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2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19130

(215) 763 8100

Tuesday – Wednesday Closed
Thursday, 10am-5pm
Friday, 10am-8:45pm
Saturday, 10am-5pm
Sunday, 10am-5pm
Monday, 10am-5pm

Timed entry tickets

Adults $25
Seniors (65 & over) $23
Students with valid ID $14
Youths (18 & under) Free

Oneness: Nature and Connectivity in Chinese Art

Through October 29

Explore the questions of “what is nature?” and “what is the relationship between humans and nature?” This exhibition features the work of four contemporary artists whose practices examine the boundaries between humans and nature from a philosophical, spiritual, and material perspective. All the featured artists embrace and adapt historic Chinese artistic traditions through their chosen materials, process, or themes.

Oneness: Nature & Connectivity in Chinese Art, which is curated by Hiromi Kinoshita, The Hannah L. and J. Welles Henderson Curator of Chinese Art and Gabrielle Niu, former Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellow, shows that we are all connected, that our lives are closely linked with nature and how that impacts our world and environment. Works by Ming Fay, Tai Xiangzhou, and Wang Mansheng are shown in Gallery 321, while a large installation of ink paintings by Bingyi is featured in the Chinese Reception Hall, Gallery 326, and a series of related interventions is displayed in Gallery 334.

Read more and watch videos about the artists, click here.

A Century of Kanthas: Women’s Quilts in Bengal, 1870s–1970s

Through January 1, 2024

Like quilts around the world, kanthas embody thrift, labor, and imagination. Women in Bengal (modern-day Bangladesh and the state of West Bengal, India) created kanthas for a host of reasons—as ritual seating, bedcovers, baby swaddling, and much more. Most disintegrated with household use, but many that survived are now heirlooms that carry women’s individuality and love for their families across generations.

This exhibition brings into conversation two types of kanthas: nakshi (ornamented) kanthas and galicha (carpet) kanthas. The nakshi kanthas on view, from between about 1870 and 1930, are made on layers of soft, white, repurposed fabric embroidered with meaningful motifs in a delicate palette and often covered with rows of parallel white running stitches. Galicha kanthas, produced especially in the 1950s and 1960s, are thick, uniformly rectangular quilts with vivid cross-stitch embroidery in intricate geometric forms on a surface of new cloth backed by upcycled fabrics.

View the exhibition here.

Related Event:
Zoom Webinar Connection, Community, and Care: Embroidered Kantha

Wednesday, Sept 20, 2023 from 12–1pm EDT

Art historian Pika Ghosh discusses embroidered kantha from colonial Bengal in terms of community and care in this virtual talk.

Learn more and register here.

Ongoing Exhibitions

Collection Highlight: Ceremonial Teahouse
The name of this teahouse, Sunkaraku (Evanescent Joys), reflects the spirit of the traditional Japanese tea ceremony as a temporary refuge from the complexities of daily life. The architecture reveals a special delight in natural materials, such as bamboo and cedar. Using elements from an eighteenth-century teahouse, Ōgi Rodō designed this retreat around 1917 for the grounds of his Tokyo home. Acquired by the museum from the architect in 1928, this is the only example of his work outside Japan.

Collection Highlight: Temple Hall
The more than sixty carved granite elements that comprise this monumental space were collected by Philadelphian Adeline Pepper Gibson during a visit in 1912 to Madurai, a city in the south of India known for its spectacular Hindu temples. Debuting to the public in the museum’s original home at Memorial Hall in 1920, the mandapam opened at its current location in 1940. Although a reconstruction, it incorporates many original architectural elements and provides visitors with a unique opportunity to experience the extraordinary synthesis of sculpture, architecture, and symbol that characterizes South India’s elaborate temple form.

Arts of the Islamic World
Islam began over 1,400 years ago in the Arabian Peninsula and soon spread across Asia, Africa, and Europe. Today Muslims live on every continent and make up a quarter of the world’s population. The term “Islamic Art” refers to a variety of artwork made by and for Muslims over the centuries. Here are some exquisite examples drawn from the museum’s collection.

Unbound: Islamic Arts of the Book
The artworks on view in this installation were once part of books created for Muslim patrons in India and Pakistan. They are pages that have been unbound from the stories they once told. Many date to the period of the mid-1500s to the 1700s, when the Mughal Empire spanned much of South Asia, and share certain features, such as vertical formats, elaborate borders, and often muted colors. Alongside the many pages taken from narrative manuscripts are a few examples from the Qur’an, the holy book of Islam, and a colossal work by contemporary artist Shahzia Sikander that offers an innovative reinterpretation of Islamic book traditions.

Mindfulness - Online exhibition
Mindfulness has become a key component in contemporary life, teaching us to focus inward through an awareness of our breathing, thoughts, and immediate surroundings. This practice reduces stress, induces relaxation, and calms the mind. Shown here are objects from our South Asian collection that represent and inspire mindfulness, offering a few moments of tranquility in these uncertain times.

View all the exhibitions here.