Expanding the Audience for Art in the 19th Century at The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

Exhibition Website

Apr 8 2016 - Jul 31 2016

Exhibition of work from the collection of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, selected by students in a curatorial seminar at the University of Pennsylvania.

Throughout the 19th century, artists strived to enlarge the audience for art. To accomplish this they employed new image technologies or used traditional media in new ways; they took up popular subjects and adapted fine art traditions to new venues and formats; and they developed collaborative working relationships with publishers and technicians to produce massive editions of printed pictures. PAFA itself attempted to expand its audience by introducing Sunday hours with free admission, which they hoped would appeal to the working classes. 

 Many of PAFA’s faculty and alumni were among the prominent popularizes of art, including Rembrandt Peale, Thomas Sully, Christian Schussele, John Sartain, Alice Barber Stephens, William Glackens, Violet Oakley, John Sloan, and Maxfield Parrish, to name a few. These artists helped shape the image culture and the mass market for pictures that have come down to us.

Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website

  • Painting
  • American
  • 19th Century

Exhibition Venues & Dates