The Best Art Museums in Philadelphia
The Barnes Foundation
Quickly the new Tiffany standard for the local museum scene, a masterful reimagining of its curator’s obsessive passion.
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Visit The Barnes Foundation: 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, 215-278-7000.
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Still the granddaddy of them all, with galleries of everything from abstracts to suits or armor, and perhaps the best schedule of weekly programming (concerts, classes, parties) of any museum in town.
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Visit the Philadelphia Museum of Art: 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, 215-763-8100.
The Rodin Museum
Slightly overlooked due to the looming shadows cast by The Barnes and PMA, its new $9 million renovation has restored its luster.
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Visit the Rodin Museum: 2151 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, 215-763-8100.
Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts
Lots of reasons to stop in, despite the off-the-beaten-museum-path on Broad Street, but none more so than to simply stand an ogle Thomas Eakins’ stunning The Gross Clinic, a point of both artistic and civic pride.
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Visit the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts: 118-128 North Broad Street, 215-972-7600.
The Center for Art in Wood
Half museum, half gallery, all quirk. Done in wood.
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Visit The Center for Art in Wood: 141 North 3rd Street, 215-923-8000.
La Salle University Art Museum
A surprisingly weighty collection, dating from the Renaissance to the present.
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Visit La Salle University Art Museum: 1900 West Olney Avenue, 215-951-1221.
Woodmere Art Museum
Perhaps the area’s most definitive collection of works by local artists, displayed in a bucolic Chestnut Hill setting.
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Visit Woodmere Art Museum: 9201 Germantown Avenue, 215-247-0476.
The Wharton Esherick Museum
The Paoli workshop of the famed Main Line woodworker is more hip than one might expect. Who knew wood could be edgy?
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Visit The Wharton Esherick Museum: 1520 Horseshoe Trail, Malvern, PA, 610-644-5822.
James A. Michener Art Museum
In the heart of postcard-cute Doylestown, a celebration of the contributions, literary and artistic, of the famed Bucks County novelist who gave the world Tales of the South Pacific and Centennial.
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Visit James A. Michener Art Museum: 138 South Pine Street, Doylestown, PA, 215-340-9800.
Situated on the Downton Abbey-esque Pitcairn family estate in Bryn Athyn, and home to a truly impressive collection of medieval art and artifacts. Heavy religious themes.
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Visit the Glencairn Museum: 1001 Cathedral Road, Bryn Athyn, PA, 267-502-2600.
Brandywine River Museum
All things Wyeth (Andrew, Jamie, et. al). No museum does Christmastime as well.
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Visit the Brandywine River Museum: 1 Hoffman's Mill Road, Chadds Ford, PA, 610-388-2700.
The Institute of Contemporary Art
A curious mix of the surreal, the avant-garde, the beautiful, and the downright odd, all in a beautiful building right on the Penn Campus.
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Visit the ICA: 118 S. 36th Street, 215-898-7108.