The Best Museums & Art Galleries in Philadelphia – Mus3ums

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Philadelphia / United States

Philadelphia, colloquially Philly, founded by Tamanend & William Penn through the Treaty of Shackamaxon is the largest city in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania, and the sixth-most populous U.S. city with a 2019 estimated population of 1,584,064. Since 1854, the city has had the same geographic boundaries as Philadelphia County, the most populous county in Pennsylvania and the urban core of the eighth-largest U.S. metropolitan statistical area, with over 6 million residents as of 2017. Philadelphia is also the economic and cultural anchor of the greater Delaware Valley, located along the lower Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers, within the Northeast megalopolis. The Delaware Valley's population of 7.2 million ranks it as the eighth-largest combined statistical area in the United States.Philadelphia is one of the oldest municipalities in the United States. Tamanend , a Principle Lenape Chief & William Penn, an English Quaker, founded the city in 1682 to serve as capital of the Pennsylvania Colony.Brookes, Karin . Zoë Ross . Insight Guides: Philadelphia and Surroundings ed.). APA Publications. pp. 21–22. ISBN 1-58573-026-2.</ref> Philadelphia played an instrumental role in the American Revolution as a meeting place for the Founding Fathers of the United States, who signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776 at the Second Continental Congress, and the Constitution at the Philadelphia Convention of 1787. Several other key events occurred in Philadelphia during the Revolutionary War including the First Continental Congress, the preservation of the Liberty Bell, the Battle of Germantown, and the Siege of Fort Mifflin. Philadelphia remained the nation's largest city until being overtaken by New York City in 1790; the city was also one of the nation's capitals during the revolution, serving as temporary U.S. capital while Washington, D.C. was under construction. In the 19th century, Philadelphia became a major industrial center and a railroad hub. The city grew from an influx of European immigrants, most of whom came from Ireland, Italy and Germany—the three largest reported ancestry groups in the city as of 2015. In the early 20th century, Philadelphia became a prime destination for African Americans during the Great Migration after the Civil War, as well as Puerto Ricans. The city's population doubled from one million to two million people between 1890 and 1950. The Philadelphia area's many universities and colleges make it a top study destination, as the city has evolved into an educational and economic hub. As of 2019, the Philadelphia metropolitan area is estimated to produce a gross metropolitan product of $490 billion. Philadelphia is the center of economic activity in Pennsylvania and is home to five Fortune 1000 companies. The Philadelphia skyline is expanding, with a market of almost 81,900 commercial properties in 2016, including several nationally prominent skyscrapers. Philadelphia has more outdoor sculptures and murals than any other American city. Fairmount Park, when combined with the adjacent Wissahickon Valley Park in the same watershed, is one of the largest contiguous urban park areas in the United States. The city is known for its arts, culture, cuisine, and colonial history, attracting 42 million domestic tourists in 2016 who spent $6.8 billion, generating an estimated $11 billion in total economic impact in the city and surrounding four counties of Pennsylvania. Philadelphia has also emerged as a biotechnology hub.Philadelphia is the home of many U.S. firsts, including the first library , hospital , medical school , national capital , stock exchange , zoo , and business school . Philadelphia contains 67 National Historic Landmarks and the World Heritage Site of Independence Hall. The city became a member of the Organization of World Heritage Cities in 2015, as the first World Heritage City in the United States. Although Philadelphia is rapidly undergoing gentrification, the city actively maintains strategies to minimize displacement of homeowners in gentrifying neighborhoods.

Philadelphia Museum of Art

Philadelphia / United States

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is an art museum originally chartered in 1876 for the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. The main museum building was completed in 1928 on Fairmount, a hill located at the northwest end of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway at Eakins Oval. The museum administers collections containing over 240,000 objects including major holdings of European, American and Asian origin. The various classes of artwork include sculpture, paintings, prints, drawings, photographs, armor, and decorative arts.The Philadelphia Museum of Art administers several annexes including the Rodin Museum, also located on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, and the Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building, which is located across the street just north of the main building. The Perelman Building, which opened in 2007, houses more than 150,000 prints, drawings and photographs, along with 30,000 costume and textile pieces, and over 1,000 modern and contemporary design objects including furniture, ceramics and glasswork. The museum also administers the historic colonial-era houses of Mount Pleasant and Cedar Grove, both located in Fairmount Park. The main museum building and its annexes are owned by the City of Philadelphia and administered by a registered nonprofit corporation.Several special exhibitions are held in the museum every year, including touring exhibitions arranged with other museums in the United States and abroad. The attendance figure for the museum was 793,000 in 2017, which ranks it among the top one hundred most-visited art museums in the world. The museum is also one of the largest art museums in the world based on gallery space.

