Philadelphia boasts premier art museums and galleries such as the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Barnes Foundation, incomparable public art (including over 4,000 murals), and top-notch performances at the Academy of Music or Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. Discover why Philadelphia is consistently cited for its cultural offerings.
Philadelphia's collection of art museums is located along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, dubbed “Museum Mile” and modelled after the Champs-Élysées. In 2018, the Parkway celebrated 100 years.
Museum Mile institutions include:
- The Philadelphia Museum of Art - the striking, neoclassical structure that sits at the top of the Parkway holds more than 2,000 years of paintings, sculpture, decorative arts and architectural settings from Europe, Asia and the Americas. Highlights include the world's largest and most important collection of works outside Europe by Marcel Duchamp and an impressive collection of sculpture by Constantin Brancusi. http://www.philamuseum.org/
- The Rodin Museum – dedicated to the art of French sculptor Auguste Rodin, the museum houses one of the largest collection of Rodin sculptures outside of Paris. “The Thinker” sits in front of the museum contemplating two of the many masterpieces within the intimate museum's gates, “The Burghers of Calais” and “The Gates of Hell.” http://www.rodinmuseum.org/
- The Barnes Foundation - the world's largest private collection of Impressionist and post-Impressionist masterpieces. This extraordinary collection features works by Renoir, Cézanne and Matisse, providing a depth of work by these artists unavailable elsewhere. Works by Picasso, Seurat, Rousseau, Modigliani, Soutine, Monet, Manet and Degas complement Native American pottery, Pennsylvania German decorative furniture and various ceramics and metalwork, as well as sculpture and art from Mexico, China, Africa, early Greece and Rome. The Barnes Foundation invites visitors to explore connections between masterpieces by way of “wall installations” inspired by its founder, Dr. Albert C. Barnes. https://www.barnesfoundation.org/
- The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts - the first and oldest art museum and art school in the U.S., PAFA was founded in 1805 by Charles Wilson Peale and houses a renowned collection of American paintings from the 1760s to the present. The Victorian Gothic building was designed by architect Frank Furness and is a National Historic Landmark. https://www.pafa.org/
Choose from ballet, theater, orchestra and much more and discover Philadelphia's renowned performing arts offerings.
- Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts blends technical expertise with architectural beauty. The glass-domed building houses the 2,500-seat Verizon Hall, especially designed for The Philadelphia Orchestra, as well as the 650-seat Perelman Theater for a variety of smaller performances. The Kimmel Center hosts eight resident companies, including
The Philadelphia Orchestra, the Philly POPs, PHILADANCO, The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, The Philadelphia Chamber Music Society and American Theater Arts for Youth.
The legendary Philadelphia orchestra is one of the finest music ensembles in the world, performing in residence at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts and at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts in the summer time. https://www.kimmelcenter.org/ https://philorch.org
- Curtis Institute of Music is a renowned, exclusive conservatory that trained the likes of Leonard Bernstein and Samuel Barber and offers student recital series, Curtis Symphony Orchestra, Curtis Opera Theatre, Family Concerts, and more. http://www.curtis.edu/
- The Pennsylvania Ballet was started in 1963 by George Balanchine protégée, Barbara Weisberger and is considered one of America's leading ballet companies, performing at the Academy of Music, the oldest opera house in the United States and National Historic Landmark, built in 1857. http://paballet.org/
- Walnut Street Theatre was founded in 1809 and is America's oldest theater, the official State Theatre of Pennsylvania and a National Historic Landmark, staging top quality productions. https://www.walnutstreettheatre.org/
- The innovative Opera Philadelphia performs onstage at the Academy of Music, the oldest opera house in America.
Public Art Tours
Philadelphia's public art is unparalleled. The Association for Public Art was established in 1872 and is America's first private, nonprofit civic organization dedicated to creating a “museum without walls” by integrating public art and urban design. As a result, thousands of sculptures can be found throughout the city and can be toured. Self-guided and group tours are also available to enable visitors to see the “mural capital of the world” and a wide variety of Philadelphia neighborhoods through the lens of community-based public art. Mural Arts Philadelphia has been uniting artists and communities through a collaborative process, rooted in the traditions of mural-making, to create art that transforms public spaces. Over the course of thirty years, the organization has produced nearly 4,000 works. http://www.associationforpublicart.org/
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About Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau
The Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB), a private non-profit, membership corporation, is the official tourism promotion agency for the City of Philadelphia globally, and the primary sales and marketing agency for the Pennsylvania Convention Center. The PHLCVB is an economic engine for the city – creating jobs and fueling economic growth by encouraging overseas visitation and by bringing ethnically diverse regional, national and international meetings, conventions and sporting events to Philadelphia.