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RSA 2020 Philadelphia: Local Exhibitions

A list of ongoing exhibitions in Philadelphia that may be of interest to RSA Annual Meeting participants is provided below. For more information about the conference, see the main RSA 2020 Philadelphia page. To submit an item for inclusion on this page, please email


The University of Pennsylvania

Making the Renaissance Manuscript: Discoveries from Philadelphia Libraries

Occurring in conjunction with the 2020 Annual Meeting of the Renaissance Society of America in Philadelphia, this exhibition will examine the making of the hand-written and hand-illuminated book during a time of great political, religious, and technological transformation in Europe. Through approximately forty loans from ten regional institutions, as well another forty items from Penn’s own collections, the exhibition will examine the full intellectual and artistic depth of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries through a varied selection of extraordinary manuscripts, cuttings, and incunables, many of which have never before been exhibited.

A fully illustrated scholarly catalogue will accompany the exhibition. 368 pages, 8.5 x 11, full color pbk. The catalogue may be pre-ordered here.

On exhibit 10 February–19 May 2020

Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Van Pelt-Dietrich Library, sixth floor
3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA (enter via College Green)

Gallery hours:
Monday–Friday, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Wednesday: 10:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m.
(with special extended hours during the RSA Annual Meeting to be announced)


The Philadelphia Museum of Art

What Can Paintings Tell Us?
This installation highlights the museum's recent and ongoing research on several works from the Renaissance and Baroque periods, some of which are rarely on view. It reveals how experts have examined the artwork through technical analysis and scholarly inquiry to find out who made them, when, and why.

Curated by Nicole Elizabeth Cook, Coordinator for Academic Partnerships, with Sarah Mastrangelo, Fellow in Paintings Conservation
Location: Gallery 364, Floor 3, Main Building

Sit Down with a New Discovery
In this gallery, the museum shares results of an ongoing collaboration between a curator and a conservator as they uncover the story behind the 17th-century painting The Holy Family at Table, made by an as-yet-unknown artist who was likely working in Spain.

Curated by Alexandra Letvin, Assistant Curator of European and American Art, Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College (previously of the Philadelphia Museum of Art) and Terry Lignelli, The Aronson Senior Conservator of Paintings
Location: Gallery 373, Floor 3, Main Building

Woodcuts: Groove and Grain
This selection of woodcuts—from the 1500s to the present—illustrates the many ways that artists have pushed the boundaries of the medium. Focusing on line, color, and the block of wood itself, this exhibition encourages us to look at how a print was made as well as what's depicted.

Curated by Clare Kobasa, Suzanne Andrée Curatorial Fellow of Prints & Drawings
Location: Galleries 221–223, Floor 2, Main Building

From Near and Far: Printmaking in Southern Italy, 1600–1700

Curated by Clare Kobasa, Suzanne Andrée Curatorial Fellow of Prints & Drawings
Location: Prints, Drawings, and Photographs Study Gallery, Floor 1, Perelman Building

More information about visiting the Philadelphia Museum of Art

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