If you cannot get to the Art Museum of Philadelphia this summer, the museum will come to you.
The museum selected 60 artworks from its collection, made a high-quality reproduction of each, and plans to install them in outdoor spots in East Passyunk Square, Chestnut Hill, Mt. Airy, Media, Newtown, and Haddonfield, New Jersey.
“It’s about the museum becoming more outward-facing, and doing more than simply opening its doors,” said museum executive director Timothy Rub. “It’s about going to where people live and work and saying, we want to be part of their lives.”
Each neighborhood will receive about 10 of the reproductions, to be placed in public locations selected by neighborhood associations and the museum.
The program, “Inside Out,” is funded by the Knight Foundation and modeled after a successful program developed by the Detroit Institute of Art.
Most neighborhood associations will try to leverage the pop-up exhibitions to attract visitors and, hopefully, invigorate local economies.
In Mt. Airy, most of the reproductions will be clustered around Germantown Avenue and East Mount Pleasant Avenue, generally regarded as Mt. Airy’s downtown.
“We know the arts have a clear economic development potential. In study after study, we see it all over the city,” said Anuj Gupta, director of Mt. Airy USA, a community development corporation. “We have a wonderful arts community in Mt. Airy. We, as an economic development organization, want to further integrate the arts into what we do.”
Mt. Airy USA plans to highlight the exhibition during the neighborhood’s annual street festival and develop a guided tour.
In Haddonfield, the reproductions will be clustered around Mechanic Street and Kings Highway, where the borough has recently started collecting public sculpture.
“There are five different women’s-type businesses on that street. At the end of Mechanic Street is the sculpture, ‘Uno,'” said Stuart Harting, chair of the Haddonfield Outdoor Sculpture Trust, referring to a sculpture of a nude woman. “[The merchants] had requested a fashion-type painting be put near ‘Uno,’ which would reflect the merchants on the street.”
Haddonfield will receive Georgia O’Keeffe’s “Two Calla Lilies on Pink” and Sir Frederic Leighton’s “Portrait of a Roman Lady (La Nanna),” among others.
“Our goal was the awareness,” said Paul Salvatore, marketing chair of the Newtown Business Association. Newtown will receive reproductions of works by Marcel Duchamp, Winslow Homer, Edouard Manet, and the Quaker folk artist Edward Hicks.
“We thought it would be phenomenal for people to come to Newtown, walk around, see our art, and shop our stores,” Salvatore said.
The reproductions will be clustered around Sycamore Street and Washington Avenue to draw attention to some of the borough’s places of interest, including the oldest movie theater in the country and a public library with furniture originally owned by Pennsylvania founder William Penn.
“Around the corner we have a little park, Peaceable Kingdom park. The Edward Hicks painting is going to be there,” said Salvatore. “Edward Hicks lived on Penn Street in Newtown. If you’re going to give us Edward Hicks, have I got a spot for you.”
The first phase of Inside Out, starting in May, will continue through the end of summer. In the fall, five more communities — Fishtown, Kensington, Ambler, West Chester, and Wayne — will receive work.