The Museum began as a legacy of the great Centennial Exhibition of 1876, held in Fairmount Park. At the conclusion of the celebrations, Memorial Hall-which had been constructed as the Exhibition's art gallery-remained open as a Museum of Art and Industry "for the improvement and enjoyment of the people of the Commonwealth".
In the first few decades, the collections consisted of objects of an industrial nature, as well as fine and decorative art objects such as European ceramics. Books were also among the Museum's earliest acquisitions, as were antique furniture, enamels, carved ivories, jewelry, metalwork, glass, pottery, porcelain, textiles, and paintings.
In the early 1900s, the Museum published its first collection handbook and initiated an Education program for the general public. It wasn't long before a Membership program was in place, and plans for a new building gained momentum in the following decade.
Director Fiske Kimball set the tone for a new era in the 1920s, and the opening of the new building on Fairmount-what is now the Main Building-opened with an attendance record of one million visitors in its first year. Valiant marketing efforts and the skillful leadership of President J. Stogdell Stokes helped to keep the Museum vital during the Great Depression of the 1930s, while the 1940s witnessed extraordinary growth in the collections with a number of important gifts-including the John D. McIlhenny Collection and the George Grey Barnard Collection.
The Museum Announces New Curatorial Leadership Carlos Basualdo named the Marion Boulton “Kippy” Stroud Deputy Director and Chief Curator Jessica Todd Smith, named Director of Curatorial Initiatives Sasha Suda, the George D. Widener…Read More »
Click Here To View The Philadelphia Museum of Art Update Take Your Time At The Museum With A Two Day…Read More »
Press Preview Art Kids Friday, June 24 , 2022 9:30 a.m.– 10:30 a.m. Remarks at 10:00 a.m. Main Building Arrival at North Entrance 26th St. and Benjamin Franklin Pkwy Complimentary parking available in the museum garage, via Anne…Read More »
Philadelphia Museum of Art Media Update - June 14, 2022 Medieval treasures on loan from the Glencairn Museum will soon be on view at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Stay cool throughout the summer here with weekly programming for museumgoers of…Read More »
Medieval Treasures from the Glencairn Museum June 24, 2022 – Fall 2023 The Philadelphia Museum of Art will present Medieval Treasures from the Glencairn Museum, a rich display of 18 works of French Romanesque and Gothic art on loan from the…Read More »
The Board of Trustees of the Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA) today elected Sasha Suda as the museum’s new George D. Widener Director and CEO. Sasha Suda brings new-generation leadership to the PMA, which as one of the nation’s…Read More »
Join us at the museum as spring sweeps into summer. We have a full slate of new and ongoing exhibitions and public programs for museumgoers of all ages. On Friday evenings, visitors will also discover the Garden Bar at the Rodin Museum and Friday…Read More »
On Friday, June 24, the museum kicks off the summerlong Art Kids, a lively series of family programs offering unique hands-on art activities in the comfortable, playful, air-conditioned, and imaginative setting of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.…Read More »
Philadelphia Museum of Art October 19, 2022–January 29, 2023 Musée de l’Orangerie February 27, 2023–May 29, 2023 Musée Matisse Nice June 23, 2023–September 24, 2023 The Philadelphia Museum of Art, in…Read More »
Up Next Sean Scully: The Shape of Ideas April 11–July 31, 2022 Dorrance Special Exhibition Galleries, and Korman Galleries (221–224) By Night Opening April 16 Gallery 256 Martine Syms: Neural Swamp May 14 – October 30…Read More »
Elegy: Lament in the 20th Century February 12–July 24, 2022 Press Preview: February 11, 2022 Waiting for Tear Gas March 12–July 17, 2022 Pictures in Pictures March 12–July 17, 2022 The Philadelphia Museum of Art will…Read More »
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Centre Pompidou, and Association Marcel Duchamp Partner to Launch Online Duchamp Research Portal A French-American Celebration On January 24, 2022, a new digital portal—the first of its kind—will provide…Read More »
On Friday, February 4, the Rodin Museum is reopening with a new installation that focuses on Auguste Rodin’s expressive sculptures of hands. The focused grouping brings together fifteen bronzes and plasters, including works that are rare or…Read More »
The Philadelphia Museum of Art will present a major survey of Irish-born American artist Sean Scully, featuring paintings and works on paper from the early 1970s to the present. Sean Scully: The Shape of Ideas will chart the artist’s…Read More »
Click here to view the Philadelphia Museum of Art News - January 7,…Read More »
Two Weekends of Dance Performances Featuring PHILADANCO! and New Commissioned Work by Pam Tanowitz to Coincide with Final Weeks of Jasper Johns Retrospective Jasper Johns: Mind/Mirror runs through February 13, 2022 at the Philadelphia Museum of…Read More »
Tour Jasper Johns: Mind/Mirror with the Curators Here at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, it is thrilling to be opening a season of major exhibitions, notwithstanding the continuing challenges we are all facing with the ongoing pandemic. As you…Read More »
Philadelphia, PA -- The Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Czech Republic’s National Heritage Institute jointly announced today an agreement whereby an important Italian pageant shield with decoration attributed to Girolamo di Tommaso da…Read More »
Richard Benson: The World Is Smarter Than You Are October 3, 2021–January 23, 2022 Field Galleries and Honickman Galleries 154–157 Press View: October 7, 2021 In October, the Philadelphia Museum of Art will present an exhibition…Read More »
Philadelphia Museum of Art to Present First Major Retrospective Exhibition Dedicated to Emma Amos (1937–2020) Emma Amos: Color Odyssey October 11, 2021–January 17, 2022 Morgan Galleries and Jane and Leonard Korman Galleries…Read More »
Block Party: 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Admission is Pay What You Wish House Party: 6:00–10:00 p.m. Admission is $15.00; $12 for members, with tickets on sale now On Saturday, August 14, the Philadelphia Museum of Art will host a rousing…Read More »
Upcoming Exhibitions Explore our advance schedule of exhibitions and installations through spring 2022. Click on the images below to learn more about these exhibitions and download media directly from our online pressroom. Not to be missed:…Read More »
Philadelphia, PA -- The Philadelphia Museum of Art announced today the appointment of Alphonso Atkins Jr. as the Miller Worley Deputy Director for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Access (DEIA), effective August 16, 2021. In this newly established…Read More »
The Arch of Nero, an oil painting by the great 19th-century American landscape artist Thomas Cole, will go on view in Philadelphia as a long-term loan beginning July 2, 2021 Painted at the height of Cole's powers in 1846, The Arch of Nero is…Read More »
Click Here to view the Philadelphia Museum of Art News - February 25,…Read More »