Art Galleries and Museums in Philadelphia

If you’re looking for a city that is chock full of art galleries and museums then Philadelphia hits that nail right on the head. You could spend months trying to take in all the Philadelphia art galleries and museums have to offer and probably still have a list of things to see. We’ll hit some of the highlights here but keep in mind that Philadelphia has a lot more in the way of art galleries and museums.

Philadelphia Museum of Art

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is one of the largest museums in the United States and presents more than25 exhibitions every year. Their exhibitions range from artist specific shows to historical surveys that focus on specific topics or regions. The Philadelphia Museum of Art rotates its collection to give view to items not normally on display and it also features a large number of masterpieces on loan from museums throughout the world. The museum houses 225,000 works of art spanning a huge range of eras, styles and creativity. There are two buildings associated with the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Main Building and the Perelman Building. The Main Building features a stunning 200 galleries, some of which change regularly, there are also some standard master paintings, carved stone, and period rooms which routinely offer the same sense of style and timelessness year after year. The Perelman Building features an Art Deco façade and is newly renovated. This additional space allows permanent collection items to be regularly viewed by the public, some of which have never had this honor before.

Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts

The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts was founded more than 200 years ago in 1805. A collective of local artists and business leaders banded together to form this first art museum and school in the nation. The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts has become internationally known for its collections of 19th and 20th century American paintings, sculptures and other artwork. The collections are organized in a chronological and thematic way so visitors can explore American art from the 1760s to the present.

Rodin Museum

The Rodin Museum in Philadelphia was a donation to the city by movie theater magnate Jules Mastbaum. In 1923 Mastbaum began collecting the works of Rodin and within three years he had assembled the largest collection outside of Paris. The works include bronze castings, plaster studies, drawings, prints, letters and books. The building of the museum began in 1926 but by the time it was completed in 1929 Mr. Mastbaum had died. His wife, pursued her husband’s dream and the building was completed and opened so the public could appreciate the works of Auguste Rodin.

Institute of Contemporary Art

Philadelphia’s Institute of Contemporary Art was founded in 1963 at the University of Pennsylvania and has since firmly established itself as a leader in the presentation of contemporary art. Many famous artists had their first showings at the Institute of Contemporary Art including Andy Warhol, Laurie Anderson, Agnes Martin and Robert Indiana. There is no permanent collection and new exhibits are brought in three times a year with a total of 12 shows annually, so there’s always something new. There are also frequent lectures, educational programs, artist speaking engagements, films and tours if you’re looking for a different experience.

Gross McCleaf Gallery

Philadelphia’s Gross McCleaf Art Gallery features some of the finest contemporary realist paintings and organic abstract art in the region. More than 40 artists are represented with a wide variety of subject matter and styles. The exhibits rotate through three galleries routinely but if there is something you are looking for by an artist that Gross McCleaf represents and it’s not on display feel free to ask as there are typically many works not on display.

The Galleries at Moore

The Galleries at Moore are open to the public and free of charge. Their exhibits, educational programs and publications focus on emerging regional, national and international artists and designers. Connected to the Moore College of Art & Design the first art venue was opened in 1968. The Goldie Paley Gallery was established in 1983 as an experimental, international exhibition and publications venue. In 1987 the Levy Gallery for the Arts was created in response to the mayor’s request for more support for local artists. As the only art and design college for women in the country, the Galleries at Moore have held significant solo exhibits dedicated to noted female artists and designers.

Esther M. Klein Art Gallery

The Esther Klein Art Gallery takes a deeper look at contemporary art and artists who are working in the latest emerging trends in science and technology. The exhibits at the Esther Klein Art Gallery often serve as a vehicle for the promotion of innovative partnerships with peer organizations in art, science and technology. The result is a deeper understanding of the increasing influence of science and technology in modern life. In addition to art exhibits the gallery also provides speaker presentations, panel discussions and educational programs.

Woodmere Art Museum

Woodmere Art Museum is free to the public and is dedicated to the artistic endeavors of local artists. Since its opening in 1940 the beautiful 19th century stone Victorian mansion had served to bring attention to local artists and inspire those who visit. Today the permanent collection holds more than 2500 works of art and many traveling exhibits and works on loan grace the home. Nine galleries and salons, including a grand rotunda and children’s gallery, provide the backdrop for these exciting works of art. The converted carriage house serves as the home of the George D. Widener Studio where classes are offered year round.

Philadelphia Public Art

In addition to all of the wonderful art galleries and museums in Philadelphia there are also a large number of public artworks throughout the city which can be viewed at anytime by anyone without any admission fees. By traveling throughout the city you can create your own collection of art memories and memories of the Philadelphia at the same time.