Philadelphia offers diversity of experiences for its international visitors to enjoy. The metropolitan and dynamic city is truly coming into its own with its world class art collections, iconic public art displays, fascinating museums and internationally acclaimed artists, concert performances and cultural events.
Some of the must see events and attractions in Philadelphia include:
Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA) – March 28-April 27, 2013 (www.pifa.org) is a month-long city-wide arts festival produced by the Kimmel Center that celebrates innovation, collaboration and creativity with over 50 local arts and cultural organizations presenting multi-disciplinary artistic interpretations of new works, classical performances and exhibits. The 2013 thematic focus, “If You Had a Time Machine….?,” takes audiences on a journey through time to experience the convergence of art, culture and history in artistic interpretations of great, defining moments that continue to influence society today.
The Barnes Foundation (www.barnesfoundation.org) is still perhaps one of the most exciting hidden gems in Philadelphia’s arts and cultural repertoire. Its recent move to Center City in May 2012, offers better access to one of the world’s largest private collection of early-French modern and Post-Impressionist paintings in the world. View more than 600 paintings by masters such as Cézanne, Renoir and Picasso in this inimitable educational institute.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art (www.philamuseum.org) crowns the top of Benjamin Franklin Parkway and is one of the largest art museums in the United States containing a collection of more than 225,000 works of art that span two millennia and six continents. The museum is widely regarded for its collections of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art, with major defining works by Renoir and Cézanne, including Cézanne’s final work, the monumental Large Bathers (1906). Year round the museum hosts internationally acclaimed exhibitions which can be found on their calendar of events.
Nestled between the Museum of Art and Barnes Foundation on the Parkway, lies the Rodin Museum (www.rodinmuseum.org) which re-opened in
July 2012 after a three year rejuvenation and renovation project. Housing the biggest collection of Rodin’s outside of Paris, the $20.9 million investment has brought back the building to its original design and sculpture placement from its inception in 1929 and its gardens offer a ‘nestling effect’ accessible from the Parkway.
Philadelphia is a colourful city and with its public art programme offers one of the largest mural arts tours in the world (www.muralarts.org).
More than 3,500 larger-than-life murals tell the tales of the city’s neighbourhoods, historic events and local heroes and can be discovered through
officially guided walking, trolley or bicycle tours.
Philadelphia Live Arts Festival & Philly Fringe (http://www.livearts-fringe.org /) offers artistic experiences that both entertain and challenge audiences. The 17th annual festival, taking place from the 6-21st September in 2013, recognizes performers on a local, national and international level, showcasing artists from various disciplines including theatre, visual arts, music, and spoken-word presentations performed at traditional and non-traditional venues. The tree lined boulevards of this easy to explore city is also a cultural hub.
Broad Street is also known as the Avenue of the Arts (www.avenueofthearts.org) – the arts and entertainment centre of Philadelphia, which includes Broadway shows, The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, galleries and performance venues.
Founded in 1805, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (www.pafa.org) was America’s first art museum and school of the fine arts. Its renowned American art collection spans over two centuries and is housed in two galleries in two landmark buildings. When the City of Philadelphia was founded, it was considered a ‘center of enlightened thought’.
America’s oldest natural history museum, The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University (www.ansp.org) mirrors the evolution of the
American people and the natural world through botany, dinosaurs and live and extinct wildlife.
One of the city’s most famous thinkers Benjamin Franklin inspired the Franklin Institute (www.fi.edu) which houses interactive exhibits about electricity, aviation and machinery.]
The Mütter Museum (www.collegeofphysicians.org/mutter-museum) is America’s finest museum of medical history. Perhaps not for the faint-hearted, the displays of preserved medical oddities, wax models and medical instruments help the public understand the mysteries and beauty of the human body, whilst appreciating the history of diagnosis and treatment of disease within this ‘cabinet museum setting’.
Celebrating the challenges and triumphs of its inhabitants, Philadelphia has seen the opening of two great cultural museums. The National Museum of American Jewish History (www.nmajh.org) tells the tale of the Jewish immigrant experience – over 350 years of Jewish life and immigration in the United States – in this state of the art interactive museum, showcasing artwork, historic artefacts and multimedia exhibits.
The African American Museum in Philadelphia (www.aampmuseum.org) is the first of its kind as it explores the African American experience with
paintings, sculptures as well as historical artefacts.
The President’s House (www.nps.gov) is a unique memorial at the location of America’s first White House which features an open-air footprint of the original structure and commemorates the nine enslaved Africans who worked under the nations’ first president George Washington. A progressive city, the President’s House is also the location where two important bills were signed; the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793 and the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798.
Philadelphia’s passion for the arts and culture scene is evident through its commitment and drive from organisations, events, the artists and the audiences. The city can claim more arts and culture groups than Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C. and boasts an eclectic and colourful calendar of events for all to enjoy.
For more information on arts and cultural attractions in Philadelphia
contact the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau at 0115 922 9255 or