10+ Excellent Art Exhibitions And Events In Philly This November

Social issues, sculptures, master works and more take center stage in Philly's art scene this month...

The arts scene in Philadelphia this November is all about the big picture: a museum donation of epic proportions (and the even-more epic master works included), large-scale sculptures and larger-scale social issues.

Swing by the Schuylkill River Trail for your last chance to see Martin Puryear’s towering public installation Big Bling.

Enter into a fantastical world at Philadelphia Photo Arts Center, where the world’s largest pop-up book is under construction.

All this and more with our top picks for arts happenings this November.

Big Bling

Photo courtesy Association for Public Art

It's your last chance to see a sculpture of mastodon-like proportions along the Schuylkill River Trail. Martin Puryear's Big Bling, which has towered over runners and bicyclists since June, will be deinstalled starting in mid-November. This epic feat in woodworking is worth seeing before it leaves for other shores.

Big Bling

When:Through Sunday, November 12
Where:Kelly Drive between Fountain Green Drive and the Connecting Railway and Girard Avenue Bridges

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Mural Arts Monument Lab

Monument Lab Installation in PhiladelphiaIn Perpetuity by Duane Linklater at Penn Treaty Park | Photo by Steve Weinik for Mural Arts

Temporary monuments by more than 20 local and international artists have popped up in public spaces all around the city, challenging viewers to think about representations of our history, memory and future. Organized by Mural Arts Philadelphia, Monument Lab includes interactive laboratories to encourage conversation and a hub at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, which displays public monument proposals generated during the run.

Mural Arts Monument Lab

When:Through Sunday, November 19
Where:Various locations including Penn Treaty Park, 1301 N. Beach Street

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Tao Hua Yuan Ji

Philadelphia artist Collete Fu is creating the largest pop-up book in the world, and you can watch it all happen at the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center (PPAC). The book will tell the story of an ancient tale by poet Tao Yuanming, who wrote of a utopian village hidden in an unreachable valley. Residents and visitors can check out this modern-day pop-up utopia on Saturdays through November 25 during Saturday Book Openings at PPAC, when the book is opened up to reveal a four-foot cave bidding visitors welcome.

Tao Hua Yuan Ji

When:Through Saturday, November 25 (Saturdays only)
Where:Philadelphia Photo Arts Center, 1400 North American Street #103

www.philaphotoarts.org

Pia De Girolamo: Mountain Series

Old CityPhoto by A. Ricketts for Visit Philadelphia

Mountain Series is the first solo exhibition by Philadelphia artist Pia De Girolamo, featuring landscape paintings of the volcanic wonderlands of Hawaii, the majestic views of the Canadian Rockies and more. Her pieces are built from vivid memories of immersing herself in natural vistas, and shape themselves as much as they shape the viewer's understanding of the natural world.

Pia De Girolamo: Mountain Series

When:Through Sunday, November 26
Where:3rd Street Gallery, 45 N. 2nd Street

www.3rdstreetgallery.com

ContraFuerte

You can find an exciting piece by local artist Miguel Antonio Horn stretching beneath a bridge in Center City on Cuthbert Street between 12th and 13th streets. The figures form a human buttress to the motorway, acting as a silent tribute to the human labor that shapes our city. An exhibition at RACSO Gallery features new works by Horn in celebration of his new public sculpture. See firsthand the result of his unique meshing of digital tools with a visceral understanding of the human form.

ContraFuerte

When:Through Sunday, December 10
Where:Racso Fine Arts, 1935 Passyunk Avenue

www.racsogallery.com

Speech/Acts

ICAPhoto by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

How does language shape the way we see our everyday reality? A exhibition seeks to do more than just answer that question by trying to break the word barriers we construct for ourselves around conversations about race and identity. Through Saturday, December 23, the Institute of Contemporary Art offers an interactive experience that centers around experimental black poetry and the experiences these word warriors illuminate. A series of readings on Saturdays will give viewers a chance to dive even deeper into the texts they explore.

Speech/Acts

When:Through Saturday, December 23 (Saturdays only)
Where:Institute of Contemporary Art, 118 S. 36th Street

www.icaphila.org

Old Masters Now: Celebrating the Johnson Collection

The Battle of the U.S.S. "Kearsage" and the C.S.S. "Alabama", 1864. Edouard Manet, French. Oil on canvas 54 1/4 x 50 3/4 inches. Philadelphia Museum of Art, John G. Johnson Collection, 1917.

