For many visitors to my hometown of Philadelphia, they come to the Philadelphia Museum of Art for two things-to run the “Rocky steps” and to have their picture taken with the statue of the fictional character of Rocky Balboa. Many of them never actually step foot inside of the museum which is a real shame since it’s one of the best art museums in the world. They leave Philadelphia thinking that the area of the steps is all about the protagonist from the Rocky films when in fact it’s not, especially since Rocky came later, much, much later.
In the third grade I had a wonderful teacher who I’ll call Ms. X. She wasn’t your typical third grade teacher-while of course she covered the required subjects like language arts, mathematics, and social studies, she also covered a whole lot of the fine arts. By the age of eight, I knew names like Claude Monet, Mary Cassatt, and Henry Ossawa Tanner, which is more than I can say for many adults today. Each month in the classroom, she would put on a display a poster of a famous work of art, and all that month it would be incorporated into assignments and classroom discussions. Frequent trips to places like the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and the Philadelphia Museum of Art sparked my love for all things art, a love I still have today. As an adult, I know how lucky I was to have such a great teacher as her but also one who wasn’t afraid to introduce children as young as third graders to the world of art. I think many of my classmates would say the same.
When I went home to Philadelphia in April, one of the things that I did was visit the Philadelphia Museum of Art as it had been years since the last time I was there (sadly, I think it was 2006). While a visit there is always wonderful, I was specifically interested in going to see an exhibit that was going on at the time-Treasures from Korea-Arts and Culture of the Joseon Dynasty 1392-1910. I am immensely interested in all things Korea stemming from my study abroad experience there in college. The exhibit has since moved on from Philadelphia and is currently at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art until the end of September and will finish up at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston in January so if you have the opportunity to go, I would highly recommend doing so. Photography wasn’t allowed so unfortunately I have no photos to share from it but after we were finished in the Korea exhibit, we went to some of my favorite haunts in the rest of the museum and rather than bore you with more text, I just want to show you the awesomeness that is the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
And the above photos are just of the areas that I love-there is still so much more to see there.
American art, European art, arms and armor, Asian art, textiles, even a ceremonial Japanese tea house-it’s all here.
Philadelphia Museum of Art
2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
For information on hours of operation and admission costs click here