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hotels near philadelphia museum of art

4 April 2022

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History of Philadelphia Museum of Art

For more than a century, the Philadelphia Museum of Art has collected, studied, conserved, and presented significant works of art to inspire fascination with the world and to connect people to creativity, culture, and imagination. The Museum's celebrated collections, special exhibitions, and community programs engage visitors of all ages.

History of the Building

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is among the largest art museums in the United States. It administers collections containing over 227,000 objects including major holdings of European, American and Asian origin. The various classes of artwork include sculpture, paintings, prints, drawings, photographs, armor and decorative arts.

The museum building stands on the west side of Fairmount Park between Kelly Drive and Pennsylvania Route 611 (also known as Lincoln Drive). The park also contains several other museums: the Rodin Museum (which houses the largest collection outside Paris of work by Auguste Rodin), the Franklin Institute Science Museum (with a giant walk-through heart exhibition), the Please Touch Museum for children (the first children's museum in the U.S.), and Memorial Hall.

In 2010 construction began on an addition to house contemporary art. On July 1st 2011 Michael R. Bloomberg pledged $15 million towards completion of the project.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is among the most famous and beloved visitor attractions in Philadelphia, and one of the largest museums in the United States. The Museum's world-class collections of more than 227,000 objects span more than 2,000 years and include masterpieces from Europe, Asia and the Americas.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is located just off Benjamin Franklin Parkway, near Logan Circle.

The Museum was founded in 1876 as part of the nation's Centennial celebration. The original building was designed by Frank Furness and George Hewitt and completed in 1877. Major renovations were made in 1910-28 under the direction of Horace Trumbauer; a further renovation was completed in 1991.

The Museum's collections trace their origin to gifts from the city's foremost families in the late 19th century. Today, the institution has grown into an internationally renowned museum with works by great masters such as Picasso, Monet, van Gogh, Rodin and Cézanne; notable collections of American decorative arts; a comprehensive collection of prints and drawings; more than 200 galleries including 19 period rooms; and a world-renowned costume collection that boasts more than 100,000 garments and accessories.

Rules in Philadelphia Museum of Art

The Museum is a place for all ages and welcomes respectful behavior at all times. To ensure that you and others have a safe and enjoyable visit, please observe the following rules:

Please do not touch the artworks unless otherwise indicated.

Outside food and drinks are not permitted inside the Museum. Eating and drinking is permitted in designated areas.

Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult who is responsible for their behavior at all times.

Stroller use is highly discouraged due to space limitations.

Backpacks, large bags, umbrellas, tripods and selfie sticks are prohibited in galleries. Locker facilities are available for your convenience on the first floor of the Museum near Gallery 100.

Photography without flash or tripod is permitted in most galleries at the discretion of Museum staff; however, some works of art cannot be photographed due to artist restrictions or special lighting conditions. Please refrain from using selfie sticks or tripods while taking photographs. Photography is prohibited in special exhibitions where posted. Commercial photography requires advance permission from the Office of Rights and Reproductions (215-684-7740).

Cell phones should be turned off or placed on vibrate mode when you enter the building.

How to get to Philadelphia Museum of Art

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is located in the Fairmount Park area of Philadelphia, between the Schuylkill River and Kelly Drive. The museum is easily accessible by car, public transportation, bicycle and foot.

By Car

From Points North: Follow the Schuylkill Expressway (I-76) west to the exit for City Avenue (Route 1). Turn right on City Avenue. Continue on City Avenue until it becomes Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The main entrance to the Philadelphia Museum of Art will be on your right.

From Points South: Follow I-95 north to Exit 22 (Route 291/Walt Whitman Bridge/Central Philadelphia). Take Exit 3 for Columbus Boulevard south toward Philadelphia. Turn left onto Washington Avenue and follow signs for I-95 south. From I-95, take Exit 17 and turn left onto Pattison Avenue, which becomes South Broad Street. Stay in the left lane and turn left at 16th Street onto Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The main entrance to the Philadelphia Museum of Art will be on your right.