Gearing up for Gehry

The art museum gets meta with its latest exhibition, Making a Classic Modern: Frank Gehry’s Master Plan for the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

On display through September 1 in the Dorrance Special Exhibition Galleries, interior and exterior models of planned renovations to the museum dangle overhead from the ceiling or sit in calm splendor on a series of table-top displays. Walking into the setup is a bit like stumbling into that episode of the Twilight Zone, in which a girl of Brobdingnagian proportions keeps her earthling pets in a model town. It’s difficult not to show the same level of fascination with these museums-in-miniature, cut open in delicate vignettes and presented like so many slices of layer cake.

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If the devil is in the details, then this exhibition packs more punch than Solomon’s ring. A view into the Great Stair Hall includes a working mobile (just add breath), while the garden layout harbors crumpled and folded bits of colored paper, cleverly quaint representations of – you guessed it – The Anne d’Harnoncourt Sculpture Garden.

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Among the proposed renovations laid out before the public eye are a lower-level excavation to create new underground galleries, a window view out onto the city skyline, and a new auditorium. Urban exploration aficionados will be especially appreciative of the re-opening of the vaulted walkway that runs from the door on the museum’s north side, currently being used as a loading dock. There the color of the original stone – still untouched by wind and weather – rivals the sunset.

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With its expanded interiors, walkways, skylights and windows, Gehry’s art museum is a Golden Age sci-fi dream, seamlessly blending the original columned colossus with contemporary corridors and pockets of light.

Laura Krasnow, In addition to being a freelance photographer, she has worked as an assistant editor in feature films, and been trained in film preservation and restoration. Her artwork has been exhibited throughout the United States and Europe, and is in the permanent collection of The Museum of Modern Art.
Laura Krasnow
Laura Krasnow

Laura Krasnow, In addition to being a freelance photographer, she has worked as an assistant editor in feature films, and…

Laura Krasnow, In addition to being a freelance photographer, she has worked as an assistant editor in feature films, and been trained in film preservation and restoration. Her artwork has been exhibited…

Laura Krasnow, In addition to being a freelance photographer, she has worked as an assistant editor in feature films, and been trained in film preservation and restoration. Her artwork has been exhibited throughout the United…

Ellen Rosenholtz’s graphite on paper series explores native flora and fauna of New Jersey. The work looks at the profound beauty of natural forms as it exists within animals and plants. The multiplicity of images underscore the interconnection of living systems, while geometric patterning enable the viewer to identify each of the species through repetition of form.
Ellen Rosenholtz
Ellen Rosenholtz

Ellen Rosenholtz’s graphite on paper series explores native flora and fauna of New Jersey. The work looks at the profound…

Ellen Rosenholtz’s graphite on paper series explores native flora and fauna of New Jersey. The work looks at the profound beauty of natural forms as it exists within animals and plants. The multiplicity…

Ellen Rosenholtz’s graphite on paper series explores native flora and fauna of New Jersey. The work looks at the profound beauty of natural forms as it exists within animals and plants. The multiplicity of images underscore…

Tania Qurashi
Tania Qurashi
Leora Brecher
Leora Brecher
David Scott Slovic, 77, of Philadelphia, a prominent architect who designed a number of buildings around the city, died July 23, 2018.
David Slovic
David Slovic

David Scott Slovic, 77, of Philadelphia, a prominent architect who designed a number of buildings around the city, died July…

David Scott Slovic, 77, of Philadelphia, a prominent architect who designed a number of buildings around the city, died July 23, 2018.…

David Scott Slovic, 77, of Philadelphia, a prominent architect who designed a number of buildings around the city, died July 23, 2018.…

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