Stephan Salisbury writes about the arts, art institutions, and cultural affairs.

Latest Stories

Grim resignation sets in as Philly’s beloved cultural institutions face the latest COVID-19 restrictions

Arts and culture leaders are grimly resigned about public health measures, even as budgets are ruptured and employees are furloughed.

Mansfield Bascom, cofounder of Wharton Esherick Museum, has died at 96

Mr. Bascom devoted half a century to preserving Esherick's built legacy.

‘Can he actually do that?’ Philadelphia’s Constitution Center is now the answer authority for a nation in government stress

Riding the country's anxiety and offering rich digital substance, the NCC has vaulted into third place among museum websites nationwide.

The medical gods vs. the caregivers: Seeing the Art Museum’s ‘Gross Clinic’ masterpiece anew amid COVID-19

We find healing in attention and sympathy — from caregivers and from each other, if not from medical titans. "Gross" and other artworks at the PMA and PAFA offer insight.

Joseph J. Rishel, legendary PMA curator of European art, dies at 80

Mr. Rishel, married to late PMA director Anne d'Harnoncourt, was known for his encyclopedic knowledge of the field, his unflagging support of colleagues, his humor, and many spectacular exhibitions.

Could gift sales be Philly museums’ last best hope for a revenue bump in this devastating year?

Retail sales — largely online — have proven to be a relatively sturdy source of revenue for most pandemic-burdened museums. Look for a new pop-up shop at the Philadelphia Museum of Art this week.

Philly artist wins big national fellowship awarded to disabled artists

Carolyn Lazard was also chosen last year to participate in the Whitney Museum Biennial.

Franklin Institute and Crayola are building an idea space of the future, opening Feb. 2021

Working with Crayola, the science museum is planning a show that breaks down the creative process and takes visitors from beneath the sea into outer space. Don't expect crayons, though.

Newly discovered James Michener essay about growing up in Bucks County is being published for the first time

The essay was languishing in the files of the Doylestown Historical Society and has now been published by Neshaminy, a Bucks County literary and historical journal.

Giant gives $1.2 million to Please Touch Museum to revitalize its grocery store exhibit and seed new funding

The new market will be bigger and get kids involved in a broader exploration of what food means to families.