Visit master works from the Renaissance, the Dutch Golden Age and the 19th century, all gathered together in celebration of the 100-year anniversary of a generous gift by donor and Philadelphia native John G. Johnson. Get intimate with pieces by Boticelli, Bosch, Manet and more as you explore the curatorial research providing new information about the artists and their pieces over decades of technological advances.

Old Masters Now: Celebrating the Johnson Collection

When:Through Monday, February 19, 2018
Where:Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy

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Terracotta Warriors of the First Emperor

Terracotta WarriorsPhoto courtesy The Franklin Institute

One of the greatest archeological finds in recent history is being highlighted at The Franklin Institute this winter. Ten of the famous Terracotta Warriors — life-sized figures of clay built over 2,000 years ago to stand guard over the tomb of the first Chinese Emperor — are on exhibit through Sunday, March 4. A special augmented reality experience, accessible through a downloadable app, will allow visitors to interact with each of the soldiers on display, uncovering the fascinating history of their time period and the scientific processes it took to build and preserve them.

Terracotta Warriors of the First Emperor

When:Through Sunday, March 4, 2018
Where:The Franklin Institute, 222 N. 20th Street

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Chuck Close Photographs

Chuck Close PhotographsBill T. Jones/Diptych | Image courtesy Chuck Close and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

You may know Chuck Close as a painter, but did you know he also has a boundary-breaking career as a photographer? Close demonstrates the same penchant for defying the limits of form and medium as he does with his paintings, experimenting with color, scale and subject. The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts exhibits this lesser known example of his artistic breadth through Sunday, April 8, 2018.

Chuck Close Photographs

When:Through April 8, 2018
Where:Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 118-128 N. Broad Street

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Veterans Day Weekend at the Museum of the American Revolution

Museum of the American ReovlutionPhoto by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

Visit the Museum of the American Revolution this week to commemorate veterans. On Friday, November, 10, celebrate the Marine Corps birthday and on Saturday, November 11, mark Veterans Day with free admission to veterans Friday through Sunday as well as special programs and activities.

Veterans Day Weekend at the Museum of the American Revolution

When:November 10-12
Where:Museum of the American Revolution, 101 S. 3rd Street
Cost:$19, adults; $17, senior (65 and up), active duty military (with ID), teachers (with ID) and students (with ID); $12, youth (6-17); free, children (5 and under)

www.amrevmuseum.org

Veterans Day with Free Admission at National Constitution Center

Photo By M. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia

Honor the service and sacrifice of our veterans on Veterans Day with free admission to the National Constitution Center. Special events include patriotic concerts, a wreath laying ceremony, chats with veterans and engaging civic education programs. Also, look for activities like writing thank-you letters to veterans, making patriotic crafts, folding the flag and marching drills.

Veterans Day with Free Admission at National Constitution Center

When:Saturday, November 11, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where:National Constitution Center, 525 Arch Street
Cost:Free

www.constitutioncenter.org

Graphic Women

Between the late 19th century and the early 20th century, women artists took Philadelphia's professional arts scene by storm, capturing the world in the fleeting shades of watercolor or the ethereal strokes of pastel and charcoal. Now their otherworldly illustrations are on view — some of them for the first time — at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts as a companion show to Woodmere Art Museum's A Grand Vision: Violet Oakley and the American Renaissance exhibition.

Graphic Women

When:November 16, 2017-February 18, 2018
Where:Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 118-128 N. Broad Street

www.pafa.org

Kiefer Rodin

Traveling to Philadelphia from the Musee Rodin in Paris, Keifer Rodin features pieces by Rodin alongside one of his contemporary disciples, Anselm Kiefer. Bridging the gap between time periods and differences in artistic medium, the exhibition highlights how both artists reach for a deeper understanding of the human condition.

Kiefer Rodin

When:November 17, 2017 - March 12, 2018
Where:Barnes Foundation, 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway

www.barnesfoundation.org

The Afterlife of Egyptian Kings

Penn MuseumPhoto courtesy Penn Museum

The saying goes, "You can't take it with you" — but what if you could? That was the question that occupied Egyptian pharaohs in their race to build ever more opulent pyramids and burial sites. Learn about the objects now keeping them company through an eternity underground at a lecture by David P. Silverman, Curator-in-Charge of the Egyptian Section at the Penn Museum.

The Afterlife of Egyptian Kings

When:Saturday, November 18, 3:30-4:30 p.m.
Where:Penn Museum, 3260 South Street

www.penn.museum

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