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Philadelphia Museum of Art | Our Story

Sitting atop some very famous steps, the Philadelphia Museum of Art is among the largest museums in the United States, with a collection of more than 227,000 works of art and more than 200 galleries presenting painting, sculpture, works on paper, photography, decorative arts, textiles, and architectural settings from Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the United States.

Our facilities include our landmark Main Building on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the Perelman Building, located nearby on Pennsylvania Avenue, the Rodin Museum on the 2200 block of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, and two 18th-century houses in Fairmount Park, Mount Pleasant and Cedar Grove. We welcome you to enjoy a variety of activities for public audiences, including special exhibitions, programs for children and families, lectures, concerts and films.
The Alessi website calls this cute corkscrew “a tongue-in-cheek homage to a real woman.” However, the curator of “The Main Dish" exhibition, Erica Warren, suggests a more literal translation involving the objectification of women: "She’s got her smiling face. Always ready to open that bottle of wine for you." What do you think?”Anna G.” Corkscrew, 1994, designed by Alessandro Mendini and made by Alessi, S.p.A.

The Alessi website calls this cute corkscrew “a tongue-in-cheek homage to a real woman.” However, the curator of “The Main Dish" exhibition, Erica Warren, suggests a more literal translation involving the objectification of women: "She’s got her smiling face. Always ready to open that bottle of wine for you." What do you think?

Anna G.” Corkscrew, 1994, designed by Alessandro Mendini and made by Alessi, S.p.A.

Happy birthday to Edgar Degas. Although most recognized for his paintings, the French artist also explored sculpture. The original wax version of this bronze ballerina caused somewhat of a sensation when exhibited in 1881. Why do you think it was controversial?”Little Dancer, Aged Fourteen,” executed in wax 1878–81, cast in bronze after 1922, by Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas

Happy birthday to Edgar Degas. Although most recognized for his paintings, the French artist also explored sculpture. The original wax version of this bronze ballerina caused somewhat of a sensation when exhibited in 1881. Why do you think it was controversial?

Little Dancer, Aged Fourteen,” executed in wax 1878–81, cast in bronze after 1922, by Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas

Staff Pick: John La Farge’s “Spring” seamlessly marries Eastern style and composition with a Western-inspired motif. You can see it in the newly renovated American art gallery 111. “Spring,” 1901-2, designed by John La Farge, assembled by Thomas Wright, and painted by Juliette Hanson

Staff Pick: John La Farge’s “Spring” seamlessly marries Eastern style and composition with a Western-inspired motif. You can see it in the newly renovated American art gallery 111.

Spring,” 1901-2, designed by John La Farge, assembled by Thomas Wright, and painted by Juliette Hanson

Léger, Picasso, Braque, and more: we’ve reinstalled galleries 167 and 172 with your favorite Cubist and modern paintings to welcome “The City” back from traveling for the exhibition “Léger: Modern Art and the Metropolis.”Gallery view including “The City” (left), 1919, by Fernand Léger (© Artists Rights Society [ARS], New York / ADAGP, Paris)

Léger, Picasso, Braque, and more: we’ve reinstalled galleries 167 and 172 with your favorite Cubist and modern paintings to welcome “The City” back from traveling for the exhibition “Léger: Modern Art and the Metropolis.”

Gallery view including “The City” (left), 1919, by Fernand Léger (© Artists Rights Society [ARS], New York / ADAGP, Paris)

Fashion Friday: Celebrating LanvinHappy 125th anniversary to Lanvin. One of the first fashion houses in Paris, Lanvin remains highly regarded for its superbly crafted and richly ornamented garments. Wedding gowns were a specialty of the house’s founder, Jeanne Lanvin. This 1925 wedding gown was inspired by early fifteenth-century Italian fashions, including bridal headdresses found in the fifteenth-century artist Pisanello’s studies of Northern Italian women. Explore more of our Lanvin holdings here.Wedding Ensemble: Dress, Slip, and Headpiece, 1925, by Jeanne Lanvin

Fashion Friday: Celebrating Lanvin

Happy 125th anniversary to Lanvin. One of the first fashion houses in Paris, Lanvin remains highly regarded for its superbly crafted and richly ornamented garments. Wedding gowns were a specialty of the house’s founder, Jeanne Lanvin. This 1925 wedding gown was inspired by early fifteenth-century Italian fashions, including bridal headdresses found in the fifteenth-century artist Pisanello’s studies of Northern Italian women. Explore more of our Lanvin holdings here.

