Philadelphia Museum of Art
Like Philadelphia’s own Parthenon, the Philadelphia Museum of Art sits majestically on a rise at the end of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
The vast collections of this temple of art make it one of the largest art museums in the country and an absolute must-see on the city’s cultural circuit.
With the assistance of famed architect Frank Gehry, the museum is about to undergo an ambitious renovation, revitalization and expansion to make the interior space more open and navigable for visitors.
Founded during the nation’s first centennial in 1876 as a museum of decorative arts, the Philadelphia Museum of Art soon outgrew its quarters in Fairmount Park’s Memorial Hall.
Its current building, in the form of three linked Greek temples, opened in 1928. Julian Abele, the chief designer and the first African-American graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s architecture school, was inspired by the temples he saw while traveling in Greece.
River view of the Philadelphia Museum of Art
— Photo by M. Edlow for Visit Philadelphia
Among its impressive holdings in Renaissance, American, Impressionist and Modern art, some standouts include a great Rogier van der Weyden altarpiece, The Large Bathers by Cezanne, a room devoted to Philadelphia’s own Thomas Eakins, and Marcel Duchamp’s notorious mixed-media Bride Stripped Bare by her Bachelors (The Large Glass) displayed exactly as the dada master installed it.
Upstairs, visitors breathe in other cultures and times through more than 80 period rooms, from the medieval cloister to the Indian temple.
The Perelman Building at night
— Photo by G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia
The museum stays open after hours on Friday nights. From 5-8:45 p.m., the Great Stair Hall features live music, cocktails and light bites. Final Fridays, on the last Friday of the month, are even more festive, with themed performances and activities.
Tickets grant two consecutive days of admission to the museum as well as to the Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building, the Rodin Museum and historic house Cedar Grove.
On the first Sunday of the month and every Wednesday after 5 p.m., admission is pay-what-you-wish.
Book the Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package for stays through November 30, 2018 and get FREE hotel parking as well as free tickets to the iconic Philadelphia Museum of Art, a $25 gift card to the must-visit Reading Terminal Market, free Philly-themed mini-golf at Franklin Square and a $10 Lyft credit.
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