Wednesday, 8 July 2015

#650 National Sculpture Society Celebration in Philadelphia, con't . . .

For more information about this post, please see the previous blog.
The focus of this blog is the historic cast collection at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.

Philadelphia boasts the nations first museum and school of fine art. - The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA), founded in 1805.  When I attended The Kansas City Art Institute - (KCAI) in the early 1960s',  the historic cast collection
 at PAFA was legendary.  KCAI had a few casts but nothing like PAFA.  At one time, most art schools had substantial collections of plaster casts but sadly, during the early and mid 20th century, some museums and art schools purged themselves of plaster casts of ancient sculpture in their quest for modernism.  

It was a great loss to art education . . . incredible collections of casts such as those at Vassar College, the Metropolitan Museum in New York, and many more institutions, saw the destruction of plaster casts which were regarded as
"out of date" in the deplorable wreckage and frenzy that followed the 1913 Armory Show of modern art in New York.

Drawing from plaster casts of ancient sculpture has a long history in academic art education:  
 Public institutions in the 19th and early 20th century acquired cast collections of ancient Greek, Roman, French, and Italian sculptures as a method of instructing and solidifying a student's drawing skills.  Capturing the subtle variations of light across a plaster surface was the most challenging endeavor I remember from my drawing classes at KCAI. 

A representative from PAFA participated in the National Sculpture Society Celebration in Philadelphia and 
 graciously agreed to escort a group of us to the Academy which was only four blocks from our hotel.  
A dream come true and an incredible experience to be guided on a private tour of the historic cast collection!  

Tours can be reserved when the classrooms are not in use.  
For more information call 215.972.7600 or visit

Below, are images from a memorable day at the Pennsylvanaia Academy of the Fine Arts.

Above, fellow sculptors, Lee Hutt and Kent Ullberg

Above, fellow sculptors, Nina Akuma and Tuck Langland

Go to the BLOG INDEX on the right for more information.

Blog, text, photos, drawings, and sculpture . . . © Sandy Scott and Trish

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