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Arts & Culture

A Guide To Museums In Philadelphia

January 18, 2010 11:11 AM

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Art Museum
If you’re a museum buff, then Philadelphia is the place to be! The City of Brotherly Love offers a wide variety of museums for everyone to enjoy.

Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University

19th and Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19103
215-299-1000
www.ansp.org

If you’re looking for dinosaurs, the Academy of Natural Sciences is the place to find them in Philadelphia. Your children will be fascinated by the big diorama halls, and the Academy’s permanent display, “Dinosaurs Galore,” features a dozen specimens. Still, the one that will have the children frozen in place is the huge Tyrannosaurus rex–just wait until you see how big its mouth is!

African American Museum

701 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
215.574.0380
www.aampmuseum.org

Philadelphia was the first city in the U.S. to build a museum to house and interpret the life and work of African Americans. Four exhibition galleries tell the story of the African American experience through its history and art. A true celebration of African American heritage.

National Museum of American Jewish History

101 S Independence Mall East
Philadelphia, Pa.
215.923.3811
www.nmajh.org

This recently renovated museum tells the history of Jewish people in America and offers the largest collection of Jewish Americana artifacts in the world. The exhibits are interesting and engaging, even for small children, and there are always special events happening.

The Franklin Institute

222 N 20th St
Philadelphia, PA 19103-1190
(215) 448-1227
www.fi.edu

The Franklin Institute is Philadelphia’s premier science museum. Situated around a large sculpture of Benjamin Franklin, the museum opens a fascinating world to children through interactive play. Even if you are “big kid,” you can’t miss walking through the Franklin Institute’s famous Giant Heart!

The FI also offers programs in its IMAX Theater and Planetarium–an “out of this world” experience!

Mutter Museum

19 S. 22nd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
www.collphyphil.org

At the Mutter Museum, you’ll find 20,000 of the creepiest medical oddities ever preserved. You might need to check your delicate stomach at the door, but for the youngster in us all…this is a must see.

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

Historic Landmark Building
118 North Broad Street
Philadelphia, 19102
www.pafa.org

The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) is a museum full of some of America’s finest paintings and sculptures, as well as a school for those whose work will fill the museum in the future. The Historic Landmark Building has a powerful architectural presence, with an impressive staircase and galleries that will capture your imagination.

Samuel M.V. Hamilton Building

128 North Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
215-972-7600
www.pafa.org

The Samuel M.V. Hamilton Building, right next door to the Academy, holds more open gallery space, a bookstore and additional classrooms and studios meant to inspire the creativity of those who visit.

Philadelphia Museum of Art

26th and Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19130
215-796-8100
www.philamuseum.org

The Philadelphia Museum of Art sits on a hillside, overlooking the city that William Penn built. The Main Building holds 200 galleries that cover everything from Renaissance Masters to contemporary art installations and exhibitions. Millions have come from the U.S. and around the world to experience the art and famous steps that fictional boxer Rocky used for his training: On any given day, you’ll find someone walking through the galleries who also ran “The Rocky Steps.”

Across the way, the Ruth and Raymond W. Perelman Building, at Fairmount and Pennsylvania Avenue, offers expanded gallery space with unique exhibitions, and is part of the Art Museum’s modernization project.

The Rodin Museum

www.rodinmuseum.org

Walk out of the Art Museum and down its front steps, and you’ll find the Rodin Museum just a few blocks down the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Outside of Paris, it holds the largest public collection of works by Auguste Rodin, the late 19th-century French sculptor. Along with the art, there are beautiful gardens that allow you to step out of a cityscape and into a horticultural masterpiece.

The Barnes Museum

www.barnesfoundation.org

The Barnes Foundation recently moved to its new Center City location amid controversy. But this unique institution houses one of the most impressive collections of 19th- and 20th-century French paintings, from Renoir to Cezanne to Matisse. Established as an educational institution first and foremost, the Barnes carries out its mission by teaching classes in its galleries and arboretum.

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