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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.

Our Final Great and Mighty Artist of the Day:

Purvis Young
Born Miami, 1943; died Miami, 2010

Purvis Young lived in Overtown, a once thriving, historically black neighborhood in Miami that was decimated by urban renewal and highway construction in the 1960s. He never attended high school and in his late teens was convicted of breaking and entering, spending three years in a Florida jail. There he began to read and draw. He was particularly inspired by reproductions of urban murals in cities like Chicago.

Upon his release Young began his own mural project at a spot in Overtown called Goodbread Alley, hanging dozens of his paintings edge to edge along a dilapidated stretch of the street. His paintings address issues of racism, poverty, suffering, communal redemption, and hope for salvation. In 1972, the Miami Museum of Modern Art gave Young his first exhibition. Subsequently the artist’s work became well known and widely collected throughout the United States.

Image 1: Purvis Young in Goodbread Alley, early 1970s. Courtesy Larry Clemons and Gallery 721, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Image 2:  “Jail Was Heat,” date unknown, © Estate of Purvis Young 

Image 3: "Ship and Floating Figures," date unkown. © Estate of Purvis Young

Learn more about Young and the 26 other artists in “Great and Mighty Things”: Outsider Art from the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Collection, CLOSING this Sunday, June 9!


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  11. katherine-scarritt reblogged this from judithscott and added:
    Great work & story! But seriously! How many once-thriving, traditionally black neighborhoods have been ruined by...
  12. judithscott reblogged this from philamuseum and added:
    Such a great series. Thank you for this, @philamuseum!