The oldest art museum and school in the United States—founded in 1805—the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) offers undergraduate and graduate programs in the fine arts, innovative exhibitions of historic and contemporary American art, and a world-class collection of American art. PAFA’s alumni include Mary Cassatt, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Thomas Eakins, William Glackens, Barkley L. Hendricks, Violet Oakley, Louis Kahn, David Lynch, and Henry Ossawa Tanner.
Barkley L. Hendricks: Birth of the Cool was the first career retrospective for this American figurative painter of African descent, who was born and educated in Philadelphia. Organized by the Nasher Museum at Duke University, the exhibition presented 57 paintings, which the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA) augmented with 10 works from local private collections. PAFA's presentation featured extensive public programming, including lectures with the artist and curator, concerts, video screenings, storytelling, and workshops.