Independence Seaport Museum Presents Drawn to the Water

Drawn to the Water – Artists of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Capture our Region’s Waterways, 1830 – Present features art by students, instructors and exhibitors from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Exhibition on view through December 31, 2011.

All of the paintings depict a water scene from around the Delaware Valley, and exhibit panels include, not only the artist’s name and year the scene was painted, but also a map showing the location of the scene and where the artist would have been standing to capture the view.


Canal Boats on the Schuylkill, Fred Wagner, circa 1905

For more than 200 years, generations of PAFA students, instructors, directors and exhibitors have used our regions’ waterways as sources of inspiration. Though use and management of these water resources have changed over time, the tradition of painting them continues. Drawn to the Water focuses on three areas- the Atlantic Ocean, the Delaware Bay and River and the Schuylkill River.

“We’re not often challenged to take a fresh look at our region’s ocean, bay and rivers,” explains the Seaport Museum’s Senior Curator, Craig Bruns. “What can we learn from artists about how nature and industry combine? In our everyday lives we drive along or pass over these waterways but seldom stop to see how beautiful they are.”

“Philadelphia is a city built upon a great maritime tradition, with a waterfront boasting commercial, naval, and recreational boating activities, and proximity to the magnificence of the Delaware Bay and the Atlantic. Generations of PAFA artists have been inspired by the beauty and brawn, the complexity and majesty of these activities and locations,” says Harry Philbrick, PAFA’s Edna S. Tuttleman Director of the Museum. “We are delighted to share a sampling of this great work at Independence Seaport Museum.”

“This new exhibit supports the Museum’s revised mission of connecting Delaware River region residents to their maritime heritage, past, present and future,” said John Gazzola, Independence Seaport Museum’s President and CEO.

In conjunction with the exhibit the Museum organized three plein air (open air) painting events with artwork created specifically for the Drawn to the Water exhibit. The events focused on each of the regions highlighted in the exhibit. These paintings were installed in the exhibit at Independence Seaport Museum.

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