Philadelphia is a city of culture and history, and its art museums are a testament to this. From the Michener Art Museum to the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA), there are plenty of places to explore the city's artistic heritage. The Michener Art Museum is a former 19th century jail, named after Pulitzer Prize-winning writer and Doylestown resident, James Michener. Inside, visitors can find a collection of works from the Impressionist movement in Pennsylvania and from the artistic colony that was centered in New Hope in the early 20th century.
The museum boasts more than 2,700 paintings, sculptures, and works on paper. Throughout the year, Michener also organizes art debates, panels, concerts, gallery talks, and family events. The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA) is Philadelphia's answer to the Louvre and houses one of the best art and sculpture collections in the country. Founded in 1805, PAFA was the country's first art school and museum. It features works that represent the art and history of the Bucks County region as well as events from different eras such as local life during the War of Independence, the Civil War, and the Gilded Age.
The vibrant 42-acre campus also features nearly 300 contemporary sculptures by well-known and emerging artists. The Esherick Museum is another popular destination for art lovers. It was founded by sculptor and Philadelphia native Wharton Esherick who studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA) and the University of the Arts. This Philadelphia exhibition gives visitors a behind-the-scenes look at the evolution behind this enormous work of art. From art museums to historic battlegrounds, Philadelphia has plenty to offer for those looking to explore its culture and history. Whether you're interested in Impressionist paintings or contemporary sculptures, there's something for everyone in this city.