Art History

A friendship born through marginalization

At the turn of the 20th century, Julian Abele and Louis Magaziner—a Black man and an immigrant Jew—were standouts in Penn’s School of Fine Arts about to launch distinguished careers in architecture. They were also beginning what would be a lifelong friendship. A Magaziner descendant and Abele admirer investigates what brought them together.

Amy Cohen

A day in shining armor

Grad students get a close-up view of artwork and materials from museum collections—including a 500-year-old painting and two sets of armor from the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Louisa Shepard

A conversation with Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw

In the latest episode of “Office Hours,” a Penn Today podcast, Professor of History of Art Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw explains the curation process behind the Barnes Foundation’s “30 Americans” exhibit.

Brandon Baker

Fall into the arts

An active time of year for the arts community, the University’s fall arts and culture offerings range from a sculpture exhibit from Jaume Plensa, at Arthur Ross Gallery, to a viewing garden along the Rail Park.

Brandon Baker

Photo finish

Graduating senior Wilson Fisher will use a Fulbright Award to study photographers and other artists in Ukraine.

Louisa Shepard

Cuban horizons

Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw’s art history classcurates a new Arthur Ross Gallery exhibition of paintings by Roger Toledo after visiting his Havana studio.

Louisa Shepard



Media Contact


In the News


The New York Times

John Singer Sargent’s secret muse

Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw of the School of Arts and Sciences spoke about the practice of updating information about well-known artworks in museum wall labels and catalogs. “Curators and art historians have been interested in trying to reveal more—in part because there’s more interest in having a robust understanding of the past,” she said.

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The New York Times

One fateful night with Donny Hathaway

Guthrie Ramsey of the School of Arts and Sciences said that when evaluating artists with mental illnesses, “we should simply put it into context, like we do other aspects of their upbringing, rather than making it some mysterious gift that they seem to be bestowed.”

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The New York Times

How a businesswoman became a voice for art’s black models

Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw of the School of Arts and Sciences spoke about the importance of contextualizing “African-American art and visual culture and artistic production.” She went on to note that many black students may not pursue the field of art history due to poor representation in faculty and curriculum.

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6ABC.com

Video: Penn Museum’s Middle East gallery

The Penn Museum has unveiled its gallery of Middle Eastern art and antiquities. The new gallery, which covers nearly 10,000 years of history, is the first in a series to be installed at the Museum during the next several years.

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Philadelphia Inquirer

Visit the Penn Museum’s Sphinx this Weekend, or Wait Another 4 to 6 Years

The Sphinx at the Penn Museum will be on display for a final weekend prior to a four- to six-year renovation.

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Associated Press

Iraqi, Syrian Guides Bring Views to Philadelphia Museum

The Penn Museum has welcomed four new participants to Global Guides, a program designed to help contextualize historic content from the Middle East. “People who come from these places, even in contemporary times, can find a connection with the objects,” said Ellen Owens, the museum’s director of learning programs.

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