Claes Oldenburg sculpture to adorn Philadelphia's new Lenfest Plaza

Lenfest Plaza perspective; Rendering courtesy of OLIN
Lenfest Plaza perspective; Rendering courtesy of OLIN

In late August, a towering 53-foot high sculpture of a paintbrush with illuminated bristles, created by world-renowned American artist Claes Oldenburg, will make its home at the start of Philadelphia's expanding "Museum Mile."

The monumental sculpture, titled Paint Torch, will be installed on the grounds of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts’ (PAFA) new Lenfest Plaza at a daring 60-degree angle, as if in the act of painting. A 6-foot high glob of paint will appear beside it on the ground and the illuminated tip of the brush will light up at night.

Designed by the award-winning landscape architecture firm OLIN, Lenfest Plaza is a dynamic new outdoor civic space slated to regularly hold public events and feature rotating works of art by emerging and established artists.

There will also be outdoor seating, a stage, and an upscale restaurant in this 24-hour pedestrian plaza which links PAFA's two buildings across from the expanded Convention Center.

Importantly, Lenfest Plaza and PAFA's world-class collection of American art will connect to "Museum Mile" cultural destinations on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway: the relocated Barnes Foundation (opening in 2012), the Academy of Natural Sciences, The Franklin Institute, the Rodin Museum, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

“As an addition to Philadelphia’s urban fabric, Lenfest Plaza accomplishes so many significant goals in the continued positive growth of this great city,” says project architect and OLIN partner David A. Rubin.

PAFA will hold an official opening party for the new plaza and a lighting ceremony for Paint Torch on October 1, 2011, featuring activities and entertainment for all ages.

The plaza is named for art patrons Marguerite and H. F. Gerry Lenfest whose financial gift was augmented by support from the City of Philadelphia and other patrons.

Occupying half a block of Cherry Street (between North Broad and Carlisle), Lenfest Plaza is currently under construction through the summer. Complete event programming will be announced soon. Visit www.pafa.org/lenfestplaza for up-to-date information on plaza construction and detailed event information.

More News Feed Headlines

National Museum of Natural History

Scientists Call for David Koch's Museum Board Resignations

  • March 24, 2015 22:12

A group of scientists sent an open letter to America's largest natural history museums calling ...

Read More

The Met's version of "Washington Crossing the Delaware" by Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze.

Iconic 'Washington Crossing the Delaware' Painting Now Resides in Minnesota

  • March 24, 2015 21:38

A version of Emanuel Leutze's famous image of "Washington Crossing the Delaware" has moved from ...

Read More

El Greco's Portrait of a Man

Nazi-Looted El Greco Returned to Rightful Owners

  • March 24, 2015 14:34

A painting by El Greco that was seized by the Gestapo in Vienna in 1938 has been returned to the ...

Read More

For #SecretsMW, the National Gallery of Art posted a van Gogh, noting a "rustle of the olive grove has something very secret in it, and immensely old."

#MuseumWeek Begins with Museums Dishing Secrets on Twitter

  • March 23, 2015 22:38

Some 2,200 museums, galleries and cultural institutions from over 64 countries are now taking ...

Read More

Related Press Releases

Related Events from ArtfixDaily Calendar

ArtfixDaily Artwire