The Philadelphia Museum of Art has a world-renowned Impressionist collection which bodes well in a setting that oozes elegance without sacrificing comfort. The best museums are those you don't feel like you're at one and time passes by effortlessly as you soak in the culture rather than work your way through it.
We were so lucky to be in Philly while the Frida Khalo exhibit was in town. We only had a few days in Philly so we only spent about two hours at the Museum, but it was awesome. So different from LACMA and the Getty (both great). It had a older historic feel to it, and it is HUGE. It is said to be one of the biggest museums in the world. From Modern to Pre Historic, there is art for everyone, but I will say I didn't see enough- I had Frida on my mind!
Now let's keep it real- although you go for the museum, you really spend half the time taking pics on the Rock Steps as you run up- my husband was so excited to this (so was I!). It's worth it for the stairs, but please do go in, there is amazing art to be seen.
Check ahead for exhibits and to see if there is an extra charge. I believe we paid an extra $14.00 to see the special exhibit.
This is one of America's finest art museums. It has 200 art galleries, with over 225,000 works from almost every major period and nearly every part of the world. You would need a whole day to really experience everything here.
The building is also interesting. It opened in 1877, and moved to the present building in the 1920s. Built in classic Greco-Roman style, it dwarfs most other museums. Together with the grounds, it covers ten acres. This is an outstanding example of the "city beautiful" movement in architecture. By the way, the famous scene from the original Rocky movie, with boxer Rocky Balboa working out in preparation for his big fight, was shot right here on the steps.
Behind the museum is the city's original water works. From here, one has a fine view of the Schuykill River and Boathouse Row. It's also the start point for the hiking trail along the river.
Getting to appreciate art by what Id been seeing and experiencing in Europe it was great to visit here to see another Van Gogh ('Sunflowers'home is here!), Degas, Monet and Rodin amongst other notables!
Marathon runners were outside running around Philadelphia and crossing the finish line somewhere near the museum which added an interesting event to capture during my visit but I had the challenge to get in and see what there was to see here and not be tempted to stay too long!
Took a few photos - as my Nikon SLR was pretty good at capturing shots when flash use was not allowed or appropriate - but this was pre digital days so somewhere they are waiting in my 'To be scanned' pile!
There is a park near the museum, and if you enjoy biking, you can rent the bikes by the hour. If you do bike, the trail goes all the way to Valley Forge, where you can rest (it will take an hour or two to bike there) and see the remains. Of course, South Street is a busy venue during the evenings. Hopefully, someone in Philly will give more details.
This visit was to the Ruth and Raymond Perelman building. This part of the Philadelphia museum houses some smaller works not seen in the main building which is across the street. At the time there was an exhibit of Ansel Adams photos that to me was the main attraction. In the main building that day there was an exhibit of Frida Kohlo works. Since time was limited we only viewed one buildings materials. Open 10 to 5 Tuesday thru Sunday. Cost is seven dollars for this building only. Combo for the main building and this one is $14. to include the Frida exhibit is $20. Enough said have a look when you are in the area.
Visit the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and see many different works of art. Don't forget to pose out front at the top of the stairs just like Rocky. Also stop to enjoy the statues out front. You may use your camera inside the museum so long as the flash is off. Except in certain areas where there is a very popular artist, they don't allow cameras whatsoever. The guards are sort of rude when it comes to letting you know about the no camera law. Just be nice and move along.
To be upfront: I like art and museums and thus try to visit the main museums of any town I visit. The Philadelphia Museum of Art was really worth the visit. I just had three hours and devoted one for a special exhibition and the other for the permanent collection and could only visit the sections European Art from 1850, American Art and Contemporary Art. Let's give me a brief personal review on these three sections:
(1) European Art from 1850: The marvel of the museum. I did not expect that they have so many masterpieces. Sunflowers of Van Gogh, Bridge of lelie pond by Manet. The museum is really strong on impressionism. It is not the Art Institute in Chicago or the Orsay in Paris, but still an impressionism collection you need to see.
(2) Contemporary Art, ie 20th century art. This section gives you a good overview what happened in the 20th century, almost all big artists have at least one work there, but often not more than one. If you love Duchamps and ready mades you see a lot.
(3) American Art: This was somehow disappointing, if you are mainly interested in art and not in craftmen art (furniture etc).
But the Rocky steps are the first thing you do, when visiting the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Climb the steps for the best view of Philadelphia you'll find, right across Ben Franklin Parkway to City Hall. Take a few minutes to admire it, then go inside to admire some wonderful art.
The Museum has an extensive collection of American, European and Asian art, dating back to the Middle Ages. I was quite taken by the Post-Impressionist art, with works by such names as Renior, Cezanne and Monet. There's so much more than just paintings at the Phila Museum though: sculpture, ceramics, beautiful furniture and decorative arts, much of which is set in wonderful period rooms and well put together displays. Also be sure to check out their armaments room, with swords, shields and other weapons also dating back to the Middle Ages. It reminded me of the museum at the Palacio Royal in Madrid - a very interesting room indeed. The Museum also has various displays during the year. I visited a fascinating display by local artist Thomas Chimes, which has since ended. It also hosts jazz concerts on Friday evenings.
The Museum of Art is a must see when visiting Philadelphia, and is something that Philadelphians are justifiably proud of. The building itself is a landmark, located at the end of the Ben Franklin Parkway. This iconic building holds an extensive collection of art, and is a Philadelphia treasure.
Oh, and don't forget the Rocky Steps!
The art museum is a great place to laze around and see soem great works of art. And hey, if that's not your thing you can run up the stairs and pretend you're Rocky (which probably anyone in this town has at least done while they were inebriated). They ARE bringing the statue back so there's added fun there! Seriously, no matter how many times you've been there it's always enjoyable to stroll through. Admission is $12, $8 for students (with ID) for the regular collections. Sunday is pay what you wish so you can drop any amount you feel necessary. When there are special collections, there's a separate price for them. We saw "Manet and the Sea" and Salvador Dali and they were well worth the special admission price.
Closed Monday, Open 10-5 Tuesday to Sunday, open late Friday nights.
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