Top Attractions For Art Lovers In Philadelphia

May 30, 2014 8:00 AM

(Credit: Randall E. Scott)

Art comes in many forms and styles, just as people do. So there is something for everyone who enjoys looking at creations that are beautiful or interesting. There are plenty of opportunities in the city of Philadelphia to enjoy art, from museums to galleries to public art spaces. Here are five of the top attractions for art lovers in Philly.

The Barnes Foundation: Contemporaries

The Barnes Foundation
2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19130
(215) 278-7200

Dr. Albert Barnes had one of the world’s largest collections of impressionist, post-impressionist and Fauvist art, and it was his final wish to have this collection stay in Philadelphia for city residents to enjoy for years to come. The building’s walls are covered in colors from Matisse, Renoir and many others. The Barnes Foundation also showcases beautiful African sculptures, German furniture and metal work. You can book tickets to visit most days, except on Tuesdays, when the building is closed. On Fridays, the Foundation is open until 9 p.m.

Related: Top Date Ideas for Art Lovers

The Heart of Baltimore Avenue
4722 Baltimore Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19143

The Mural Arts Project has been beautifying the city with over 3,000 murals for years and is something that should not be missed. This mural, which was created by artist David Guinn, depicts the community of its namesake working together in peace. It was conceived as a memorial for one of the fixtures of the neighborhood, who owned a local restaurant. The artist painted the many people within the mural in honor of residents he got to know during the time he created the piece. This mural also has an audio feature of actual residents’ voices that can be heard on low-frequency radio.

Related: Top Murals In Philadelphia

(Credit: Steve Tawa)

(Credit: Steve Tawa)

Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts
118-128 N. Broad St.
Philadelphia, PA 19102
(215) 972-7600

One of the most beautiful and lesser-known museums is located at one of the city’s finest art schools. The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA) features some of the world’s masterpieces plus art from emerging artists. You can tour daily. Several different types of exhibits come through PAFA annually. Until August 23, 2014, you can view a collection of 20 floral and still life paintings of flowers in honor of the recent Flower Show from various artists including Stuart Davis and Maria Tomasula. KAWS, who makes pop art structures that are considered “straddling the line of fine art and global commerce,” is currently showcased at PAFA, too. “Born to Bend” is a nine-foot-tall structure installed on top of the entrance of the Landmark building and there is also an indoor instillation of KAWS’s work. You can see them until January 5, 2015.

(credit: Chelsea Karnash/

(credit: Chelsea Karnash/

Philadelphia Magic Gardens
1020 South St.
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 733-0390

The Magic Gardens is made up of beautiful mosaics and educates guests about folk art, the history of South Street and the work of artist Isaiah Zagar. The Magic Gardens mosaics span three city blocks and include both indoor and outdoor exhibits and gardens, including an outdoor labyrinth. The experience is truly magical, with beautiful art found around every turn. A tour through the Gardens is a breathtaking, poignant journey built on taking something that may have been discarded and turning it into something beautiful.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art. (Credit: CBS)

The Philadelphia Museum of Art. (Credit: CBS)

Philadelphia Museum of Art
2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19130
(215) 763-8100

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is identifiable by the Rocky statue out front, but it also holds some of the world’s most important artistic treasures. The Greco-Roman structure was built in the 1870s and welcomes several traveling exhibits throughout the year. From May 24 to August 3, you can enjoy “Picasso Prints: Myths, Minotaurs, and Muses.” Picasso was fascinated enough by the mythical Minotaur that has the head of a bull and body of a man that he created it in over 60 works. The exhibit will feature 50 prints from Pablo Picasso that reflect his interests in mythology, ancient art and literature. The Art Museum takes about two hours to walk through the over 200 exhibits.

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

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