Like Philadelphia’s own Parthenon, the iconic Philadelphia Museum of Art sits majestically on a rise at the end of the city’s famous 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.
The museum’s holdings encompass more than 240,000 works spanning 2,000 years, including pieces from the ancient world, medieval times, the Renaissance, the Impressionist movement and modern-day. On the same trip, visitors can check out paintings by Renoir, van Gogh and Picasso; a collection of suits of armor; a one-acre outdoor sculpture garden; a complete 14th-century Buddhist temple; and more.
World-renowned architect Frank Gehry is leading a major transformation of the museum’s interior. A new north entrance opened in fall 2019, with more public space — including new gallery spaces — set to open by fall 2020.
Among the museum’s impressive holdings in Renaissance, American, Impressionist and Modern art, standouts include a Rogier van der Weyden altarpiece, The Large Bathers by Cezanne, works from 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 dozens of period rooms, including a medieval cloister and an Indian temple.
With the assistance of famed architect Frank Gehry, the museum is undergoing an ambitious renovation, revitalization and expansion to make the interior space more open and navigable for visitors.
The attraction’s new north entrance — complete with a sky-lit vaulted walkway, store, espresso bar and more — opened to the public in September 2019.
Come fall 2020, the museum will have added a total of 90,000 square feet with the addition of new galleries and a new central hall, The Forum.
The museum stays open after hours on Friday nights for the attraction’s Friday Nights programming. From 5-8:45 p.m., the Great Stair Hall features live music, cocktails and light bites.
18 and under are always free at the museum, with exceptional family programs for all ages. Sunday is fun day for children at the crown jewel of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, when tours, drawing and arts projects cater to kids.
The Division of Education: has developed award-winning programs contextualizing the Museum collections for diverse audiences—including children, families, teachers, and adult learners.
School Group Tours: Museum tours are designed as interactive lessons that encourage students to examine objects and ideas through a variety of activities, including discussions, worksheets, and small group work.
Teacher Resources, Lesson Plans, Workshops, and More: Discover new ways to make art come alive in the classroom through a variety of workshops, programs, and resources designed for teachers of all subjects and grade levels.
Access for two consecutive days to main Museum building, Perelman Building, Rodin Museum, and Historic House Mount Pleasant:
|Members:||Free at all times|
|Seniors (ages 65 & over):||$23|
|Students (with valid ID):||$14|
|Youth (18 & under):||Free|
|First Sun. of each month & every Wed. after 5 pm:||Pay what you wish|
Enjoy an intimate dining experience at Stir the only Frank Gehry–designed restaurant in the Northeast. Inspired artisan menus feature seasonal and organic local ingredients, served in a stunning setting. To make a reservation and view menus visit opentable.com.
For a more casual bite visit the main building’s Cafe featuring your favorite street foods, or sip barista-made coffee the Espresso Bar where you can admire the incredible views through the historic skylights in the Vaulted Walkway.
Choose between indoor or outdoor seating when you enjoy a light lunch at the Perelman Building’s sleek Gallery Café.
Find a wonderful assortment of unusual gifts and a great selection of books. With an outstanding array of prints, jewelry, toys, and more, the Museum store carries something for everyone.
Enjoy leisurely self-guided tours of the renowned collections and special exhibitions, anytime you wish. Subscribe to the Museum’s free podcasts and connect with the exciting world of art.
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