From Warhol’s Works to King Midas’s artifacts, don’t miss these over-the-top spring exhibitions.
Still Life #35 (1963), by Tom Wesselmann.
Snap, Crackle, Pop
The A-list of Pop Art headlines the Art Museum’s new “International Pop” exhibit (through May 15)—think Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg—but it’s the pieces from across the continents that reinforce how powerful this art movement was: roughly 150 works by 80 artists spanning 20 countries, each one distinctive in its style and execution. “There are a wealth of artists ripe for discovery here,” says the museum’s Associate Curator of Contemporary Art, Erica Battle, who notes that Pop Art emerged in “different places and times” but originated in Great Britain and America in the 1950s. “There was a new kind of culture after World War II, fueled by the exchange of information through media and air travel. Artists were traveling to work abroad and then bringing those styles back to other countries… there is a traceable story of how Pop Art spread.”
From Cubist to Classic
The Barnes Foundation’s “Picasso: The Great War, Experimentation, and Change” (through May 9) is an arresting counterpart to the museum’s already significant collection of 46 works from the Spanish-born artist. Comprised of paintings, sketches, costumes, and photographs, the exhibition surveys Picasso’s works surrounding the First World War, from 1912 to 1924. It’s not just a juxtaposition of mediums but also of styles—the artist spent much of this time weaving back and forth between his famed Cubism and classic art techniques. Curator Martha Lucy suggests touring the permanent collection first. “Albert Barnes was a fan of Picasso’s earlier works, so the exhibit picks up where Barnes left off,” she says. “This is a great complement to our collection.”
The Penn Museum’s “Golden Age of King Midas” (on view through November 27), a world premiere exhibit, marks a major milestone for the museum. The show’s 120-plus artifacts—many uncovered by the museum’s own excavation team in the ancient capital of Gordion (in what is today Turkey) starting in 1950—give a glimpse into life during the rule of Midas. His “golden touch” is felt in the textiles on display, as well as serving vessels, figurines, and other artifacts. “Having all of the objects together gives a whole new sense of the power and magnitude of the Kingdom of Midas,” say curator Dr. C. Brian Rose. “King Midas has been a great fascination to many for some 2,500 years.”