Rising Sun: Artists in an Uncertain America
Two historic museums come together for a transformative exhibition of contemporary art. Join the African American Museum in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts for Rising Sun: Artists in an Uncertain America, an exhibition of new works examining the provocative and timely question: “Is the sun rising or setting on the experiment of American democracy?”
Installations by 20 celebrated artists explore themes of equality, free speech, and other tenets of democracy. In a time when perspectives in the U.S. are radically disparate, we invite you to explore how art inspires us to reflect on, challenge, and expand our own lived experiences.
Shiva Ahmadi, John Akomfrah CBE, La Vaughn Belle, Tiffany Chung, Lenka Clayton, Petah Coyne, Martha Jackson Jarvis, Demetrius Oliver, Eamon Ore-Giron, Alison Saar, Dread Scott, Rose B. Simpson, Sheida Soleimani, Renée Stout, Mark Thomas Gibson, Dyani White Hawk, Hank Willis Thomas, Deborah Willis, Wilmer Wilson IV, and Saya Woolfalk.
The exhibition title is inspired by the profound words of Benjamin Franklin and poetic lyrics from James Weldon Johnson. Franklin pondered whether the sun was rising or setting on the country’s future during its formative years, and Johnson encouraged us to face “the rising sun of our new day begun” in his lyrics from Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing, also known as the Black National Anthem.
About the African American Museum in Philadelphia
Founded in 1976 in celebration of the nation's Bicentennial, the African American Museum in Philadelphia (AAMP) is the first institution funded and built by a major municipality to preserve, interpret and exhibit the heritage of African Americans. Throughout its evolution, the museum has objectively interpreted and presented the achievements and aspirations of African Americans from pre-colonial times to the current day. The museum is committed to telling the story of African Americans in all its permutations: family life, the Civil Rights movement, arts and entertainment, sports, medicine, architecture, politics, religion, law and technology. The AAMP currently houses four galleries and an auditorium, each of which offer exhibitions anchored by one of three dominant themes: the African Diaspora, the Philadelphia Story, and the Contemporary Narrative.