Admission to the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) is now free to the public for the first time in its history. ICA Director Claudia Gould announced that this unprecedented initiative is made possible by a generous gift from Glenn R. Fuhrman. ICA Overseer, contemporary art collector, and Penn alumnus, W ’87; WG ’88.
During his years at Penn, Mr. Fuhrman studied art history and frequently visited the ICA. Beginning in 1997, he sponsored a series of lectures for the department of the history of art culminating in a lecture given in 2005 by renowned historian and former professor Leo Steinberg, in whose class Mr. Fuhrman had been a student.
Free admission for the public is sponsored by the Glenn R. Fuhrman Fund. The Fuhrman gift will underwrite admissions at the ICA for the next five years allowing access to its exhibitions. The museum plans to celebrate this gift with a community-wide opening event September 4. This event, which will also be free and open to the public, will kick-off the ICA’s fall exhibition schedule, which will include the work of artists Douglas Blau, R. Crumb, Kate Gilmore and Odili Donald Odita.
Opening the doors free of charge renews the vision of ICA’s founder, the late G. Holmes Perkins, Emeritus University Professor of Architecture and Urbanism and dean of the Graduate School of Fine Arts (now the School of Design), from 1951 to 1971. His vision and passion were to expose his students, and the greater community, to the art of their time. Dean Perkins felt that students required a broad perspective on related disciplines in order to fully grasp their own. He died at the age of 99 in 2004 (Almanac September 7, 2004).
“We are so grateful to Glenn Fuhrman for his vision and generosity, which will open the world of contemporary art to new audiences,” said President Amy Gutmann. “This wonderful initiative reinforces the University’s commitment to engagement with the community, both locally and globally.”
As part of the University of Pennsylvania, ICA—founded in 1963—has always been free to students, faculty, staff and members. In keeping with ICA’s mission which invites the public to share in the experience, interpretation and understanding of the work of established and emerging artists, free admission eliminates all financial barriers to achieving this goal and demonstrates a commitment to the greater Philadelphia community.
“Integral to ICA’s long range strategic plan of creating access to living artists, free admission allows ICA to continue to be the premier destination for experiencing contemporary art—where everyone can feel welcome, energized and inspired. It will also engage the casual and repeat visitor, which is very important to our vision as a whole” said Ms. Gould.