by Sally Cohen
Honoring the generosity of two local philanthropists and fine art collectors, Woodmere Art Museum will present “On Paper: The Gift of Ann and Don McPhail,” an exhibition showcasing one of the city’s great collections of locally made prints and drawings. The exhibit will begin on Saturday, Nov. 16, and continue through Feb. 14, 2014.
The McPhails have carefully and judiciously built this assemblage of works on paper; the exhibition, featuring works created by 29 Philadelphia artists between 1967 and 1996, celebrates the city’s tradition of printmaking through a range of mediums including woodblock monotypes, woodcut prints, etchings, lithographs and more. The McPhails, both longtime Philadelphians, have been deeply engaged with the city’s art and cultural institutions for many years; their gift demonstrates their shared passion for and commitment to the arts in Philadelphia.
In addition to the exhibition, Woodmere will host two related lectures: “Diverse Approaches: Philadelphia’s Printmakers in the Ann and Don McPhail Collection” (Jan. 11, 3 p.m.) and “Printmaking in Philadelphia” (Feb. 8, 3 p.m.).
In the Jan. 11 lecture, Ron Rumford will give a presentation on the methods and meanings evident in the prints and artwork represented in the Ann and Don McPhail Collection. As a printmaker, Rumford will share his knowledge of the variety of processes and materials printmakers employ to create their work. Ron Rumford has been the Director of the Dolan/Maxwell Gallery since 1991. A wine and cheese reception will follow. For more information or to register, visit woodmereartmuseum.org/lectures.
In the Feb. 8 lecture, John Caperton, the Jensen Bryan Curator of The Print Center, will explore the rich history of printmaking in Philadelphia. Caperton will speak about the history of The Print Center, its role in supporting and shaping the printmaking tradition in the region, and on highlights of the McPhail gift. A wine and cheese reception will follow.
Regarding the donors of this exhibit, Ann and Don McPhail are natives of Massachusetts who moved to Philadelphia (Don in 1949 and Ann in 1951) when Don accepted a position with the Atlantic Refining Company. They have lived in center city since 1961.
Ann attended the Barnes Foundation, completing the Art and Horticulture programs. In 1963, she became a Museum Guide and this year she celebrated her 50th year as a guide. She concentrates on Asian art and has made more than 30 trips to Asia to expand her knowledge; her travels enabled her to become active in the Geographical Society of Philadelphia, where she became the Society’s first female president. She was instrumental in designing and maintaining the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s Society Hill 18th-century garden, and she also assumed responsibilities for restoring Fairmount Park’s Japanese Garden.
Don was employed by Atlantic Richfield for 37 years, retiring in 1986. Among his positions were Vice President of Finance and Vice President of the Atlantic Richfield Foundation. After retiring, he was General Manager of the Pennsylvania Ballet from 1987-88 and Vice President of Finance and Administration at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts from 1989-90. He is also an Emeritus Trustee at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Woodmere Art Museum is located at 9201 Germantown Ave. Admission to special exhibitions is $10 for adults, $7 for seniors, and FREE for students, children and Museum members; exhibitions in the Founder’s Gallery and Helen Millard Children’s Gallery are free. Woodmere offers free admission on Sundays, including all special exhibitions.
For more information, visit woodmereartmuseum.org or call 215-247-0476.