Philadelphia Museum of Art

Philadelphia Museum of Art
Philadelphia Museum of Art

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is one of the oldest art museums in the United States and first opened its doors in 1877. Though somewhat moderate when it began its collection in the late 19th century, the Philadelphia Museum of Art has grown to house one of the largest collections of art in the United States and is in fact the third-largest of its kind. Inspired by the Kensington Museum in London, this is one of the most popular Philadelphia museums in the city, along with the Franklin Institute and a few small others.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art has an eclectic collection of pieces from around the world and from many different eras. One of the largest collections of any Philadelphia Museums of Pennsylvania German art is found here, as well as an extensive collection of 18th and 19th century handmade furniture and other handmade wares that are on display. Fans of the artist Thomas Eakins will want to come to the museum, as the Philadelphia Museum of Art has the largest collection of his work found anywhere in the world. Guests of this and other Philadelphia Museums will be struck by the depth of history found within the museum structure itself, which is a simple shape yet ornately decorated.

In addition to being a great place to see art, the courtyard in front of the museum also works as an excellent venue for a number of Philadelphia Museum of Art shows, including parades and some big name concerts. In July of 2005 the Live8 concert was the main Philadelphia Museum of Art show, drawing crowds from around the city and from other parts of the world. Other Philadelphia Museum of Art shows include special touring art exhibitions which change each year. In general, the Philadelphia Museum of Art hosts between 10 and 20 of these special touring exhibits each year. In addition to being famous for the great art and shows happening here, many people love the Philadelphia Museum of Art for its role in the original Rocky film. Like the character in the movie, many guests come to the museum to run the long set of stairs which ascend to the museum and happen to provide an excellent workout. Runners will see the imprint of "Rocky's" feet in the cement at the top of the stairs before entering the museum.

Whichever of the myriad of reasons brings travelers to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, admission prices for touring the interior are around $10 for adults and $7 for children ages 12 — 18; children under age 12 are free. If you want to visit without the price tag, schedule time to see the museum on Sunday, when visitors simply make a donation of their choice to enter the museum. The museum also features its own parking lot — a rarity in downtown Philadelphia, which is free during the week to guests of the museum. On the weekends a spot will cost $5.

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