An animated film utilizing objects from the Mutter Museum's collection of medical curiosities, an outdoor "installation" featuring handcrafted boats on the Schuylkill, and a three-day festival of underground films are among 10 exhibitions supported this year by grants from the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage's Philadelphia Exhibitions Initiative.

Paula Marincola, head of the initiative, said the $1.1 million in grants awarded this year represented the largest sum given out since the program began more than a decade ago. Last year, the initiative awarded a shade over $1 million.

This year's grantees are:

College of Physicians of Philadelphia/Mütter Museum and the Quay Brothers, $250,000, for production of Anatomica Aesthetica, an animated film by Stephen and Timothy Quay that will employ the Mütter collection.

Philadelphia Art Alliance, $169,273, for "Let Me Tell You About the Dream I Had" by the Miss Rockaway Armada, an artist collective. The piece will explore the city's maritime history through multiple components, including construction of a flotilla of boats that will travel up the Schuylkill from Bartram's Garden to the Walnut Street docking area.

International House Philadelphia, $29,000, for Pop Cinema, a festival featuring underground films made by such artists as Jeff Keen and Kenneth Anger.

Arcadia University, $200,000, for an exhibition of work by artist Tacita Dean, including a film inspired by the writings of J.G. Ballard.

Philadelphia Museum of Art, $250,000, for a retrospective exhibition, "Michelangelo Pistoletto: From One to Many, 1956-1974."

Slought Foundation, $28,855, for "How to Get Started," an interactive sound installation that will revisit and reactivate a 1989 lecture/performance by composer John Cage.

University of Pennsylvania Libraries, $90,000, to mount "Wharton Esherick and the Birth of the American Modern," the first exhibition focusing on the craftsman, artist, and furniture maker in half a century.

Vox Populi, $39,670, for "Quadruple-Consciousness," an exhibition exploring African American perceptions.

Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, $24,430, for planning and researching an exhibition of work by California artist Jason Rhoades.

James A. Michener Art Museum, $24,335, for planning an exhibition of furniture designer Paul Evans.

All organizations are based in the city with the exception of Arcadia University, in Glenside, and the Michener Museum, in Doylestown.

Contact culture writer Stephan Salisbury at 215-854-5594 or ssalisbury@phillynews.com