DECORATIVE ARTS

The gem of our collection is the library from the Francis W. Little House (1912-1915) by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright. In 1971, the Wayzata, MN summer home that contained the library was scheduled for demolition. Fortunately, Wright’s work is now preserved in our permanent collection, while the home’s living room is preserved at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, NY. The decorative arts collection ranges from 18th century British silver to 20th century Tiffany Studios pieces to contemporary pottery, highlighting Americana and the arts and crafts movement.

PAINTINGS

Our painting collection has a strong core of Renaissance, Baroque, and American works. The Renaissance and Baroque collection began with a gift from collector and philanthropist Samuel H. Kress (1863–1955), and includes a fine selection of Italian, Dutch, Flemish, and rare German paintings. Our American paintings date from the mid-1700s to present. The unique aspect of this collection is that some works are painted by nationally recognized artists who have connections to Eastern Pennsylvania–such as Henry Ossawa Tanner, Nelson Shanks, and Kay WalkingStick.

PHOTOGRAPHY

This collection continues to exponentially grow with images ranging from the industrial to the astronomical.

SCULPTURE

This collection includes works from fine art and religious traditions, as well as works that push the boundaries of art by incorporating unexpected elements–such as sound or studio craft processes.

TEXTILES

Our celebrated collection of over 8,000 textile pieces spans sixteen centuries and six continents, representing the most globally diverse area of our holdings. Established with gifts from the Merle-Smith family, Rosalind Miller, and Ellie Laubner, this collection particularly focuses on international needlework traditions, European lace, and American printed silks of the 1920s-30s.

WORKS ON PAPER

Works on paper are a strong area of our collection and are frequently rotated in the galleries. Highlights include nearly 400 prints dating from the Renaissance to the 21st century purchased with the Society of the Arts Print Fund. The history of 20th century American printmaking—and the legacy of renowned print workshop, Atelier 17—is well-represented thanks to gifts from Paul K. Kania and the Peter Grippe Collection.