Sculptures

Penn’s sculpture collection is displayed throughout campus, both indoors and outdoors. Claes Oldenburg’s Split Button, located outside Van Pelt Library, is often considered a campus icon. Situated on Blanche Levy Park, Love by Robert Indiana greets passers by on Locust Walk. Penn’s outdoor spaces are home to freestanding and architectural sculptures from three generations of Philadelphia’s most famous family of sculptors - Alexander Calder, Alexander Stirling Calder, and Alexander Milne Calder. Sculptures by Aleksandr Archipenko, Henry Moore, Jenny Holzer, and other significant 20th century artists create an outdoor gallery for the Penn community.

Figural sculptures on campus depict notable personages. Benjamin Franklin is a highly visible presence at Penn, and he is portrayed in bronze, marble, terra cotta, and plaster sculptures. Young Ben Franklin by R. Tait McKenzie depicts this founding father in his twenties. Jean-Antoine Houdon’s expressive Benjamin Franklin bust is one of the most celebrated portrayals Franklin, representing him in plain, simple Quaker dress. Among other noteworthy figural sculptures, Auguste Rodin’s Jean d’Aire depicts the solemn strength of this 14th century French martyr.

Individual Works