Article

25+ Must-See Exhibitions in Philadelphia for Spring 2018

Crocodiles, video games, Alexander Hamilton, modern art and more

1 of 1
Philadelphia Museum of Art Photo by Visit Philadelphia
1 of 1

The spring season welcomes both warmer weather and a new set of exciting exhibitions at the region’s museums and attractions.

The Franklin Institute salutes gamers everywhere with its Game Masters exhibition (featuring more than 100 playable video games!), while the Penn Museum’s highly anticipated — and recently renovated — Middle East Galleries re-open in April to show off 1,400 artifacts across the 6,000-square-foot space.

Elsewhere, the National Constitution Center’s new Alexander Hamilton-inspired exhibition delves into the popular Founding Father’s relationships with his famous contemporaries, and museums along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway continue to celebrate a century of Philly’s most cultured mile during Parkway 100.

Read on to learn about all of our must-see exhibition picks in Philadelphia this spring.

01

General Washington's Headquarters Tent at the Museum of the American Revolution

Washington's War Tent as the Museum of the American Revolution Washington's War Tent as the Museum of the American Revolution
— Photo courtesy Museum of the American Revolution

Ongoing

The drama unfolds exhibit by exhibit at the Museum of the American Revolution. Just two blocks from Independence Hall — the command center for the Revolution — the newest addition to America’s most historic square mile documents the strategic wins, crushing losses and world-altering consequences of the war for We the People. Visitors learn stories of well-known and everyday people who experienced the tumult through galleries, engaging films and a collection of Revolutionary-era weapons, personal items, diaries and works of art. The can’t-miss piece is General Washington’s Headquarters Tent, an iconic piece of history where the commander slept and made world-changing decisions.

Where: Museum of the American Revolution, 101 S. 3rd Street

Read more
02

Those Who Talk Back: Protest Banner Lending Library and U.S. Citizenship Test Sampler at the Asian Arts Initiative

Through Friday, April 6, 2018

Those Who Talk Back: Protest Banner Lending Library and U.S. Citizenship Test Sampler creates an interactive library at the Asian Arts Initiative where visitors can check out and return protest banners in a manner comparable to checking out library books. The fabric banners are designed to represent the voices of citizens, non-citizens, immigrants, the disenfranchised and all others who seek to share both opinions of dissent and aspirations for the world.

Where: Asian Arts Initiative, 1219 Vine Street

Read More
03

Things Fall Apart at the Science History Institute

Through Saturday, April 7, 2018

Toys lose their plasticity, damaged paintings get carefully restored, and housewares that break and get fixed reveal ideas, emotions and science behind decay at the always-free Science History Institute in Philadelphia’s Historic District. An app-guided neighborhood walking tour and decay-themed works from local artists round out the exhibit.

Where: Science History Institute, 315 Chestnut Street

Read More
04

Jerry Pinkney: Martin Luther King, Jr and Great American Heroes at the Woodmere Art Museum

Through Sunday, April 8, 2018

Watercolorist and Philadelphia native Jerry Pinkney has quite the resume, with permanent collections at the Library of Congress and the Philadelphia Museum of Art as well as a Caldecott Medal to his name. A display of his work at the Woodmere Art Museum in Chestnut Hill includes a portrait of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and is part of a larger exhibition coming to the museum in 2019.

Where: Woodmere Art Museum, 9201 Germantown Avenue

Read More
Advertisement
Advertisement
05

Chuck Close Photographs at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

Through Sunday, April 8, 2018                 

The first comprehensive survey of Close’s work takes place at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and features 90 images from 1964 to the present, including the photographer’s iconic black-and-white maquettes, composite Polaroids and recent Polaroid nudes.

Where: Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 118-128 N. Broad Street

Read More
06

Black Pulp! at The African American Museum in Philadelphia

The Black Pulp! exhibition at The African American Museum in Philadelphia The Black Pulp! exhibition at The African American Museum in Philadelphia
— Photo courtesy The African American Museum in Philadelphia

Through Sunday, April 29, 2018

The African American Museum in Philadelphia presents an International Print Center New York exhibition that displays works — including comic books — from 1912 to 2016 by artists, graphic designers, writer and publishers who share perspectives on black identity.

Where: The African American Museum in Philadelphia, 701 Arch Street

Read More
07

Sid the Science Kid: The Super-Duper Exhibit! at the Please Touch Museum

Please Touch Museum Please Touch Museum
— Photo by M. Edlow for Visit Philadelphia

Through Sunday, May 6, 2018

PBS KIDS TV series Sid the Science Kid comes to life at the Please Touch Museum, where an interactive exhibition invites kids to step into Sid’s world and scope out the answers to everyday science questions. Little ones will navigate their way through Sid’s home, the Super Fab Lab and the playground while playing the role of mini-scientists.

