Out & About at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

My hometown of Philadelphia offers countless places for awesome photo opportunities, but one of my favorite spots is at and around the Philadelphia Museum of Art. While the museum itself is a great place to visit as it is home to an impressive array of prized works of arts, the outside of the museum is  just as striking.

The museum was constructed on Fairmount, which at the turn of the 20th century was known as a rocky hill that was topped by the city’s main reservoir. Construction of the main building (what most visitors see) began in 1919 but due to shortages caused by World War I and other delays, the new building was not completed until 1928. The facade and columns are made of Minnesota dolomite.

The building’s eight pediments were intended to be adorned with sculpture groups; however, only one was ever completed, “Western Civilization.” It was finished in 1933 and features polychrome sculptures of painted terra-cotta figures depicting Greek deities and mythological figures.

If you walk to the front of the museum, you’ll be awarded with a terrific view of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. It was designed in the early 20th century to emulate the famed Champs Elysees in Paris, France and is a scenic boulevard that runs through the cultural heart of the city. It was named for Philadelphia’s most famous son, Benjamin Franklin and starts at City Hall, curves around Logan Circle and ends just before the museum. Some of the city’s most famous attractions are here including  the Free Library of Philadelphia, the Franklin Institute, the Barnes Museum, and the Rodin Museum.

A stroll towards the back of the museum will also provide views of one of the city’s two rivers, the Schuylkill. (On a side note you know you’re from Philadelphia if you can spell Schuylkill without a moment of hesitation.) The historic Fairmount Water Works are here although today the main building is home to an exclusive restaurant (terrific I may add as I celebrated my 22nd birthday here).

And you can’t have this part of the city without its most famous fictional son, Rocky Balboa. And yes after climbing down the steps of the museum, I did do a Rocky type run back to the top.

There are always places and things that makes a person immensely proud of her hometown and for me, the area around the Philadelphia Museum of Art is definitely it.

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  • Reply
    Jo Ann M.
    December 30, 2013 at 9:24 pm

    Although I have seen photos of the Philadelphia Museum of Art I have not seen the gorgeous details in your photographs! They are stunning! It is one of the museums on my list. If I ever make it to Philly I will definitely visit these sites. Thanks for the great info!

    • Reply
      Julie Tulba
      January 2, 2014 at 2:15 am

      It truly is a striking edifice, especially on the outside! It’s a shame the weather wasn’t prettier (such drab, gray skies) but oh well.

      It is also a magnificent museum and so I hope you make it there (along with Longwood!).

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