Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

Left photo: David Graham, Center photo: Nathan Benn

Philadelphia, PA

(215) 972-7600


From Violet Oakley to David Lynch: "The Unbroken Line"

Celebrates One Hundred Years of Art Education



Violet Oakley, June ,1902


The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, America's first art school, is celebrating its role in the history o American art education with the exhibition "The Unbroken Line," running September 19 through November 30 at the Museum of American Art, Broad and Cherry Streets. The exhibition features artworks from the 19th century to today, showcasing the diverse talents and styles of artists associated with the Academy--including Mary Cassatt, Maxfield Parrish, Charles Sheeler, Louis I. Kahn, David Lynch and Vincent Desiderio. There will also be a companion exhibition of works by the Academy alumna and faculty member Violet Oakley.

The exhibition--which celebrates the centennial of the Academy's alumni association--is composed of three sections, including an invitational of five distinguished alumni: David Lunch, Raymond Saunders, Vincent Desiderio, Jody Pinto, and Sidney Simon. There will also be an exhibition of 144 works by contemporary alumni juried by artists Luis Cruz Azacets and Philip Pearlstein and Museum of American Art Curator of Collections Sylvia Yount.

In addition to works by contemporary alumni, the exhibition includes an historic survey of Academy associates and alumni in the Museum's permanent collection. The works, curated by Sylvia Yount, reveal the range of stylistic approach associated with the Academy, from the realism of Thomas Eakins, and Robert Henri to the Impressionism of Mary Cassatt and William Merritt Chase to the modernism of Charles Demuth, John Marin, and Charles Sheeler.

A number of public events and programs are planned to celebrate the centennial exhibition, including The Centennial Masked Ball at the Museum of American Art on September 20, and the 100th Year Reunion and Homecoming Picnic at the Chester Springs Studio on September 21. In exhibiting works by members of the Fellowship, there will also be a juried Fellowship exhibition, "Works by Former Students of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Country School at Chester Springs: Chester Springs Revisited," at the Chester Springs Studio. The Museum of American Art has also planned a number of adult and family activities. including lectures and a David Lynch video series.

The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, founded in 1805, is America's first art museum and school of fine arts. The Museum of American Art collects and exhibits the work of American artists. The School offers a Certificate program, a Master of Fine Arts degree program, a coordinated B.F.A. program with the University of Pennsylvania, and a Post-Baccalaureate program in painting, printmaking, and sculpture. Notable alumni include Thomas Eakins, Mary Cassatt, Robert Henri, John Sloan, William Merritt Chase, George Luks, and David Lynch.


Deborah Deichler, A Man Looking Over his Shoulder, 1996

Search for more articles and essays on American art in Resource Library. See America's Distinguished Artists for biographical information on historic artists.

This page was originally published in 1997 in Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information.

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