Where: Please Touch Museum, 4231 Avenue of the Republic

Read More
08

Crocs: Ancient Predators in a Modern World at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University

Crocodile exhibition at the Academy of Natural Sciences Crocodile exhibition at the Academy of Natural Sciences
— Photo courtesy Academy of Natural Sciences

Through Sunday, May 6, 2018

Live crocodilians descended from 200-million-year-old ancestors star in an Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University exhibition featuring a live Siamese crocodile, an Albino American alligator, 3-D animation and more. The three-month-long exhibition also teaches visitors how to speak “croc” and explores how crocs communicate via sight, sound, smell and touch.

Where: The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway

Read More
Advertisement
Advertisement
09

The Way Back: The Paintings of George A. Weymouth at the Brandywine River Museum of Art

George A. Weymouth's paintings. George A. Weymouth's paintings.
— George A. Weymouth (1936 - 2016). August, 1974, Tempera on Masonite Panel, 48x48 in. © George A. Weymouth

Through Sunday, June 3, 2018

The Way Back: The Paintings of George A. Weymouth, a landmark exhibition at the Brandywine River Museum of Art, displays approximately 65 of Weymouth’s best works of art. Mentored by close friend Andrew Wyeth, Weymouth used watercolor and egg tempera to create both powerful portraits and landscapes.

Where: Brandywine River Museum of Art, 1 Hoffmans Mill Road, Chadds Ford

Read More
10

Leonard Bernstein: The Power of Music at the National Museum of American Jewish History

— Photo courtesy National Museum of American Jewish History

Through Sunday, September 2, 2018

Leonard Bernstein: The Power of Music at the National Museum of American Jewish History celebrates the composer’s 100th birthday by focusing on Bernstein’s life as an American Jew who lived through World War II, the Holocaust, the Vietnam War and social change. A mix of historic artifacts, sound installations, film and interactive media bring Bernstein’s fascinating story to life.

Where: National Museum of American Jewish History, 101 S. Independence Mall East

Read More
11

Design in Revolution: A 1960s Odyssey at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Philadelphia Museum of Art Philadelphia Museum of Art
— Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

Through Sunday, September 9, 2018

The Philadelphia Museum of Art’s exhibition, Design in Revolution: A 1960s Odyssey, showcases a wide spectrum of passionate works of art produced in the 1960s, ranging from vintage rock ‘n’ roll posters to anti-war expressions to Pop Art creations. Works from designers, artists and architects will be on display in this exploration of counterculture art.

Where: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway

Read More
12

Woven Strands: The Art of Human Hair Work at the Mutter Museum

Through Sunday, September 16, 2018

Exploring a rather interesting medium for creating art, the Mutter Museum presents Woven Strands: The Art of Human Hair Work. The exhibition displays how human hair was employed as a textile in four different art- and jewelry-making techniques utilized in the Victorian era. A popular medium for creating folk art in the 18th and 19th century, human hair was once used to form flower bouquets, wreaths, braided jewelry chains, painted scenes of mourning and more, some of which can be viewed in this rare, curated collection.

Where: Mütter Museum, 19 S. 22nd Street

Read More
Advertisement
Advertisement
13

Marian: The Philadelphia Story at the Marian Anderson Historical Society & Museum

Marian Anderson Residence Marian Anderson Residence
— Photo by R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia

Through Wednesday, October 31, 2018

The Marian Anderson Historical Society & Museum — which celebrates the life and legacy of Marian Anderson, a renowned African-American opera singer — currently features Marian: The Philadelphia Story, a brand-new exhibition about Anderson’s life in Philadelphia and her impact on the world. Starting Friday, guests can browse a range of Marian Anderson’s own possessions — performance gowns, costumes, photographs — in addition to recordings of some of her greatest performances.

Where: Marian Anderson Historical Society & Museum, 762 Martin Street

Read More
14

Hamilton: The Constitutional Clashes that Shaped A Nation at the National Constitution Center

A statue of Alexander Hamilton at the National Constitution Center A statue of Alexander Hamilton at the National Constitution Center
— Photo courtesy National Constitution Center

Now open

It’s no secret that Alexander Hamilton often had a troubled relationship with his fellow Founding Fathers. Through rare artifacts and documents, including Hamilton’s portable writing desk and exact replicas of the pistols used in the famous Hamilton-Burr duel, the National Constitution Center takes a look at these political and personal differences between Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and others — and how these debates proved critical to the making of America.

