Monument Lab: Creative Speculations for Philadelphia

1/9: The crowd gathers at the late Terry Adkins’ temporary monument in City Hall Courtyard, on the opening day of Monument Lab. Photo by Lisa Boughter.
2/9: The late Terry Adkins’ temporary monument at City Hall Courtyard, the central meeting place for Penn Institute for Urban Research’s Monument Lab. Photo by Lisa Boughter.
3/9: A member of the crowd brainstorms a monument at the Monument Lab “storefront” space in City Hall Courtyard, the day of the project’s opening. Photo by Lisa Boughter.
4/9: A senior from Masterman High School performs at the opening of Monument Lab, at Terry Adkins’ temporary monument in City Hall Courtyard. Photo by Lisa Boughter.
5/9: The crowd at the opening of Monument Lab, at Terry Adkins’ temporary monument in City Hall Courtyard. Photo by Lisa Boughter.
6/9: Monument Lab co-curator Paul Farber speaks at the project’s opening in City Hall Courtyard. Photo by Lisa Boughter.
7/9: Monument Lab co-curator Ken Lum speaks at the project’s opening at City Hall Courtyard. Photo by Lisa Boughter.
8/9: Jane Golden, Director of Mural Arts, speaks at the opening of Monument Lab in the City Hall Courtyard. Photo by Lisa Boughter.
9/9: Terry Adkins, Blanche Bruce, and the Lone Wolf Recital Corps perform The Last Trumpet as part of the Performa Biennial 2013. Photo courtesy of the Estate of Terry Adkins and Salon 94, New York.

This project will pose the question: What does a 21st-century urban monument look like? The centerpiece of this exploration, overseen by curators A. Will Brown, Paul Farber, and Ken Lum, will be a temporary monument designed by the late, award-winning artist and University of Pennsylvania professor Terry Adkins, to be installed in City Hall’s central courtyard in the spring of 2015. Adkins’ monument addresses the traumatic wave of Philadelphia school closings that occurred in 2013. A Center City storefront “lab” also located at City Hall, which also opens in the spring of 2015, will serve as project headquarters, where participating artists, curators and Philadelphia citizens will brainstorm and instigate ideas for the appropriate monument for contemporary Philadelphia. This project will precede a planned Philadelphia monuments festival, to take place in 2017.


Additional unrestricted funds are added to each grant for general operating support.

Grants & Grantees

Pang Xiong Sirirathasuk Sikoun is a textile artist and a 1996 Pew Fellow.

Collaborators & Colleagues

David Allison is manager of onsite programs at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, where his most recent projects include writing and developing a multimodal show on the science of flight.

Monument Lab: Creative Speculations for Philadelphia will host a series of noontime talks, to take place on location at City Hall.

Grants & Grantees

The Brandywine River Museum planned for a 2015 exhibition by Los Angeles-based conceptual photographer James Welling, whose work takes inspiration from and pays homage to 20th-century American artist Andrew Wyeth.

For the sixth program of the “Schmart World” series, AUX Curatorial Fellow Whitney Kimball presents ESP TV: Live Broadcast of Experimental Performance from AUX.

Cliveden, an 18th-century historic site once owned by the Chew family, envisioned new interpretive strategies and a series of programs based on its history of enslavement.

Collaborators & Colleagues

David Sheingold is an independent consultant providing project development, strategic planning, and fundraising services for arts organizations and artists.

The work of 22 artists, spanning four generations, was presented in an exhibition that examined clay’s appeal and craft.

Grants & Grantees

Jackie Tileston is a visual artist and a 2004 Pew Fellow.

Grants & Grantees

The American Philosophical Society Museum launched five large-scale and inventive public engagement projects, all associated with its exhibition on French natural history.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Jean Isaacs is the artistic director of San Diego Dance Theater and the founder of Trolley Dances.

Published in 2001, Curating Now: Imaginative Practice/Public Responsibility documents a symposium that addressed the state of curatorial practice.