10 Great Art Exhibitions & Events In Philadelphia This January

A new year brings Renaissance masterworks, 2,000-year-old clay statues, monsters and more to Philly...

Ring in 2018 with a handful of powerful exhibitions in Philly this January.

Some feature old favorites, including Terracotta Warriors at the Franklin Institute (with 2,000-year-old clay statues!) and Old Masters Now at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (made up of works stretching back to the Renaissance).

There are also plenty of other goodies to choose from, including a newly discovered watercolor at the Museum of the American Revolution and a one-time-only chance to catch pages from the original manuscript of Frankenstein.

Celebrate the old and new with our top picks for arts happenings this month.

Gardens of the Mind: Echoes of the Feminine View

AAMPPhoto by M. Edlow for the African American Museum in Philadelphia

Have you ever felt like you had to dig around for a misplaced memory? Or felt wilted after a day with too little sun and too much energy spent? Then you'll totally dig the African American Museum's current exhibition, featuring works from five female artists exploring the concept of mind as garden — and how history and memory can shape who we are.

Gardens of the Mind: Echoes of the Feminine View

When:Through Tuesday, January 16
Where:The African American Museum, 701 Arch Street

www.aampmuseum.org

Gothic Monsters, Modern Science

It's potentially the only chance to see pages from Mary Shelley's original Frankenstein manuscript in person, which are making their only appearance in the U.S. as part of a current exhibition at The Rosenbach. On display beside the works of Dracula author Bram Stoker, the works make for a rare opportunity to watch the birth of a monster and a masterpiece, as tales of vampires and experiments gone wrong open you up to the world of the 19th century.

Gothic Monsters, Modern Science

When:Through Sunday, February 11
Where:The Rosenbach, 2008 Delancey Place

www.rosenbach.org

2017 Contemporary Photography Exhibition

More than 175 contemporary photographers submitted their work for the chance at a solo exhibition at the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center (PPAC). While only two made the final cut, the photographers – from opposite ends of the country – represent PPAC's mission of fostering emerging and established talent in the field. Both photographers play with the concept of impermanence, as they struggle with the fleeting nature of their medium and of fame.

2017 Contemporary Photography Exhibition

When:Through Saturday, February 17
Where:Philadelphia Photo Arts Center, 1400 N. American Street #103

www.philaphotoarts.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:Through Sunday, February 18
Where:Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 118-128 N. Broad Street

www.pafa.org

Old Masters Now

The Last Drop (The Gay Cavalier), c. 1639. Judith Leyster, Dutch (active Haarlem and Amsterdam). Oil on canvas, 35 1/16 x 28 15/16 inches. Philadelphia Museum of Art, John G. Johnson Collection, 1917.

View masterworks from the Renaissance, the 19th century and more in celebration of the 100-year anniversary of a generous gift by donor John G. Johnson. Get intimate with pieces by Boticelli, Bosch, Manet and more as you learn about the artists and their pieces as well as the curatorial research and decades of technological advances that go into taking care of these masterpieces.

Old Masters Now

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

www.philamuseum.org

Bearing Witness: Four Days in West Kingston

As always, the special exhibitions at the Penn Museum don't shy away from difficult topics. The latest show highlights an outbreak of violence in Jamaica in May of 2010 that led to the death of 75 civilians. Video and audio footage acts as both document and memorial to the event.

Bearing Witness: Four Days in West Kingston

When:Through Sunday, July 15
Where:Penn Museum, 3260 South Street

www.penn.museum

Terracotta Warriors of the First Emperor

One of the greatest archaeological 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 emperor of China — are on exhibit through Sunday, March 4. A special augmented reality experience, accessible through a downloadable app, allows 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
Where:The Franklin Institute, 222 N. 20th Street

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Kiefer Rodin

Auguste Rodin, Reclining Woman, undated. Terracotta and granite. 7 1/2 × 13 3/8 × 7 3/16 in. © Musée Rodin (photo by Jerome Manoukian).

Traveling to Philadelphia from the Musee Rodin in Paris, the Kiefer Rodin exhibit 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:Through Monday, March 12
Where:Barnes Foundation, 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway

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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's also had a boundary-breaking career as a photographer? Close has demonstrated the same penchant for defying the limits of form and medium as he does with his paintings, experimenting with color, scale and subject over 40 years. The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts exhibits this lesser-known example of his artistic breadth through April 8.

Chuck Close: Photographs

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

www.pafa.org

Among His Troops

You'll have only five weeks to see a newly discovered seven-foot-long watercolor depicting the only view we have of George Washington's tent on the field during the American Revolution. The watercolor — which shows the tent sitting on high ground overlooking the sleeping quarters of General Washington's troops — will be shown beside other artifacts from the Revolutionary War, giving you a chance to connect with the everyday reality of the conflict that shaped America.

Among His Troops

When:January 13-February 19
Where:Museum of the American Revolution, 101 S. 3rd Street

www.amrevmuseum.org

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