Stephan Salisbury has covered cultural news since 1982.

Latest Stories

Museum volunteer astonishes PAFA with $8 million gift

Beloved tour guide Estelle Rubens had told the academy she planned to leave it a little something after she died. No one expected this. The $8 million gift is one of the largest in Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts history.

Layoffs at the Historical Society have been a long time coming

"Long delayed-aftershocks" from the recession, donor exhaustion, and other troubles have been mounting. Not all of Philadelphia's history museums are on shaky ground, though.

Historical Society of Pennsylvania lays off 30 percent of its staff

Operating deficits and prolonged and unsuccessful partnership efforts have taken a toll.

Before Marie Kondo there was Sara Berman — and her closet is going on display near the Liberty Bell on Independence Mall

Artist Maira Kalman and her son celebrate Maira's gloriously fastidious mother with an outdoor monument to a humble life well lived. See it on Independence Mall Friday through Sept. 2.

PAFA acquires about 130 works for its collection

Works by women and African American artists continue to join the museum collection.

Christ Church steeple is leaning, and help is on the way to set things straight

A National Endowment for the Humanities grant being announced Thursday will put the historic church near the $3.1 million it needs to stabilize and renovate the steeple and the brick tower on which it sits. A handful of other local groups will receive grants, as well.

An enormous Confederate flag is going on display in Philly this week — here’s why

Artist Sonya Clark mounts an exhibition featuring the Confederate Flag of Truce, the dishcloth that signaled the end of the Civil War and was promptly forgotten by almost everyone. Clark asks: What if this other flag had endured instead of the Confederate Battle Flag?

Visit this hidden Philly gem to see Napoleon’s death mask and his brother Joe’s toiletry kit

The Athenaeum of Philadelphia, on Washington Square, has just won an international honor. And while it's globally famous, "there are probably more people out there who know about us than people across the street,” says the site's director.

Magic Gardens creator Isaiah Zagar turns 80 on Monday — and you’re invited to celebrate

A low-key affair with cake, Mummer, and Isaiah himself is planned for Monday.

Constance Clayton gives PAFA nearly 80 works by African American artists

Clayton's "arc of art history from an African American perspective" will form a 2020 exhibition at the museum.