Wedding Ensemble: Dress, Slip, and Headpiece, 1925, by Jeanne Lanvin

Last week our Interns took a tour of the Conservation lab, uncovering more than what you’d expect from this Cezanne painting. The master artist often reused his canvases and painted new pictures on top. The works underneath were never meant to be seen, that is until the interns took a gander at this one!

Last week our Interns took a tour of the Conservation lab, uncovering more than what you’d expect from this Cezanne painting. The master artist often reused his canvases and painted new pictures on top. The works underneath were never meant to be seen, that is until the interns took a gander at this one!

Staff Pick: We love the blend of poetry and art in this beautiful work of ink, silver, and gold on paper. “Calligraphy of a Poem over a Design of Chrysanthemums”, 1615–37, painted by Tawaraya Sōtatsu, calligraphy by Hon’ami Kōetsu

Staff Pick: We love the blend of poetry and art in this beautiful work of ink, silver, and gold on paper.

Calligraphy of a Poem over a Design of Chrysanthemums”, 1615–37, painted by Tawaraya Sōtatsu, calligraphy by Hon’ami Kōetsu

Textiles are much more delicate than other works of art and often fade before they make it to a Museum. However, this extraordinary Philadelphia bedcover from the 1790s was pristinely preserved, and its colors are as vibrant as the day it was made. It will be taken down soon to prevent fading. See it before it’s gone in: “On the Leading Edge: Decorative Arts in Philadelphia, 1720–1880.” Bedcover, 1790–1810, by John Hewson

Textiles are much more delicate than other works of art and often fade before they make it to a Museum. However, this extraordinary Philadelphia bedcover from the 1790s was pristinely preserved, and its colors are as vibrant as the day it was made. It will be taken down soon to prevent fading. See it before it’s gone in: “On the Leading Edge: Decorative Arts in Philadelphia, 1720–1880.”

Bedcover, 1790–1810, by John Hewson

Happy birthday to Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot. Fellow artist Paul Gauguin said it best in a letter to French artist Émile Schuffenecker in 1888: “Corot’s entire soul has passed through his landscapes; the air breathes goodness, while the slender tree trunks express grace and nobility.”“Night Landscape with a Lioness,” 1857–73, by Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot

Happy birthday to Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot. Fellow artist Paul Gauguin said it best in a letter to French artist Émile Schuffenecker in 1888: “Corot’s entire soul has passed through his landscapes; the air breathes goodness, while the slender tree trunks express grace and nobility.”

Night Landscape with a Lioness,” 1857–73, by Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot

Architect Frank Gehry is best known for expressive sculptural exteriors like the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. Yet his design for the Philadelphia Museum of Art works almost exclusively within the shell of our landmark building, which was completed in 1928. Notably, the east-west axis at its center will be opened up a to improve circulation and orientation. Don’t miss the chance to see the incredible plans in person at “Making a Classic Modern: Frank Gehry’s Master Plan for the Philadelphia Museum of Art" through September 1.

Architect Frank Gehry is best known for expressive sculptural exteriors like the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. Yet his design for the Philadelphia Museum of Art works almost exclusively within the shell of our landmark building, which was completed in 1928. Notably, the east-west axis at its center will be opened up a to improve circulation and orientation.

Don’t miss the chance to see the incredible plans in person at “Making a Classic Modern: Frank Gehry’s Master Plan for the Philadelphia Museum of Art" through September 1.

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