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

Philadelphia / United States

The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts is a museum and art school in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was founded in 1805 and is the first and oldest art museum and art school in the United States. The academy's museum is internationally known for its collections of 19th- and 20th-century American paintings, sculptures, and works on paper. Its archives house important materials for the study of American art history, museums, and art training. Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts won the 2020 Webby Award for School / University in the category Web.

Barnes Foundation

Philadelphia / United States

The Barnes Foundation is an art collection and educational institution promoting the appreciation of art and horticulture. Originally in Merion, the art collection moved in 2012 to a new building on Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The arboretum of the Barnes Foundation remains in Merion, where it has been proposed to be maintained under a long-term educational affiliation agreement with Saint Joseph's University.The Barnes was founded in 1922 by Albert C. Barnes, who made his fortune by co-developing Argyrol, an antiseptic silver compound that was used to combat gonorrhea and inflammations of the eye, ear, nose, and throat. He sold his business, the A.C. Barnes Company, just months before the stock market crash of 1929. Today, the foundation owns more than 4,000 objects, including over 900 paintings, estimated to be worth about $25 billion. These are primarily works by Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, and Modernist masters, but the collection also includes many other paintings by leading European and American artists, as well as African art, antiquities from China, Egypt, and Greece, and Native American art.In the 1990s, the Foundation's declining finances led its leaders to various controversial moves, including sending artworks on a world tour and proposing to move the collection to Philadelphia. After numerous court challenges, the new Barnes building opened on Benjamin Franklin Parkway on May 19, 2012. The foundation's current president and executive director, Thomas “Thom” Collins, was appointed on January 7, 2015.

Samuel S. Fleisher Art Memorial

Philadelphia / United States

Samuel S. Fleisher Art Memorial, also known as Church of the Evangelists and St. Martin's College for Indigent Boys, is a set of four buildings with a history that unites idealism or religious beliefs, service to the poor, and art. Formerly an Episcopal church in the working-class Bella Vista neighborhood of South Philadelphia, it is best known as the home of the Graphic Sketch Club founded by Samuel S. Fleisher, which offers free art lessons to children and adults. The four buildings include a campanile built in 1857, a basilica built 1884-1886, St. Martin's College built in 1906, and two rowhouses built in the 1850s. Since Fleisher's death in 1944, his trust, which owns the buildings, has been administered by the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The Art Memorial was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982 and is located at 711-721 Catharine St. in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Philadelphia / United States

The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology—commonly called the Penn Museum—is an archaeology and anthropology museum that is part of the University of Pennsylvania. It is located on Penn's campus in the University City neighborhood of Philadelphia, at the intersection of 33rd and South Streets.

La Salle University Art Museum

Philadelphia / United States

The La Salle University Art Museum is located in the basement of Olney Hall at La Salle University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The museum features six galleries. Collections include European and American art from the Renaissance to the present. Special collections including paper, Japanese prints, rare illustrated Bibles, Indian miniatures, African carvings and implements, Pre-Columbian pottery and Ancient Greek ceramics. Changing exhibits are held of historic and contemporary art drawn from the collections and from outside collections.

Rosenbach Museum and Library

Philadelphia / United States

The Rosenbach is located within two 19th-century townhouses at 2008 and 2010 Delancey Place in Philadelphia. The historic houses contain the collections and treasures of Philip Rosenbach and his younger brother Dr. A. S. W. Rosenbach. The brothers owned the Rosenbach Company which became the preeminent dealer of rare books, manuscripts and decorative arts during the first half of the 20th century. Dr. Rosenbach in particular was seminal in the rare book world, helping to build libraries such as the Widener Library at Harvard, The Huntington Library and the Folger Shakespeare Library. In 2013, the Rosenbach became a subsidiary of the Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation, but maintains its own board and operates independently of the public library system.The Rosenbach documents a panorama of American and European culture through its vast historical, literary and artistic treasures.