150 Years of Public Art and Preservation

Watch ONLINE via ZOOM from the safety and comfort of your home. A link with instructions will be provided three hours prior to this virtual lecture. 

150 Years of Public Art and Preservation

presented by Penny Bach

Envisioned as a citizens’ movement at the vanguard of public art and urban design, the Fairmount Park Art Association (now aPA, Association for Public Art) was founded in 1872 as the first public art organization in the United States. These civic-minded people sought to “promote and foster the beautiful” when industrial and commercial interests threatened to erode the city’s character. Largely due to the work of the Association, Philadelphia’s public art includes significant works that parallel the history of American sculpture. Accordingly, aPA has promoted outdoor sculpture conservation and advocacy efforts that connect people with public art. This presentation will take you on a marathon, story-telling journey from the earliest thinking about public art through our current cultural and social environment.


Penny Balkin Bach is the former Executive Director and Chief Curator of the Association for Public Art (aPA). A curator, writer, educator, and public art consultant, she is well known for her work that creates new opportunities for artists and creative professionals, while advocating for the responsible stewardship of public art. Bach is an internationally recognized and award-winning leader in the field of public art, and she has been a participant on numerous local, national, and international juries. Her work is distinctively positioned at the intersection of art, architecture, landscape design, celebration, performance, pedagogy, and public history. She is the author of Public Art in Philadelphia and has written and lectured extensively about art and the environment.


Recommended Reading:

New•Land•Marks: Public Art, Community and Meaning of Place

by Penny Balkin Bach, Editor



Public Art in Philadelphia by Penny Balkin Bach




$15 | General Admission

$10 | Alliance Member 

Students with ID or individuals with financial difficulties free with email to vcheng@preservationalliance.com

This event is no longer on sale.