Past Artists’ Projects at the APS Museum

The APS Museum commissions contemporary artists in all disciplines to create innovative works in response to the museum’s historical exhibitions. Visual artists, performers, composers, poets, and others interpret the shows’ themes and objects, creating new dialogues between past and present.


Interpreting the exhibition TEMPUS FUGIT: Time Flies

2012:   Return Return Departure, was created in 2012 by Nichole Canuso Dance Company in response to the exhibition TEMPUS FUGIT: Time Flies. Canuso performed alongside dancer John Luna. The original score was composed by Michael Kiley.


Interpreting the exhibition Of Elephants & Roses

2011:   Click here to see The Greenhouse Projects, the museum’s 2011 series of artists’ projects that interpreted the exhibition Of Elephants & Roses. Three artists were commissioned to create new works: artist/architect Jenny Sabin, director/playwright Aaron Cromie, and composer Kyle Bartlett.


Interpreting the exhibition Dialogues with Darwin

2009-2010:   Eve Andrée Laramée’s Luminous Darwin paired three fictional “lost” notebooks by Charles Darwin with apparatuses that resembled Victorian magic lanterns but that played contemporary videos.


2009:   Brett Keyser and Glenn Berger created and performed a one-man play, a “tour de farce”, titled Darwinii: The Comeuppance of Man.


2009:   The Voyage of the Beetle was a guerilla theater piece by Brett Keyser. Keyser traveled throughout Philadelphia in a Volkswagen Beetle with a giant fiberglass beetle on the roof, performing an original song inspired by Darwin’s famous book On the Origin of Species.


2010:   Lisa Anne Auerbach, The Tract House: A Darwin Addition.  LA-based artist Lisa Ann Auerbach solicited tracts—manifestos, diatribes, stories, rants, and poems—written by the general public and friends in response to Darwin’s life and ideas.


2010:   Beauvais Lyons, The Association for Creative Zoology  Lyons posed a parodic challenge to Darwin’s theory of natural selection by presenting the fictitious “theory of zoomorphic juncture,” which claimed that new species resulted from combining two separate species. Lyons demonstrated this theory at two outdoor kiosks.


Morris Wright Darwiniana Still_full size

2010:   The APS Museum and Network for New Music joined forces with Philadelphia area poets and composer Maurice Wright for an evening of new chamber works inspired by Darwin’s life and ideas. A musical composition with video, titled Darwiniana, was one result.


Click here to download information on other past artists’ projects.

Greenhouse and Cabinet of Future Fossils, 2011, Jenny Sabin
Horridus! Horridus! Name Calling in the Wilderness, 2006, Brett Keyser as Professor Adam Wallker Schell