When one thinks “art,” one often thinks of New York City or Paris, but Philadelphia has plenty to offer in the way of fine arts. For business travelers interested in visual art—and with a little extra time on their hands—there’s no better way to spend a day than visiting the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
A Brief History of the Museum
Located at the end of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the Philadelphia Museum of Art is the third-largest art museum in America. The museum was founded in 1876 and was initially housed in Memorial Hall at Fairmount Park. In 1928, the museum moved to a new building designed by Julian Abele, the first African-American graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s architecture school. While the museum’s collection is impressive, the buildings that comprise it—a set of three linked Greek-style temples—are also a sight to behold.
The Museum’s Collection: From the First Century to Today
The Philadelphia Museum of Art houses more than 227,000 items, many of which are available for viewing online. The collection spans the First Century to today, and some of its noteworthy pieces include:
- Asian artwork dating to the third millennium B.C
- works by landmark modernists such as Marcel Duchamp and Pablo Picasso;
- contemporary works from Sol LeWitt and Jasper Johns;
- classic works like Hieronymus Bosch’s Epiphany and El Greco’s Pieta.
The museum hosts a number of special exhibitions every year. Past exhibitions include post-impressionist Paul Cézanne and surrealist icon Salvador Dalí, among many, many others. Upcoming exhibitions will focus on Scandinavian design, American still life painting, and international pop art. For more information, see the Museum’s website.
The Museum is located at: 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, P.A. 19130 215-763-8100
The museum is closed on Monday and open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, with extended hours Wednesdays and Fridays (until 8:45 p.m.)
Admission is as follows:
- Adults: $20
- Seniors (65 years of age and older): $18
- Students (with valid ID): $14
- Youth (13–18): $14
- Children (12 and younger): Free
- Members: Free
On the first Sunday of every month, and every Wednesday after 5 p.m., the museum offers “pay what you wish” admission.