Where: National Constitution Center, 525 Arch Street

Read More

Opening This Spring

15

Game Masters at The Franklin Institute

A rendering of the Game Masters Exhibit at The Franklin Institute A rendering of the Game Masters Exhibit at The Franklin Institute
— Photo by Mark Ashkanasy

The Franklin Institute celebrates the genius and popularity of more than 30 game design innovators in an interactive setting in Game Masters. Visitors can engage in more than 100 video games, ogle original, transformative artwork, learn the stories behind celebrity characters, observe interviews with gaming pioneers and delve into both classic arcade diversions and immersive multiplayer experiences.

Where: The Franklin Institute, 222 N. 20th Street

Read More
16

Sound + Vision at the National Liberty Museum

 

April 7 – June 10, 2018

The National Liberty Museum explores the relationship between music and contemporary glass art in its spring exhibition, Sound + Vision. The display includes experimental glass instruments, multimedia and sculptural works inspired by musical legends like Michael Jackson, Janis Joplin, David Bowie, Kurt Cobain and others.

Where: National Liberty Museum, 321 Chestnut Street

Read More
17

Modern Times: American Art 1910-1950 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

— The White Way, c. 1926, by John Sloan, American, 1871 - 1951. Oil on canvas, 30 1/8 x 32 1/4 inches. Philadelphia Museum of Art: Gift of Mrs. Cyrus McCormick, 1946-10-2.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art celebrates and explores the energetic first half of America’s 20th century in an exhibition featuring vibrant, essential modern works by Georgia O’Keefe, Horace Pippin, Paul Strand, Marsden Hartley and more revolutionary artists.

Where: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway

Read More
18

Penn Museum Middle East Galleries

The Middle East Galleries at the Penn Museum The Middle East Galleries at the Penn Museum
— Image courtesy Penn Museum

Opens Saturday, April 21, 2018

The first of the University of Pennsylvania’s extensive renovations to its 130-year-old museum begins where it all began, with America’s first archaeological expedition to the Middle East in the 1880s. The restored and renovated 6,000-square-foot Middle East Galleries will recount humanity’s nearly 10,000-year-long journey from villages to cities through 1,400 artifacts, in addition to video and interactive stations.

Where: Penn Museum, 3260 South Street

Read More
19

Black Mat Oriole & The Last Place They Thought Of at the Institute of Contemporary Art

The new season ushers in two exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Art. Artist Suki Seokyeong Kang’s Black Mat Oriole uses sculpture, painting and video to inspire viewers to think about how space is used and defined in systems of power and cultural customs. The Last Place They Thought Of examines the effects of racial, sexual and economic exploitation on our perception of geography and environment.

Where: Institute of Contemporary Art, 118 S. 36th Street

Read More
20

Renoir: Father and Son / Painting and Cinema at The Barnes Foundation

Landscape with Woman and Dog by Pierre-Auguste Renoir Landscape with Woman and Dog by Pierre-Auguste Renoir
— Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Landscape with Woman and Dog, 1917. BF541. Public Domain.

This Barnes Foundation exhibition explores the relationship between impressionist master Pierre-Auguste Renoir and master filmmaker Jean Renoir by juxtaposing the father’s paintings and drawings with the son’s films, costumes, photos and ceramics. Sylvie Patry, consulting curator at the Barnes, curated the exhibition. It is organized by the Barnes and the Musées d’Orsay et de l’Orangerie, Paris, in collaboration with La Cinémathèque française, Paris.

Where: Barnes Foundation, 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway

Read More
21

117th Annual Annual Student Exhibition at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the country’s oldest and largest art museum and school, previews the works of graduate and undergraduate art students during this 117th annual exhibition.

Where: Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 118-128 N. Broad Street

Read More
22

Racing: A Need for Speed at the Mercer Museum

Did you know that Bucks County has an exciting history of racing? The Mercer Museum’s spring and summer exhibition takes a look at the timeline of all kinds of races that took place in the area, from Native American footraces to the auto speedway races of today. The exhibit includes original cars, vintage cycling gear and interactive opportunities for guests to test their racing skills.

