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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.
Great and Mighty Artist of the Day: Justin McCarthy

Born Weatherly, Pennsylvania, 1892; died Tucson, Arizona, 1977Justin McCarthy was born into a wealthy family near Allentown, Pennsylvania. The death of his father in the early 1900s left the family in financial ruin. McCarthy entered law school at the University of Pennsylvania but suffered a nervous breakdown and spent five years in the State Homeopathic Hospital for the Insane in Rittersville, PA, where he began to draw.After his release, McCarthy worked variously as a farmer, a warehouse employee, a chocolate mixer, and a steelworker, meanwhile creating drawings, watercolors, and paintings. His sources were everyday events and all sorts of popular imagery of the day, with an emphasis on athletes, movie stars, and other famous people. Around 1960 Pennsylvania dealer and collector Dorothy Strauser saw his work at a local art show in Stroudsburg and began collecting and selling it. McCarthy had his first solo exhibition at the Everhart Museum in Scranton, Pennsylvania, in 1965.Learn more about McCarthy and all of the artists in “Great and Mighty Things”: Outsider Art from the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz CollectionImage: “Ice Capades,” 1971, by Justin McCarthy (The Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Collection)

Great and Mighty Artist of the Day: Justin McCarthy

Born Weatherly, Pennsylvania, 1892; died Tucson, Arizona, 1977

Justin McCarthy was born into a wealthy family near Allentown, Pennsylvania. The death of his father in the early 1900s left the family in financial ruin. McCarthy entered law school at the University of Pennsylvania but suffered a nervous breakdown and spent five years in the State Homeopathic Hospital for the Insane in Rittersville, PA, where he began to draw.

After his release, McCarthy worked variously as a farmer, a warehouse employee, a chocolate mixer, and a steelworker, meanwhile creating drawings, watercolors, and paintings. His sources were everyday events and all sorts of popular imagery of the day, with an emphasis on athletes, movie stars, and other famous people. Around 1960 Pennsylvania dealer and collector Dorothy Strauser saw his work at a local art show in Stroudsburg and began collecting and selling it. McCarthy had his first solo exhibition at the Everhart Museum in Scranton, Pennsylvania, in 1965.

Learn more about McCarthy and all of the artists in “Great and Mighty Things”: Outsider Art from the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Collection

Image: “Ice Capades,” 1971, by Justin McCarthy (The Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Collection)

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