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Philadelphia Museum of Art | Our Story

Sitting atop some very famous steps, the Philadelphia Museum of Art is among the largest museums in the United States, with a collection of more than 227,000 works of art and more than 200 galleries presenting painting, sculpture, works on paper, photography, decorative arts, textiles, and architectural settings from Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the United States.

Our facilities include our landmark Main Building on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the Perelman Building, located nearby on Pennsylvania Avenue, the Rodin Museum on the 2200 block of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, and two 18th-century houses in Fairmount Park, Mount Pleasant and Cedar Grove. We welcome you to enjoy a variety of activities for public audiences, including special exhibitions, programs for children and families, lectures, concerts and films.
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Great and Mighty Artist of the Day:

William Edmondson
 
Born Davidson County, Tennessee, 1874; died Nashville, 1951

Born to former slaves on a farm near Nashville, he moved with his family to the city around 1890, where he held jobs as a farmhand, stonemason, city sewer or railroad worker, and at the Nashville Woman’s Hospital. A devout Primitive Baptist, Edmondson had a vision sometime between 1930 and 1933 in which he said God appeared and talked to him about the gift of stonecutting he was going to confer. Using found chunks of limestone and simple chisels, Edmondson began to make tombstones in the shapes of angels, animals, local individuals, and famous Americans.

In 1937, the Museum of Modern Art held a small show of Edmondson’s sculptures – the first one-man exhibition at that institution of works by an African American. Edmondson was included in the landmark 1982 exhibition Black Folk Artists in America, 1930–1980 at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., which brought him to the public’s attention.

Notes

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    Master Craftsman
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    CRAFTSMANSHIP