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Public Art

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.”

Featured Listings

  • Clothespin

    1976 by Claes Oldenburg

    Oldenburg’s Clothespin outside City Hall

    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?

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  • Dream Garden

    Louis Comfort Tiffany meets Maxfield Parrish in a one-of-a-kind creation

    The Dream Garden

    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.

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  • Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens

    Artist Isaiah Zagar’s masterpiece on South Street

    Isaiah Zagar’s Magic Garden.

    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.

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  • John B. Kelly (The Rower)

    1965 by Harry Rosin

    Statue of John B. Kelly.

    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.

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  • Dilworth Park

    Undergoing renovations to become one of the city’s great green spaces

    Rendering of the renovated Dilworth Plaza, opening in 2014.

    Now open
    Located at the foot of City Hall, Dilworth Park has undergone a major — and awesome — transformation into a modern and welcoming outdoor space with new plantings, lawns, a programmable fountain, a cafe with outdoor seating and two iconic glass entrances to the underground concourse.

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  • City Hall

    The largest municipal building in the country and the finest example of the Second Empire style

    Philadelphia City Hall

    City Hall is the largest municipal building in the United States, containing over 14.5 acres of floor space. It is an architectural treasure inside and out.

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  • The Rocky Statue and the Rocky Steps

    Two of the most famous tourist attractions in Philadelphia

    The famous East Steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

    The Rocky Statue and the “Rocky Steps” — better known as the Art Museum Steps — are two of the most popular attractions in Philadelphia. Visiting the statue, running up the steps and taking a picture at the top is pretty much a must on your first visit to Philadelphia. It’s a rite of passage.

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  • Venice Island Performing Arts
    and Recreation Center

    New waterfront community and performance arts space in Manayunk

    Venice Island Performing Arts and Recreation Center in Manayunk.

    Philadelphia’s Manayunk neighborhood has a new waterfront community destination with the recent opening of the Venice Island Performing Arts and Recreation Center along the Schuylkill River.

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  • Your Philadelphia Tour

    Design your own historical and cultural excursion in the City of Brotherly Love

    Your Philadelphia Tour allows tour-goers to create their own custom guided tour.

    Your Philadelphia Tour seeks to offer a different way to see and learn about the City of Brotherly Love: by putting the tour-goers in charge.

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  • Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby

    At the races

    The Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby is the featured event at the Trenton Ave. Arts Fest.

    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.

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  • Official Mural Arts Tours

    Take a tour of the “Mural Capital of the World”

    Explore the city’s murals by bike on a Mural Arts Tour.

    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.

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  • What We Sow

    Mural Arts Program explores the future of heirloom foods

    What We Sow examines the role of heirloom foods through an ongoing series of events.

    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.

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  • The Thinker

    Rodin’s iconic statue sits in quiet reflection on the Parkway

    The Thinker at the Rodin Museum

    Silently perched along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Auguste Rodin’s iconic sculpture greets visitors as they enter the Rodin Museum.

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  • Museum Without Walls™: AUDIO

    An interpretive audio tour with 35 stops along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and Kelly Drive

    Robert Indiana’s iconic LOVE statue

    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.

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