News

Claude Clark, Men and Drill Press, 1999.

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Gifted Seventy-Eight Works

The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) has received a gift of seventy-eight works by primarily African American artists from the collection of the American educator, civic leader, and arts advocate Constance E. Clayton. Spanning from the late nineteenth century to the late twentieth century, the donated works include pieces by notable alumni such as Henry O. Tanner, Barkley L. Hendricks, and Laura Wheeler Waring.

Born in Philadelphia in 1933, Clayton was the first woman and African American to serve as superintendent of the school district of Philadelphia from 1982 to 1993. Since her retirement from her career in education, she has served on the boards of a number of institutions in her community, such as the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where she founded the African American Collections Committee in 2000.

“The museum is honored and excited to partner with Dr. Clayton on securing the legacy of the African American artists she has collected with such verve and enthusiasm,” museum director Brooke Davis Anderson said in a statement. “The works are personal and intimate in scale. We will be working on an exhibition to celebrate the gift and the donor both.” The show, which will be organized by Anderson and PAFA president and CEO David R. Brigham, is slated to open in January 2020.

The gift comes on the heels of the opening of PAFA’s new John and Richanda Performing Arts Center, which comprises a 265-seat auditorium, a new gallery for student art, and collection storage vaults. The new state-of-the-art auditorium is 85 percent larger than the academy’s previous one in the Historic Landmark Building, which will be renovated and repurposed as a new gallery for exhibitions of contemporary art.  

John Wilson, Mexican Woman, date unknown.

ALL IMAGES

LATEST NEWS