The Best Museums In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Photo of Robert Wilder
1 November 2016

Philadelphia is one of the most historic and lively cities in the United States with a museum culture to match. Read on to learn more about Philadelphia’s vibrant museum culture.

Barnes Foundation

Building, Museum, Art Gallery, School
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First established in 1922 by Albert C. Barnes, the Barnes Foundation has breathed new life into the Philadelphia museum culture. The Barnes mainly holds Post-Impressionist and early Modern paintings with a myriad of works by Pablo Picasso, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Henri Matisse. In addition to paintings, the Barnes Foundation also carries original African sculptures, Native American ceramics, and antiquities from the Mediterranean. The Barnes Foundation is free on the first Sunday of each month for all visitors.

The Franklin Institute

Memorial, Museum
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With world class exhibitions and a dedication to science, the Franklin Institute has something to offer to all ages. The Franklin Institute boasts an in-house 3D movie theater as well as a fully functioning planetarium. During the summer months the museum offers a discovery camp for children, and for adults, there are numerous science after hours events that include cocktails. Be sure to visit the Benjamin Franklin Memorial that serves as the centerpiece of the museum.

Philadelphia Museum of Art

Building, Museum, Art Gallery
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The Philadelphia Museum of Art is one of the most iconic landmarks in Philadelphia. This massive museum, located on Philadelphia’s vibrant Benjamin Franklin Parkway, is home to renaissance, American, Impressionist and Modern artwork. The Philadelphia Museum is the third largest museum in the United States, and dedicates its upper floors to recreating décor from ancient Rome, Germany, and Japan. The Philadelphia Museum of Art also hosts a number of rotating exhibitions and on the first Sunday of each month the museum offers discounts on entry fees.

Rodin Museum

Art Gallery, Museum
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Located just blocks away from three of Philadelphia’s most prominent museums, the Rodin Museum continues the tradition of great artwork and picturesque settings. The Rodin Museum houses the largest collection of Auguste Rodin’s work outside of Paris. Popular works include The Thinker and The Gates of Hell. The Rodin Museum also offers outdoor seating and a peaceful reflection pool for those that want to enjoy the outdoor artwork.

African American Museum in Philadelphia

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YW Lim
YW Lim
Philadelphia’s African American Museum is the first institution in a major United States city to display and interpret the life and work of African Americans. The museum was first founded in 1976 during the United States’ Bicentennial and its main mission is to convey African Americans in all aspects of life including family life, the Civil Rights movement, arts and entertainment, sports, medicine, architecture, politics, religion, law and technology. The museum houses four galleries and an auditorium with the main themes being the African Diaspora, the Philadelphia Story, and the Contemporary Narrative.

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