Founded in 1963, the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) at the University of Pennsylvania has developed an international reputation as a preeminent venue for contemporary art and culture. ICA is widely known for exhibiting artists at critical points in their careers. It organized the first museum shows on the work of Andy Warhol, Laurie Anderson, Robert Indiana, and Agnes Martin. A non-collecting museum, ICA is also one of the only kunsthalles in America.
The Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania presented Dirt on Delight: Impulses That Form Clay, on view January 16–June 20, 2009. The exhibition included work in clay by 22 artists spanning four generations, including Kathy Butterly, Nicole Cherubini, Ken Price, Beverly Semmes, and Paul Swenbeck. Ranging from figurines, to modestly scaled pots, to large sculptures, the objects crossed a spectrum of conventional delineations among fine art, craft, and outsider practices. Internationally recognized crafts scholar and curator Glenn Adamson, head of graduate studies in the research department at the Victoria and Albert Museum, served as a consulting curator and contributed to the exhibition catalogue. After its debut in Philadelphia, Dirt on Delight: Impulses That Form Clay traveled to the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN.