Collaboration Between Two Philadelphia Museums Attempts to Answer Ben Franklin’s ‘Sun Rising or Setting’ Question

Rising Sun
Image via the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.
This work is part of the exhibition "Rising Sun: Artists in an Uncertain America."

Despite being separated by just a few blocks, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the African American Museum in Philadelphia rarely share the same visitors, writes Hilarie M. Sheets for The New York Times.

To create a corridor between the two institutions, the museums embarked on an unusual collaborative exhibition: jointly commissioning 20 artists. These included Alison Saar, Hank Willis Thomas, Wilmer Wilson IV, and Dread Scott, to create new work and bring different perspectives to the question Benjamin Franklin pondered in 1787, while the nation’s Constitution was being written: Was the sun rising or setting on American democracy?

“Rising Sun: Artists in an Uncertain America” was conceived by Jodi Throckmorton, who served as a curator of contemporary art at PAFA, in partnership with Dejay Duckett, vice president of curatorial services at AAMP, during Donald J. Trump’s tumultuous presidency.

The exhibition, which is influenced by the killings of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd and the January 6, 2021 insurrection at the Capitol, is on view until October 8.

Read more about the collaboration between two Philadelphia museums– the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and the African American Museum–in The New York Times.


Last week’s opening panel discussion for the exhibition Rising Sun: Artists in an Uncertain America.

Join Our Community

Never miss a Delaware County story!

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.