Embracing the Contemporary

The Keith L. and Katherine Sachs Collection

Exhibition Website

Jun 28 2016 - Sep 5 2016

This exhibition celebrates the Keith L. and Katherine Sachs Collection, one of the nation’s leading collections of contemporary art. Assembled by Philadelphians Keith and Katherine Sachs, this collection features some of the most prominent European and American artists of the past fifty years. A large number of the works have been generously donated or pledged as promised gifts to the Museum, signaling the couple’s deep commitment to the institution and the city of Philadelphia.

From sculpture and painting to large-scale photography and video art, this exhibition presents a selection of pivotal works from the Sachs Collection. In addition to a concentration of works by American artists Robert Gober, Jasper Johns, Ellsworth Kelly, and Brice Marden, it features major examples by influential artists from around the globe. These include Louise Bourgeois, Richard Hamilton, Howard Hodgkin, Anselm Kiefer, Steve McQueen, Gabriel Orozco, Charles Ray, and Cy Twombly, among others. The works span from the 1950s to the present, with about half dating from the past fifteen years. The exhibition highlights the variety and range of interests that distinguish the Sachses’ collecting.

Keith and Katherine Sachs began collecting art soon after they met as students at the University of Pennsylvania. Supporters of the Museum since 1970, they have developed their collection through a passionate engagement with living artists and in close dialogue with the Museum’s holdings and exhibitions. In addition to galleries dedicated to artists with whom the Sachses have established meaningful ties, the exhibition includes personal mementos such as letters, photographs, and other objects that mark the history of the Sachs Collection. 

Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website

Whether you go or not, the exhibition catalog, Embracing the Contemporary: The Keith L. and Katherine Sachs Collection, documents a historic gift of contemporary art from the Keith L. and Katherine Sachs Collection to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. 
Richly illustrated, the book features nearly eighty artist entries with extended texts—written by distinguished art historians and curators—on the artists whose work Keith and Katherine Sachs have collected more in depth. An interview with the collector provides insights into their  personal history of collecting.

  • International
  • 20th Century
  • Jasper Johns
  • Elsworth Kelly
  • Cy Twombly
  • Gabriel Orozco
  • Louise Bourgeois
  • and others

Exhibition Venues & Dates