Samiksha Jaiswal

Association for Public Art

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Abbreviation  aPA
Executive Director  Penny Balkin Bach
Formation  1872
Founded  1872
Association for Public Art httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu
Purpose  Commission, preserve, promote and interpret public art in Philadelphia
Region served  City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Headquarters  Pennsylvania, United States
Similar  Americans for the Arts, Samuel S Fleisher Art Memorial, The Fabric Workshop and Muse, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fin, Free Library of Philadelphia

Established in 1872 in Philadelphia, the Association for Public Art (formerly Fairmount Park Art Association) is the United State's first private, nonprofit public art organization dedicated to integrating public art and urban planning. The Association for Public Art (aPA) commissions, preserves, promotes and interprets public art in Philadelphia, and it is largely due to the work of the aPA that Philadelphia is said to have more public art than any other American city. The aPA has acquired and commissioned works by many famous sculptors (including Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Alexander Stirling Calder, Daniel Chester French, Frederic Remington, Paul Manship, and Albert Laessle); supported city planning projects; established an outdoor sculpture conservation program; and sponsored numerous publications, exhibitions, and educational programs. The aPA interprets and preserves more than 200 works of art throughout Philadelphia – working closely with the City's Public Art Office, Fairmount Park, and other organizations and agencies responsible for placing and caring for outdoor sculpture in Philadelphia – and maintains an inventory of all of the city's public art.



Chartered by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 1872, the Fairmount Park Art Association (now the Association for Public Art) was founded by a group of concerned citizens in the late nineteenth century who wanted to beautify Philadelphia's urban landscape with public art to counter the city's encroaching industrialism. The Association initially focused on enhancing Fairmount Park with outdoor sculpture, but the organization's mission expanded in 1906 to include the rest of the city as a whole: to "promote and foster the beautiful in Philadelphia, in its architecture, improvements, and the city plan." Friends Charles H. Howell and Henry K. Fox conceived of the Fairmount Park Art Association, and the organization's first president was Anthony J. Drexel, founder of Drexel University. The Association's first official venture was purchasing Hudson Bay Wolves Quarreling Over the Carcass of a Deer (1872) by Edward Kemeys, and its first major undertaking was commissioning Alexander Milne Calder for an equestrian statue of Major General George Meade in 1873.

Name Change

In May 2012, the Fairmount Park Art Association changed its name to the Association for Public Art (aPA). The change was made to more clearly communicate the nature and scope of the organization's work, and to distinguish itself from other local and national public art agencies The organization's first major project under its new name was Open Air (2012), a world-premiere interactive light installation for the Benjamin Franklin Parkway by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer.

Public Artworks

Commissioned works:

  • Magic Carpet (2014), Candy Coated (formerly Candy Depew)
  • OPEN AIR (2012) Rafael Lozano-Hemmer
  • The Labor Monument: Philadelphia’s Tribute to the American Worker (2010), John Kindness
  • Common Ground (2009), John Stone and Lonnie Graham in collaboration with Lorene Cary for Project H.O.M.E.
  • Embodying Thoreau: Dwelling, Sitting, Watching (2003), Ed Levine
  • I have a story to tell you…(2003), Pepón Osorio
  • Manayunk Stoops: Heart and Home (1996), Diane Pieri
  • Pavilion in the Trees (1993), Martin Puryear
  • Sleeping Woman (1991), Tom Chimes and Stephen Berg
  • Fingerspan (1987), Jody Pinto
  • Louis Kahn Lecture Room (1982), Siah Armajani
  • El Gran Teatro de la Luna (1982), Rafael Ferrer
  • The Spirit of Enterprise (1950-1960), Jacques Lipchitz
  • Aero Memorial (1948), Paul Manship
  • The Ellen Phillips Samuel Memorial (1933-1961), various artists
  • Shakespeare Memorial (1926), Alexander Stirling Calder
  • Cowboy (1908), Frederic Remington
  • General Ulysses S. Grant (1897), Daniel Chester French and Edward C. Potter
  • James A. Garfield Monument (1895), Augustus Saint-Gaudens
  • Stone Age in America (1887) by John J. Boyle
  • Works acquired and owned by the aPA:

  • Symbiosis (2011; installed 2014), Roxy Paine
  • Iroquois (1983-1999; installed 2007), Mark di Suvero
  • The Wedges (1970), Robert Morris
  • Atmosphere and Environment XII (1970), Louise Nevelson
  • Rock Form (Porthcurno) (1964), Barbara Hepworth
  • Three Way Piece Number 1: Points (1964), Henry Moore
  • Works initiated by the aPA:

  • The Mounted Amazon Attacked by a Panther (1929), Auguste Kiss
  • Thorfinn Karlsefni (1918), Einar Jónsson (initiated with J. Bunford Samuel)
  • Billy (1914), Albert Laessle
  • Duck Girl (1911), Paul Manship
  • The Medicine Man (1899), Cyrus E. Dallin
  • Dickens and Little Nell (1890), Frank Edwin Elwell
  • The Lion Fighter (1858), Albert Wolff
  • The Dying Lioness (1873), Wilhelm Franz Alexander Friedrich Wolff
  • Lion Crushing a Serpent (1832), Antoine Louis Barye
  • Publications

  • New Land Marks: public art, community, and the meaning of place, 2001
  • Public Art in Philadelphia, 1992
  • Form and Function: Proposals for Public Art for Philadelphia, 1982
  • Sculpture of a City: Philadelphia’s Treasures in Bronze and Stone, 1974
  • Awards and Recognition

  • Public Art Network Award, Americans for the Arts, 2015
  • Best of Philly ® 2014 – New Public Artwork for Roxy Paine's Symbiosis, 2014
  • Inaugural Tyler Tribute Award for aPA Executive Director Penny Balkin Bach, 2013
  • PAD award for achievement in the field of public art for aPA Executive Director Penny Balkin Bach, 2013
  • AASLH Award of Merit, American Association for State and Local History, 2011
  • PNC Arts Alive Award for Arts Innovation in Honor of Peggy Amsterdam, Arts and Business Council of Greater Philadelphia, 2011
  • Named one of "10 great sculpture gardens across the USA," USA Today, 2011
  • aPA public art projects I have a story to tell you... and Embodying Thoreau: dwelling, sitting, watching named among "the country's best," Year in Review, Americans for the Arts, 2004
  • EDRA/Places Award for Place Planning, Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA) and the publication Places, A Forum of Environmental Design, 2002
  • Henry J. Magaziner EFAIA Award, the AIA Philadelphia Historic Preservation Committee, 2002
  • Award for Outstanding Commitment to the Preservation and Care of Collections, The American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works and Heritage Preservation, 2000
  • First-place SOS! Achievement Award, Save Outdoor Sculpture! (SOS!), 1999
  • The Herbert Adams Memorial Medal for outstanding service to American sculpture, National Sculpture Society, 1979
  • Centennial Award of Honor from The Philadelphia Chapter of American Institute of Architects, 1969
  • References

    Association for Public Art Wikipedia

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