The Art of the Brick, world's largest display of LEGO art, on view at The Franklin Institute

BySteph Walton WPVI logo
Sunday, February 18, 2024
The Art of the Brick on view at Franklin Institute through Sept. 2
"The Art of the Brick" is returning to the Franklin Institute for the first time since 2015.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The Franklin Institute is kicking off its 200th anniversary celebration with The Art of the Brick, which features the work of brick artist Nathan Sawaya.

"He's all about the brick, the LEGO brick," says Larry Dubinski, President and CEO of The Franklin Institute.

"People can connect to this type of art because they're familiar with it as a toy. They've played with it," says Sawaya.

It is the world's largest display of LEGO art.

"The wow factor here is amazing," says Dubinski.

The exhibition started touring in 2007.

"And it just keeps growing. I keep adding new pieces," says Sawaya. "It's visited over 100 different cities now."

And there are many sculptures new to Philadelphia this year, including Decisions.

"The Art of the Brick's largest piece with over 110,000 bricks," says Dubinski.

"This entire piece is about hope," says Sawaya.

Also on view is PERNiCiEM, which Sawaya says is "Latin for extinction."

"And it focuses on endangered species. I collaborated with photographer Dean West," says Sawaya of that collection.

"It's really exciting to see the creations that he makes, and really brings to life," says Dubinski.

The past masters' gallery focuses on art history, featuring recreations of famous art works made of LEGO bricks.

Basquiat's Pez Dispenser and Frida Kahlo's The Frame are part of the exhibition.

Some of his original works have become iconic fan favorites.

"There's a yellow figure tearing its chest open and 1,000s of yellow bricks are spilling out," says Sawaya of one of his most popular pieces. "And it has taken on kind of a life of its own."

The Franklin Institute also commissioned a Philadelphia exclusive.

"A new special Benjamin Franklin National Memorial piece will be in the exhibition," says Dubinski.

And visitors can create their own sculptures in the 9,000-square-foot play space.

"There's a lot for the whole family," says Sawaya.

"It is just a fun exhibition to come and enjoy," says Dubinski.

The Art of the Brick is on view through September 2 at The Franklin Institute.

The Art of the Brick | The Franklin Institute

The Franklin Institute

222 N. 20th Street , Philadelphia, PA 19103