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Philadelphia is widely believed to have one of the largest public art collections in the country. Philadelphia’s extraordinary collection of public art is a result of the city’s long and impressive tradition of cultural and civic involvement.
With superb examples of every period and material, the city’s unrivaled collection forms a veritable “museum without walls.”
1976 by Claes Oldenburg
Philadelphia’s City Hall has inspired many reactions, but perhaps none quirkier than Claes Oldenburg’s. City Hall is formal, ornate late 19th century. Oldenburg’s 45-foot steel Clothespin, directly across 15th Street, is sleek, ultramodern, whimsical. Everyone has an opinion about the Clothespin. What’s yours?
Louis Comfort Tiffany meets Maxfield Parrish in a one-of-a-kind creation
One of only three such works ever undertaken by Tiffany Studios, the piece is comprised of 24 panels that took six months to install in its Philadelphia setting. In 1998, after the piece was put up for sale and casino magnate Steve Wynn attempted to purchase it, a citywide outcry nixed the deal, and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts purchased its alumnus’ famous Dream Garden to make sure it would remain where it has always been.
Artist Isaiah Zagar’s masterpiece on South Street
Covering an indoor and outdoor space equivalent to half a city block, Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens glisten with creativity, urban renaissance and a hint of madness.
1965 by Harry Rosin
With Boathouse Row and miles of challenging river, Philadelphia has long been a center for rowing enthusiasts. Who better to represent this tradition than Olympic champion John B. Kelly Sr., who won the single sculls in 1920 and the doubles in 1920 and 1924. A bronze sculpture of Kelly at the oars is located near the rowing grandstands.
Take a tour of the “Mural Capital of the World”
Explore Philadelphia’s collection of more than 3,500 murals by foot, trolley, train, bike, or even your own vehicle on an official Mural Arts Tour.View More
Mural Arts Program explores the future of heirloom foods
In anticipation of their 30th anniversary, the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program is looking back at its history and looking forward to the social and experimental dimension of art in public space during What We Sow.View More
At the races
Since 2007, Fishtown’s to-the-north neighbor Kensington has held this one-of-a-kind competition, which sees teams building amazing, elaborate sculptures that also happen to be downhill-raceable vehicles.View More
Undergoing renovations to become one of the city’s great green spaces
Located at the foot of City Hall, Dilworth Plaza is undergoing a major transformation into a modern and welcoming outdoor space.View More
Rodin’s iconic statue sits in quiet reflection on the Parkway
Silently perched along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Auguste Rodin’s iconic sculpture greets visitors as they enter the Rodin Museum.View More
An interpretive audio tour with 35 stops along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and Kelly Drive
Museum Without Walls™: AUDIO is a multi-platform, interactive audio tour, designed to allow locals and visitors alike to experience Philadelphia’s extensive collection of public art and outdoor sculpture along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and Kelly Drive. This innovative program invites passersby to stop, look, listen and see this city’s public art in a new way. Discover the untold histories of the 51 outdoor sculptures at 35 stops through these professionally produced three-minute interpretive audio segments. The many narratives have been spoken by more than 100 voices, all with personal connections to the pieces of art.View More
Philadelphia’s most popular town square
Rittenhouse Square is as popular with residents as it is with visitors. In the picturesque, tree-lined streets surrounding the park, you will find charming townhomes, luxurious spas, amazing eateries, jewelry stores and the highest of high-end fashion boutiques.View More
Serenity and elegance in Fairmount Park
Enter a place of harmony and tranquility, where the large stone statue of the Buddhist deity Jizo keeps silent watch over the Shofuso in its home away from home in Fairmount Park. Explore the Pine Breeze Villa, fragrant from its tatami mats and hinoki bark roof; across the wooden bridge, a tea garden leads past lanterns to the ceremonial teahouse complex.View More
In 1890 General William M. Reilly of the Pennsylvania National Guard bequeathed funds for a memorial to Revolutionary War heroes. Though it took decades to raise additional money, six sculptures were eventually installed northwest of the Art Museum.View More
1897 by Rudolf Siemering
In Eakins Oval a mounted George Washington is poised to lead a march down the Parkway. Allegorical figures surround his pedestal, while the lower levels portray “typical” American people and animals. Across the roadway, Auguste Kiss’s Mounted Amazon Attacked by a Panther and Albert Wolff’s The Lion Fighter flank the museum steps.View More