Artwork Commissioned by Magee Rehabilitation Hospital Finds New Home at Philadelphia Museum of Art

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In 1982, Magee Rehabilitation commissioned Rudolf Staffel (1911-2002) to create a large scale ceramic work for its lobby as part of Philadelphia's Percent for Art Program. "Window” was removed during a renovation project in 2007, and this spring, Magee brought it to the attention of noted Staffel collector Helen Williams Drutt English and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Philadelphia Museum of Art 2016 (photography by Joseph Hu)

Philadelphia Museum of Art 2016 (photography by Joseph Hu)

“I am thrilled that this beautiful work of art, which once illuminated the lobby of Magee Rehabilitation Hospital, has found a new home at our city’s iconic Philadelphia Museum of Art,” Dr. Jack Carroll, President & CEO of Magee Rehabilitation says.

A work of art originally commissioned by Magee Rehabilitation Hospital is now on view at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Rudolf Staffel’s “Window” is part of the new exhibition “At the Center: Masters of American Craft" through July 31, 2017.

When the Alfred J. D’Angelo Pavilion was built at the hospital at 1513 Race Street in 1982, Magee commissioned Staffel (1911-2002) to create a large scale ceramic work for its lobby as part of the city’s Percent for Art Program. This program stipulated that Philadelphia land developers dedicate at least one percent of their building construction costs toward the creation of original, site-specific works of art and is still active today. “Window” was removed during a renovation project in 2007 and had been in storage since then. This spring, Magee brought it to the attention of noted collector and scholar Helen Williams Drutt English, who represented Staffel in her eponymous Philadelphia gallery from 1973 to 2002. Ms. English agreed to acquire this remarkable work and promise it as a gift to the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

“I am thrilled that this beautiful work of art, which once illuminated the lobby of Magee Rehabilitation Hospital, has found a new home at our city’s iconic Philadelphia Museum of Art,” Dr. Jack Carroll, President and CEO of Magee Rehabilitation Hospital says. “This unique and striking work can now be seen by countless art lovers from throughout our region and beyond.”

Timothy Rub, The George D. Widener Director and CEO of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, said: “The Museum holds the largest and most comprehensive collection of ceramics by Rudolf Staffel in the world. “Window” is a valuable addition to our important collection of contemporary craft. Not only does it symbolize our ongoing commitment to the artist and his versatile body of work, but also his imprint on the field as an influential artist and educator. We are delighted to announce the generous gift of this extraordinary work of art that was commissioned through such a vital civic program which has defined Philadelphia as a leader in the field of public art in our nation.”

“Window” is composed of 40 porcelain tiles washed with copper salts, each handcrafted and applied to frosted glass, and a wood frame. “At The Center: Masters of American Craft,” curated by Elisabeth Agro, The Nancy M. McNeil Associate Curator of American Modern and Contemporary Crafts and Decorative Arts at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, focuses on the careers of Staffel and wood turner David Ellsworth. Drawn from the Museum’s collection and accompanied by a selection of loans, the presentation demonstrates the artists’ ingenuity, virtuosity, and impact in the field.

About Magee Rehabilitation Hospital
Magee Rehabilitation Hospital, a founding member of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation’s NeuroRecovery Network, is the Philadelphia region’s original provider of physical and cognitive rehabilitation. The not-for-profit hospital provides nationally-recognized lifetime rehabilitation and wellness programs for individuals with spinal cord injury, brain injury, stroke, orthopedic joint replacement, amputation, pain management, and work injury. Since 1978, Magee has partnered with Thomas Jefferson University Hospital to form The Regional Spinal Cord Injury Center of the Delaware Valley, one of only 14 federally designated model systems of care in the country.

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Marissa Montenegro
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