Discover the rich history and extensive collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, featuring world-class art and engaging programming.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art is a world-renowned art museum located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. The museum was founded in 1876, as part of the Centennial Exposition celebrating the nation’s 100th birthday, and has since grown to become one of the largest and most comprehensive art museums in the United States. The museum’s collection features more than 240,000 objects spanning from ancient times to the present day, including paintings, sculptures, decorative arts, and textiles.
This article will provide an in-depth look at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, including its history, collection, and notable exhibitions. It will also provide information about the museum’s facilities, including its location, hours of operation, and admission fees. Additionally, this article will explore the museum’s community outreach programs and educational initiatives.
Table of Contents
- Notable Exhibitions
- Hours of Operation
- Admission Fees
- Community Outreach Programs
- Educational Initiatives
- Conservation and Research
The Philadelphia Museum of Art was founded in 1876 as part of the Centennial Exposition celebrating the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The museum was originally housed in Memorial Hall, which had been constructed for the exposition. The museum’s collection began with a group of European paintings and sculptures donated by James Smithson, the founder of the Smithsonian Institution.
Over the years, the museum has expanded its collection through donations and acquisitions. In 1928, the museum acquired the entire collection of John G. Johnson, a prominent lawyer and art collector, which included works by artists such as Botticelli, Rembrandt, and Van Gogh. In 1931, the museum acquired the Arensberg Collection, which included works by Marcel Duchamp and Constantin Brancusi. Today, the museum’s collection spans more than 240,000 objects and is one of the largest and most comprehensive in the United States.
Philadelphia Museum of Art Collection
The Philadelphia Museum of Art’s collection is organized into several departments, including American Art, Contemporary Art, European Decorative Arts, and Prints, Drawings, and Photographs. The museum’s collection features works from ancient times to the present day, with a particular focus on European and American art.
Some of the highlights of the museum’s collection include:
- The Great Stair Hall, which features a monumental sculpture of Diana by Augustus Saint-Gaudens, as well as paintings by Thomas Eakins and other American artists.
- The European Decorative Arts collection, which includes more than 11,000 objects, including furniture, ceramics, glass, and metalwork.
- The American Art collection, which includes works by artists such as John Singleton Copley, Winslow Homer, and Mary Cassatt.
- The Asian Art collection, which includes works from China, Japan, Korea, and South and Southeast Asia.
- The Modern and Contemporary Art collection, which includes works by artists such as Pablo Picasso, Marcel Duchamp, and Jackson Pollock.
The museum’s collection is also notable for its holdings of works by Philadelphia artists, including Charles Willson Peale, Thomas Eakins, and Robert Henri.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art is known for its wide range of exhibitions, which showcase works from the museum’s collection as well as loans from other institutions. Some of the notable exhibitions that have been held at the museum in recent years include:
- “The Wrath of the Gods: Masterpieces by Rubens, Michelangelo, and Titian” (2019-2020), which featured works from the museum’s collection as well as loans from other institutions, exploring the theme of divine retribution in art.
- “Modern Times: American Art 1910-1950” (2018-2019), which featured over 160 works by American artists from the first half of the 20th century, including paintings, sculptures, and photographs.
- “Fabulous Fashion: From Dior’s New Look to Now” (2018-2019), which showcased over 100 haute couture garments and accessories from the mid-20th century to the present day.
- “Old Masters Now: Celebrating the Johnson Collection” (2017-2018), which featured highlights from the museum’s collection of European art, acquired from collector John G. Johnson in the early 20th century.
The museum also hosts several rotating exhibitions throughout the year, highlighting various themes and art movements. Visitors are encouraged to check the museum’s website for a current list of exhibitions.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art is located at 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia. The museum’s main building, designed by architect Julian Abele, was completed in 1928 and features a neoclassical design inspired by the ancient Greek Parthenon. The museum has undergone several expansions and renovations over the years, including the addition of the Perelman Building in 2007.
The museum offers several facilities for visitors, including a café, a restaurant, a gift shop, and a parking garage. The museum’s café, Stir, offers a variety of salads, sandwiches, and snacks, as well as coffee and tea. The museum’s restaurant, the Granite Hill, offers a seasonal menu of American cuisine, as well as a full bar.
