchamp's ready-mades to the aesthetics of Main Street, from American Bandstand to Andy Warhol's inaugural museum exhibit, from Robert Smithson's earthwork to Robert Venturi's Guild House, Philadelphia was a city of firsts. As a gritty postindustrial metropolis built of brick and Wissahickon schist, it was central to the concepts of postmodernism through insights on the social landscape, urban graffiti and underground theater. The city produced the earliest Pop Art exhibitions, influential popular music, the country’s premier rock music magazine, substantial art schools, progressive curators and the Institute of Contemporary Art.

These ideas are thoroughly illuminated in nine essays by Rachel Churner, Jennie Hirsh, Sid Sachs, John Szwed, and Anne Wilke Tucker, augmented with interviews and writings by Willoughby Sharp, Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Robert Venturi, and Progressive Architecture. Beautifully designed by Studio LHOOQ, this 304-page catalog is illustrated with 210 images and published by The University of the Arts with funding by the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.

Published on the occasion of the exhibition Invisible City: Philadelphia and the Vernacular Avant-garde, January 21–April 4, 2020

Invisible City: Philadelphia and the Vernacular Avant-garde is supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage

Published by:
University of the Arts
320 S Broad St
Philadelphia, PA 19102

© University of the Arts, all rights reserved

Edited by Sheryl Conkelton
Designed by Mỹ Linh Triệu Nguyễn, Studio LHOOQ

Printed by Point B Solutions, Minneapolis with Longo, Bolzano

USD: $40