Rising Sun: Artists in an Uncertain America has been extended by popular demand!  Learn More

Choose your Language:

Is the sun rising or setting on the experiment of American democracy?

The African American Museum in Philadelphia (AAMP) and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) present Rising Sun: Artists in an Uncertain America, a multi-venue exhibition of new works examining the provocative and timely question: “Is the sun rising or setting on the experiment of American democracy?”

Installations by 20 celebrated artists explore themes of equality, free speech, and other tenets of democracy. In a time when perspectives in the U.S. are radically disparate, we invite you to explore how art inspires us to reflect on, challenge, and expand our own lived experiences.


On-View At Both Museums
March 23, 2023-December 31, 2023

On-View At AAMP
Through March 3, 2024


The exhibition title is inspired by the profound words of Benjamin Franklin and poetic lyrics from James Weldon Johnson. Franklin pondered whether the sun was rising or setting on the country’s future during its formative years, and Johnson encouraged us to face “the rising sun of our new day begun” in his lyrics from Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing, also known as the Black National Anthem.

Rising Sun Chair

Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing

A Unique Collaboration

It is rare for two museums to commission and present one exhibition. Rising Sun reflects AAMP and PAFA’s shared commitment to building more equitable museum spaces. In the spirit of breaking down boundaries in the art world, both museums teamed up to transform their galleries.