event · Through February 28 2022

Pattern and Purpose: Works from the Ann McPhail Collection

The patterns that appear in these works of art are not merely decorative additions but function as vehicles of expression. Their embedded messages served a range of purposes, including to display wealth, express individual and group identity, aid in rituals, or protect from physical and spiritual danger. Explore selections from North Africa to Asia that highlight the rich textile and jewelry traditions of village and tribal communities in these regions.

About Ann McPhail

The art on display in this gallery is from a diverse collection formed by Ann Smallidge McPhail (1928–2016) and donated to the museum by her and her husband, trustee emeritus Donald McPhail. The museum’s longest-serving guide, Ann traveled extensively across Asia and North Africa, often wearing the ornaments and clothing she collected.


Philadelphia Museum of Art
2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy
Philadelphia, PA 19130 US