University of the Arts

1 Dec 2016


Hanna Wilke, Early Box and Six Phallic and Excremental Sculptures, 1960 – 1963, terra cotta, plaster of paris, and glazed terra cotta. Photo courtesy of Donald and Helen Goddard and Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York.


Rafael Ferrer, Fuegian House with Harpy Eagle, 1971, leaves, ice, tarp, branches, paint, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Photo by Marcia Tucker.


Robert Venturi, Vanna Venturi House, 1964, Philadelphia.


Hawthorne Hall. Photo by Bradley Maule for Hidden City Philadelphia.


Title page of the limited-edition catalog Gray Area: Provocations on the Future of Preservation, produced by Gray Area, part of DesignPhiladelphia, with support from The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage in 2011.

Established in 1876, the University of the Arts is one of the nation's only universities dedicated solely to educating students in the visual and performing arts and design. The university offers a broad range of undergraduate and graduate programs to nearly 1,900 students who connect, collaborate, and create across disciplines and traditional boundaries. Center-supported projects include Gray Area 3, an active engagement of community members, designers, and historic preservationists on re-use strategies for two vacant Philadelphia buildings; and a 2014 Discovery project involving extensive oral history research into the city’s little-known avant-garde visual arts community of the mid-20th century. A 2017 Project grant supports the extension of this research in the exhibition Invisible City: Philadelphia and the Vernacular Avant-garde, highlighting and exploring Philadelphia’s significant contributions to visual culture in the 1950s through the 1970s.