Civic News

Science Center’s Esther Klein Gallery is hosting its last exhibit this fall

The gallery will close in December after 45 years. Its art will now be displayed in the University City org's Quorum space.

The Esther Klein Gallery in University City, 2017.

(Photo via Geekadelphia)

University City Science Center is relocating its home for art and science: This week, the org announced its final exhibit at the Esther Klein Gallery.

The gallery will close after 45 years, and the art portion of the Science Center will move from 3600 Market St. to 3675 Market St., mainly in the Quorum gathering space. Kristen Fitch, senior director of marketing at the center, said the move will provide “a larger space with more foot traffic where more people can engage with work.”

The gallery has a focus is on the intersection of art, science and technology, and has showcased the art of hundreds of artists from around the world along with the work of futurists and scientists, according to a press release. A recent exhibit visualized the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Esther Klein Gallery has been witness to history, even creating some of its own with vibrant and thought-provoking displays that showcased the ubiquitous nature of science and progress,” Science Center President and CEO Tiffany Wilson said in a statement. “This is certainly not a sunset, but an evolution, as we carry the torch to the Science Center’s ‘home base’ — 3675 Market — where new public installations will be debuting in 2024.”

Over the years, the gallery has hosted exhibits about augmented reality and the practice of surveillance. It also celebrated its 40 year anniversary in 2017 with a retrospective exhibit including the work of Buckminster Fuller.

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The final exhibit will be “Closer Than Your Family” by artist Dr. Heather Dewey-Hagborg (who also produced the gallery’s artificial “Lovesick” virus back in 2019). This exhibit will look at “how cutting-edge developments in biotechnology are raising fundamental questions about what it means to be human,” per the Science Center. It opens on Thursday, Oct. 6 and runs until Dec 16.

“While the research represented here feels like the future, it is really a portrait of a present not often seen, but increasingly shaping our everyday lives,” Dewey-Hagborg said.


Sarah Huffman is a 2022-2023 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Lenfest Institute for Journalism. -30-
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