There are numerous ongoing art exhibits in Philadelphia that are worth seeing. But some will only be here for a short time since they’re traveling exhibits. To quench your thirst for art this summer and fall, you should make some time to venture out to see some of the best art exhibits in the city before they’re gone.
“America’s Road the Journey of Route 66”
Mercer Museum & Fonthill Castle
84 S. Pine St.
Doylestown, PA 18901
Dates: Now through Aug. 24, 2014
For something a little different, why not visit a castle? Built in 1916, the Mercer Museum and nearby Fonthill Castle house archeological items from the early 1900s found and donated to Henry Mercer. Currently, you can take a geographical and historical tour of Route 66 from its 1926 opening to its present day. Artifacts, photos by Russell Olsen and iconic signs make up much of the exhibit. The tour features themes on migration and travel, and is interactive, with both a drive-in theater and radio show. Tours of the castles are also interesting. Built between 1908-1912, after Mercer and his housekeepers (who were given the house but did tours) died, the house became a full-time museum in 1976. Around 30,000 guests visit annually.
“The World is an Apple: The Still Lifes of Paul Cezanne”
2023 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19130
Dates: Now through Sept. 22, 2014
The Barnes Foundation houses over 80 pieces of Paul Cezanne’s work. The current exhibit will also have an additional 21 paintings on display. Post-impressionist painter Cezanne is most famous for his paintings of flowers and apples. Later in his career, he painted his thoughts on mortality with skulls. Cezanne was reported to have stated, “How beautiful a skull is to paint….the skull confronts the viewer straight-on in a manner reminiscent of the artist’s portraits.” The Barnes Foundation has “Still Life with a Skull,” which features both fruit and a skull. You can see 16 more still lifes on display, too, during the exhibit.
On September 21, there will be an additional program called “The World is an Apple and Tasting.” Author and Apple Historian Ben Watson will talk apples, their history and what they’ve historically represented in art, followed up with an apple tasting.
Philadelphia Museum of Art
2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19130
There are several ongoing and traveling exhibits at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Currently, you can see Vermeer’s “Young Woman Seated at a Virginal,” which is possibly one of his last paintings and the only one here in Philly. In the fall, take in “Paul Strand: Master of Modern Photography” from October 21 to January 4, 2015, which will include 4,000 prints. Strand’s body of work includes street portraits, abstracts, close-ups and travel explorations. Some of the areas photographed include the American Southwest, Morocco, Spain, Italy, Scotland, Egypt, France, Ghana and Romania.
Museums Without Walls
1500 JFK Blvd.
Philadelphia, PA. 19102
Philadelphia has the most public art in the country in that it has more outdoor structures than any other city. Museums Without Walls provides a walking tour of 35 stops along The Parkway and Kelly Drive alone, where you can take an audio tour of the city’s 51 pieces of public art. There are an additional 30 stops, including Fairmount Park. Each audio piece spotlights up to three people connected with the construction, design or inspiration of the piece.
Related: Top Murals in Philadelphia
Christina Dagnelli is a freelance writer in Philadelphia and the author of Little Squares with Colors: A Different way to look at autism. Her work on examiner can be found here Examiner.com.