The museum’s gift shop, located in the main building, offers a variety of art-related merchandise, including books, prints, and jewelry. The museum’s parking garage, located beneath the museum, offers discounted parking for museum visitors.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art is located in the Fairmount neighborhood of Philadelphia, near several other cultural institutions, including the Barnes Foundation and the Rodin Museum. The museum is easily accessible by car or public transportation. Visitors can take the SEPTA Regional Rail to the nearby 30th Street Station or take the SEPTA bus or trolley to stops near the museum.
Philadelphia Museum of Art Hours of Operation
The Philadelphia Museum of Art is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10am to 5pm, with extended hours until 8:45pm on Wednesday and Friday evenings. The museum is closed on Mondays, as well as on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. Visitors are encouraged to check the museum’s website for any changes to the hours of operation.
Admission to the Philadelphia Museum of Art is $25 for adults, $23 for seniors (ages 65 and over), and $14 for students (with valid ID) and youth (ages 13-18). Children 12 and under are free. Admission is also free on the first Sunday of every month and on Wednesday evenings after 5pm. The museum also offers discounts for groups of 15 or more and for active military personnel and their families.
Community Outreach Programs
The Philadelphia Museum of Art is committed to community outreach and offers several programs to engage with visitors from all walks of life. The museum’s Community Access Program offers free admission to visitors who receive state assistance, as well as to active military personnel and their families. The museum also offers free admission to Philadelphia public school students and their chaperones.
The museum’s ArtSplash program offers free family-friendly programming throughout the year, including art-making workshops, performances, and tours. The museum’s Art After 5 program offers live music and cocktails on Friday evenings, with discounted admission for museum members.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art is dedicated to education and offers several educational initiatives for visitors of all ages. The museum’s School and Teacher Programs offer resources for educators, including professional development opportunities, classroom resources, and guided tours for school groups. The museum also offers homeschool programming and workshops for families.
The museum’s Family Programs offer activities and resources for families with children, including story time, art-making workshops, and family-friendly tours. The museum’s Teen Programs offer workshops, internships, and other opportunities for teens to engage with art and museum professionals.
The museum’s Adult Programs offer a variety of lectures, workshops, and classes for adult learners. Topics range from art history and criticism to art-making and technique. The museum also offers special programs for seniors, including art therapy workshops and senior tours.
Philadelphia Museum of Art Conservation and Research
The Philadelphia Museum of Art is committed to the conservation and research of its collection. The museum’s Conservation Department includes specialists in paintings, paper, objects, and textiles, who work to preserve and restore the museum’s collection. The museum’s Research Department includes scholars and curators who conduct research on the collection and produce publications and exhibitions based on their findings.
The museum’s Library and Archives offer resources for researchers and scholars, including books, periodicals, and archives related to the museum’s collection and history. The museum also offers fellowships and internships for students and scholars to conduct research on the collection and its history.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art is a world-class institution that offers visitors a diverse and extensive collection of art, as well as engaging programming and educational opportunities. Its commitment to community outreach, conservation, and research make it a vital part of Philadelphia’s cultural landscape. Whether you are a seasoned art enthusiast or a casual visitor, the Philadelphia Museum of Art is not to be missed.
- “About Us.” Philadelphia Museum of Art. https://philamuseum.org/about-us.
- “Collection.” Philadelphia Museum of Art. https://philamuseum.org/collection.
- “Exhibitions.” Philadelphia Museum of Art. https://philamuseum.org/exhibitions.
- “Education.” Philadelphia Museum of Art. https://philamuseum.org/education.
- “Conservation.” Philadelphia Museum of Art. https://philamuseum.org/conservation.
- “Research.” Philadelphia Museum of Art. https://philamuseum.org/research.
- “Library and Archives.” Philadelphia Museum of Art. https://philamuseum.org/library-and-archives.
- “School and Teacher Programs.” Philadelphia Museum of Art. https://philamuseum.org/school-and-teacher-programs.
- “Family Programs.” Philadelphia Museum of Art. https://philamuseum.org/family-programs.
- “Teen Programs.” Philadelphia Museum of Art. https://philamuseum.org/teen-programs.
- “Adult Programs.” Philadelphia Museum of Art. https://philamuseum.org/adult-programs.
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