If you find yourself in Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Museum of Art is a great place to spend the day. To help you navigate through the museum, I have put together a museum guide for the Philadelphia Museum of Art. This museum guide will not only ensure that you get the most our of your experience but also that you enjoy yourself
Museum Guide for the Philadelphia Museum of Art
First things first, upon arriving to the museum, you must run up the famous Rocky Steps, preferably while while listening to “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor. After you make your way up the stairs be sure to pose next to the Rocky Statue created by Luigi Novi displaying your victorious accomplishment.
When you are done with Rocky, you will probably notice the awesome architecture of the museum which is based on Greek Temples as they were originally seen by the Greeks. Be sure to look up and see the bright colors and intricate details on top of the columns. One of my favorite parts of the exterior of the museum is a pediment (the triangular section on top of the columns) filled with Gods and Goddesses in their full splendor. It is always fun to try to figure out who is who. Another great feature of the Philadelphia Museum of Art is that it sits on top of a hill overlooking the city from one side and the Schuylkill River on another, providing you with really breathtaking views.
Once you are enter the museum, you will notice that the museum has an impressive staircase that leads you to the second floor and is in keeping with the Greek theme. One of the least known about treasures of the PMA is a wonderful collection of enormous tapestries from the 16th and 17th centuries which are placed all around the atrium. I know that tapestries sound somewhat boring, but these works are very impressive in their size, design and color and definitely worth looking at.
The museum has a great collection of European Modern and Contemporary art, but it also boasts some great works by American artists and a good collection of works from the Renaissance. I always like to start in the Modern and Contemporary wing, specially the Marcel Duchamp room. The Philadelphia Museum of Art has some really unique works by Duchamp, and since he is one of the first artists to dabble in conceptual art, I think he is a very important figure in the history of art.
Another one of my favorite parts of the museum are their Period Rooms. It is one of the best features of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where entire structures and great rooms have been moved lock, stock, and barrel from around the world: a 12th-century French cloister, a 16th-century Indian temple hall, a 16th-century Japanese Buddhist temple, a 17th-century Chinese palace hall, and a Japanese ceremonial teahouse. It is great to walk around these rooms and just imagine how people lived and worked in the past. They are also a welcome change especially when you feel overwhelmed from all the paintings and sculptures.
I always like to take a break about 2-3 hours into my visit and the Café Balcony is a fabulous little café on the first floor with good coffee and snacks. As you wonder through the many different galleries, it is easy to miss some of the more famous works that are kept at the museum. For this reason I have listed in my museum guide the artworks that you must see. Trust me you will not regret it.
Must see artworks at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
Name: King and Queen Surrounded by Swift Nudes, 1912
Location: Philadelphia Museum of Art
The Large Bathers is a painting that has a huge significance to the success Paul Cezanne amassed. To learn more about the importance of this artwork check out our explanation in Paul Cezanne Paints the Human Body and Changes the Art Game.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art is one of the finest museums I have encountered and I hope that you find time to visit the museum. I also hope that my museum guide serves useful to you and you enjoy your visit. If you would like to add any comments or suggestions, please do not hesitate to leave them below. More importantly to help you obtain access to this museum or any other art institution, please be sure to get your hands on the Artsnapper Application.
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