The exhibition “A Collector’s Vision: Highlights from the Dietrich American Foundation” opened at the Philadelphia Museum of Art the first week of February 2020 and was scheduled to run through June 7, 2020. On March 13, all of the museums on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia announced they were closing to help stem the spread of COVID-19. The closures currently extend to June 30. Whenever the museum reopens, it is hoped exhibitions whose viewing times were drastically cut short by the closure, will be held over so those who planned to attend but could not, may do so. Until February 28, I was employed as the Dietrich American Foundation Project Conservator of Furniture and Woodwork at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and surveyed all, and treated most, of the furniture in this exhibit, working on objects in the exhibit up until mid-January when the art handlers at the museum moved the last objects treated across the building to the exhibition space. I had only a few weeks to enjoy the exhibit myself, taking a few colleagues for tours, and one morning, making some photographs to document the exhibit for myself. Objects under gallery lighting are notoriously difficult to photograph and I wasn’t working with a tripod. But as access to the exhibit has been curtailed, I’ll let this stand as a virtual tour.
The photos can be enlarged by right-clicking and opening them in a new tab.
A publication, In Pursuit Of History: A Lifetime Collecting Colonial American Art And Artifacts, with highlights from the Foundation’s collection, was released to coincide with the exhibition and can be found here. More information about the exhibit and its founder, H. Richard Dietrich, Jr. can be found here.