Where: Mercer Museum, 84 S. Pine Street, Doylestown

Read More
23

Photo Pop Philly

PhotoPop Philly PhotoPop Philly
— Photos courtesy Photo Pop (Photographer Briana Sposato)

Photo Pop Philly — a new, interactive pop-up exhibit that showcases the creative work of local artists — launches over Memorial Day weekend in a once-vacant Center City space. The exhibit, which is presented by VISIT PHILADELPHIA and curated by Philly PR Girl, features five red-white-and-blue themed rooms filled with original, Instagram-worthy art, murals and installations.

Where: The Philadelphia Building, 1315 Walnut Street

Read More
24

X-treme Bugs at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University

X-Treme Bugs exhibit at The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University X-Treme Bugs exhibit at The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University
— Photo courtesy Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University

Twenty giant animatronic insects, including a monarch butterfly and a Madagascar hissing cockroach, put a magnifying glass on bugs’ behaviors, motions and sounds in this interactive Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University exhibition.

Where: The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway

Read More
25

American Moderns: The Legacy of Gerry and Marguerite Lenfest at the Michener Museum of Art

June 2 – October 21, 2018

Artists from the greater Philadelphia region were at the forefront of transforming American art —specifically Precisionist and non-objective art — throughout the 20th century. Thanks to Gerry and Marguerite Lenfest’s gift of dozens of works to the Michener Art Museum, this exhibition — the first time the works are on display in a single gallery in more than 30 years — celebrates the contributions of artists such as Charles Frederick Ramsey, Louis Stone and others.

Where: James A. Michener Art Museum, 138 S. Pine Street, Doylestown

Read More

Parkway 100 Exhibitions

26

Rodin’s The Kiss at the Rodin Museum

Through January 2019

Continuing the celebration of the 100th anniversary of Auguste Rodin’s death, this Rodin Museum installation focuses on the master sculptor’s depictions of romantic love, from bronzes and plasters to a life-size, breathtaking replica of The Kiss.

Where: Rodin Museum, 2151 Benjamin Franklin Parkway

Read More
27

Corridor of Culture: 100 Years of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway at Parkway Central Library

 

Through Friday, November 16, 2018

At the Parkway Central Library of the Free Library of Philadelphia, photographs and artwork illustrate the creation and use of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway over the last century, and even more artifacts explore how art, faith, science and community reside together on the grand corridor.

Where: Parkway Central Library, 1901 Vine Street

Read More
General Washington's Headquarters Tent at the Museum of the American Revolution
Those Who Talk Back: Protest Banner Lending Library and U.S. Citizenship Test Sampler at the Asian Arts Initiative
Things Fall Apart at the Science History Institute
Jerry Pinkney: Martin Luther King, Jr and Great American Heroes at the Woodmere Art Museum
Chuck Close Photographs at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
Black Pulp! at The African American Museum in Philadelphia
Sid the Science Kid: The Super-Duper Exhibit! at the Please Touch Museum
Crocs: Ancient Predators in a Modern World at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University
The Way Back: The Paintings of George A. Weymouth at the Brandywine River Museum of Art
Leonard Bernstein: The Power of Music at the National Museum of American Jewish History
Design in Revolution: A 1960s Odyssey at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
Woven Strands: The Art of Human Hair Work at the Mutter Museum
Marian: The Philadelphia Story at the Marian Anderson Historical Society & Museum
Hamilton: The Constitutional Clashes that Shaped A Nation at the National Constitution Center

Opening This Spring

Game Masters at The Franklin Institute
Sound + Vision at the National Liberty Museum
Modern Times: American Art 1910-1950 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
Penn Museum Middle East Galleries
Black Mat Oriole & The Last Place They Thought Of at the Institute of Contemporary Art
Renoir: Father and Son / Painting and Cinema at The Barnes Foundation
117th Annual Annual Student Exhibition at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
Racing: A Need for Speed at the Mercer Museum
Photo Pop Philly
X-treme Bugs at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University
American Moderns: The Legacy of Gerry and Marguerite Lenfest at the Michener Museum of Art

Parkway 100 Exhibitions

Rodin’s The Kiss at the Rodin Museum
Corridor of Culture: 100 Years of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway at Parkway Central Library
Hotel Deal

Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package

Book the Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package for a fall or winter getaway and get overnight accommodations as well as FREE hotel parking and awesome seasonal perks worth up to $198.

Book Now

Up Next

Article

15+ Must-See Attractions on the Benjamin Franklin...

A one-mile cultural powerhouse of museums, attractions and public parks

View More

Stay in Touch

We apologize, something went wrong on our end. Please try again later.
Share
Tweet
[disabled]
[disabled]
[disabled]
[disabled]
[disabled]
[disabled]
[disabled]
[disabled]