The Philadelphia Museum of Art, a wonderful place to spend a Sunday afternoon. Climb the steps (made famous in the Rocky movies) and indulge in an art extravaganza that will leave your senses reeling. We went to the museum on a trip to visit our daughter Bronwyn when she was attending Philadelphia University.
Philadelphia celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence with the 1876 Centennial Exhibition, America's first World's Fair. Its art building, Memorial Hall, was intended to outlast the Exhibition and house a permanent museum. Following the example of London's South Kensington Museum, the new museum was to focus on applied art and science, and provide a school to train craftsmen in drawing, painting, modeling, and designing.
The Pennsylvania Museum and School of Industrial Art opened on May 10, 1877. Its permanent collection began with objects from the Exhibition and gifts from the public impressed with the Exhibition's ideals of good design and craftsmanship. European and Japanese fine and decorative art objects and books for the Museum's library were among the first donations.
In the early 1900s, the Museum started an education program for the general public, as well as a membership program. Fiske Kimball was the museum director during the rapid growth of the 1920s, which included one million visitors in the new building's first year. After World War II the collections grew with gifts, such as the John D. McIlhenny and George Grey Barnard collections. Early modern art dominated the growth of the collections in the 1950s. The gift of Philadelphian Grace Kelly's wedding dress is perhaps the best known gift of the 1950s.
Extensive renovation of the building lasted from the 1960s through 1976. In 1976 there were celebrations and special exhibitions for the centennial of the Museum and the bicentennial of the nation. During the last three decades major acquisitions have included After the Bath by Edgar Degas and Fifty Days at Iliam by Cy Twombly. (Source Wikipedia)
My favourite piece at the museum -
Monet's The Japanese Bridge and Water Lillies, 1899
A sketch from my travel journal of the
river side of the museum with the
City Water Works below.