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Philadelphia is home to a plethora of world-class museums, and in February some of the best will have new, dazzling displays. Some of our favorite upcoming exhibits include ancient Turkish artifacts, a unique examination of Picasso, and a showcase of the vibrant Pop art movement.

THE GOLDEN AGE OF KING MIDAS

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Where: Penn Museum
Opening: February 13
Why It’s Cool: Treasures from excavation digs make it feel like an Indiana Jones film (kinda)
Fun Fact: The Penn Museum is the largest university museum in the US, with one million objects in its care.

While Greek mythology paints him as a ruler with a golden touch, history knows King Midas as a mighty leader of the Phrygian kingdom (now central Turkey) from 3,000 years ago. The Penn Museum has conducted archeological digs in the area for decades, and in 1957 archeologists excavated a royal tomb believed to be the final resting place of Gordios, King Midas’ father. This exhibit will give museum goers an exclusive look at over 120 ancient artifacts, including ones from the royal tomb, that are on loan from Turkish museums and have never been displayed in the United States. Guests will have the chance to learn about Midas’ life and reign, enjoy an interactive video experience of life in 750 BCE, view footage from the 1957 excavation, and view spectacular relics from an archaic time.

PICASSO: THE GREAT WAR, EXPERIMENTATION AND CHANGE

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Where: The Barnes Foundation
Opening: February 21
Why It’s Cool: Variety of Picasso’s work on display, not just one form (also, it’s Picasso)
Fun Fact: Picasso’s full name has 23 words: Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepmuceno María de los Remedios Ciprianos de la Santísima Trinidad Martyr Patricio Clito Ruíz y Picasso.

The Barnes Foundation, which already features an extensive collection of Picasso’s work, will partner with the Columbus Museum of Art to present nearly 50 of his pieces from major American and European museums, as well as  private collections. The exhibit examines the fluctuations in Picasso’s style during World War I, specifically his move from cubist experimentation to more naturalistic representation.  It will feature oil paintings, watercolors, drawings, and costumes that Picasso designed for the avant-garde ballet Parade in 1917.

INTERNATIONAL POP

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Where: Philadelphia Museum of Art
Opening: February 24
Why It’s Cool: Vintage pop culture and mass media is pretty kitschy (in a good way)
Fun Fact: Pop art was initially known as Propaganda Art in London

Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans. Jasper Johns’ Flag. Roy Lichtenstein’s Drowning Girl. Chances are you know one of those works, which are all iconic centerpieces to the Pop art movement. In the only East Coast installation of this fascinating artistic exploration, Pop art comes into focus as an international phenomenon defined by, according to the museum’s preview description, “bold and thought-provoking imagery” that revealed “a vibrant period shaped by social, political, and cultural changes.”  Stroll by works from 1956-1972 and soak in the bright, ironic, and critical pieces that defined the Pop art movement across the world. Rather than a focus on just the United States branch, the comprehensive exhibit also highlights artists from Europe, Latin America, and Japan. Guests can peruse over 120 pieces, including paintings, sculptures, prints, collages, installation, film, and more, as created by artists from twenty different countries.

 

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