The Association for Public Art (aPA, formerly Fairmount Park Art Association) was established in 1872 and is the first nonprofit public art organization in the country. The aPA commissions, preserves, interprets, and promotes a broad range of outdoor sculpture in Philadelphia, and is dedicated to creating a “museum without walls” by integrating public art and urban design. Through its diverse and innovative programs and advocacy efforts, aPA works to promote the important role that public art plays in the creation and enhancement of civic spaces.
The aPA has a long history of commissioning and contributing to Philadelphia’s preeminent collection of outdoor sculpture – one of the largest of any American city. The aPA has initiated historic masterworks by renowned artists including Alexander Milne Calder, Alexander Stirling Calder, Frederic Remington, John J. Boyle, Daniel Chester French, and Paul Manship, and more recent sculptures by acclaimed artists Jacques Lipchitz, Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, Martin Puryear, Mark di Suvero, and Roxy Paine. The aPA has also presented contemporary, large-scale installations by artists Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Candy Coated, Martin Puryear, Cai Guo-Qiang, and Jennifer Steinkamp. The breadth and accessibility of public art in Philadelphia is one of the city’s hallmarks and a key contributor to its quality of life.
Every sculpture has a story! Discover public art in a new light with Museum Without Walls™: AUDIO, aPA’s award-winning audio program for outdoor sculpture in Philadelphia. Hear fascinating stories behind 75+ artworks for free by phone, mobile app, or online. Featuring over 160 voices, the audios tell unique histories of sculptures along the Parkway, around City Hall, and throughout Fairmount Park.
Easily browse an expansive selection of public art using aPA’s interactive online map. Search by artist, title, or keyword to locate and learn more about an artwork, or browse by themes. Find detailed descriptions, photos, slideshows, and audio downloads.
Each spring, aPA’s Outdoor Sculpture Conservation Program provides professional assessment and crucial maintenance for more than 30 iconic sculptures in Philadelphia, and takes on special preservation and advocacy projects as needed. The progam is the longest continuously operating conservation program of its kind in the U.S., and has received national recognition for its success in helping to protect the city’s public art treasures.
Membership: Members of the Association for Public Art support Philadelphia’s growing collection of exceptional outdoor sculpture, our role in conserving long-held treasures, and our efforts to bring the best contemporary public art to the city. Membership supports aPA’s mission to promote Art for Everyone, Anytime.
Explore and Learn: Explore Philly’s exceptional collection of public art through our interactive website, tours, publications, and more! Through classic print and signage as well as online and digital tools, get the most up-to-date information on a wide selection of artworks in the city.
Museum Without Walls™: AUDIO: Discover fascinating stories behind Philly’s outdoor sculpture with aPA’s free interpretive audio program for Philadelphia’s public art. Learn about artworks by phone, mobile app, or streaming online.
Tours: Follow one of our self-guided public art tours to uncover an array of sculptures around Philadelphia. Tours are grouped by location, and highlight whether they are bicycle friendly, walking friendly, or both.
Public Art Lesson Plans: Bring public art to the classroom! These free public art lesson plans for 4th and 5th grade students are designed to accompany our Museum Without Walls™: AUDIO slideshows, which are also available on TeacherTube.
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