6abc Loves the Arts: More Perfect Union

Just in time for Valentine's Day, the Woodmere Museum has a new exhibition that explores the meaning of love and marriage.

It's called A More Perfect Union?, and It chronicles the changing way Philadelphia artists have depicted marriage from the start of the American Revolution to the present day.

Bill Valerio, Executive Director & CEO of the Woodmere says the exhibition includes more than 100 pieces ranging from paintings, sculptures, photography, drawings, and graphic works, "Looking at power, looking at race, looking at gender, looking at sexual orientation." and, he adds, looking at how artists, over the past 200+ years, have depicted a perfect union, "You know, what is an ideal marriage? What is a union in popular culture?"

Valerio says the exhibition includes images of traditional marriages, historic photographs of gay couples, and a picture of an affluent African American family taking during the time of slavery, "We want to put things together that really create a spark and get people to think."

Philadelphia artist Frank Bramblett's 1982 mixed media work depicts a hypothetical marriage between Helen Keller and the French painter Marcel Duchamp.

"It's a spectacular crazy wonderful picture," Valerio says, "He used Hellen Keller's Braille poetry on the surface of this sculpture, but it's also made with broken mirrors."

A 3D paper sculpture called Kissing depicts two power drills, head to head, seemingly fighting.

"And there's something kind of violent about the idea of the two drills, but there's also something very delicate about it," says Valerio.

The exhibition title borrows from the preamble of the Constitution, and the show goes all the way back to the Philadelphia founders of American Art.

"It's going to be a fascinating serious exhibition, and there are a couple of dirty edges around the sides," says Valerio, who guarantees visitors, "It will open your mind and you will enjoy it."

A More Perfect Union? is on display at the Woodmere until May 21st.

For tickets and show times go to www.TheArtsinPhilly.org.
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