Philly art museum creates community exhibits with art copies

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Philadelphia Museum of Art plans to bring its paintings to the people, placing reproductions of famous works outdoors in about dozen communities over the coming months, officials said Thursday.

The "Inside Out" initiative, funded by a $340,000 grant from the Knight Foundation, features high-quality copies of pieces by artists such as Paul Cezanne, Claude Monet and Pablo Picasso.

They'll be displayed at places such as parks and playgrounds and along bike paths in several suburbs and city neighborhoods. Among the first sites to receive installations are the Delaware County government building in Media, Pennsylvania, and the police department in Haddonfield, New Jersey.

"It's one thing to experience a world-class collection in a museum, and entirely another one to come across it in your neighborhood," said Dennis Scholl, vice president of arts for the Knight Foundation. "That element of surprise can be the spark that gets the Philadelphia area talking about and engaging with one of the city's treasures."

The Detroit Institute of Arts began the project five years ago, and has since placed reproductions in more than 100 communities. The Akron Art Museum in Ohio also participates in the program, which the Knight Foundation expects to expand to other cities next year.

Philadelphia's "Inside Out" exhibits will be on view from May 15 to Aug. 9 in the Chestnut Hill, Mount Airy and East Passyunk sections of the city, as well as in Media; Haddonfield; and Newtown, Pennsylvania.

From Aug. 21 to Nov. 15, works can be seen in the Kensington and Fishtown neighborhoods, in addition to the Pennsylvania suburbs of Ambler, Wayne and West Chester.

"Not only do these beautifully framed reproductions faithfully represent important works in the collection, they will offer chance encounters and bring delight to each community," said Timothy Rub, director and CEO of the Philadelphia museum.