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Art Around the Art Museum

Art Around the Art Museum

The Philadelphia Museum of Art hosts a collection of hundreds of thousands of paintings, sculptures and other pieces, including iconic works like Paul Cezanne's The Large Bathers and Vincent van Gogh's Sunflowers. It has also been immortalized by Sylvester Stallone’s famous run up the steps as Rocky Balboa.

But the area around the Museum of Art, known simply as the Art Museum District, has much more than what can be found in a single building. Be sure to visit the following museums, exhibits and landmarks that showcase the full depth of what Philadelphia has to offer. 

The Barnes Foundation

Located on Benjamin Franklin Parkway a short walk away from the Museum of Art itself, the Barnes Foundation features an impressive collection of impressionist, post-impressionist and early modern paintings by such luminaries as Henri Matisse, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Claude Monet. The Foundation also offers a variety of classes throughout the year including such examples as "Where Paintings and Walls Meet," "Cezanne in Dialogue: Courbet, Manet, Monet, Matisse" and "The Decisions Artists Make."

Mural Arts Philadelphia

Mural Arts Philadelphia operates with a mission to "create art with others to transform places, individuals, communities and institutions." Currently housed in the Thomas Eakins House, a National Historic Landmark, Mural Arts has sponsored thousands of art projects over the last thirty years. In the Art Museum neighborhood you can find Meg Saligman's Common Threads, Donald Gensler's Words and Voices and David Gordon's Fairmount Waltz. Mural Arts also offers public and private walking, trolley and Segway tours starting in nearby Logan Square at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. 


Iroquois is one of seven Mark di Suvero sculptures named for Native American Indian tribes, also including the Mohican, Sioux, Shoshone, Miwok, Navajo and Catawba. The monumental work, created from 1983 to 1999, weighs 35,000 pounds and was constructed with a crane out of painted steel I-beams. Its size and energy has drawn the attention of locals and visitors alike since it was installed at its current location in 2007. Iroquois is not meant to be viewed from a distance, rather di Suvero invites viewers to stand at its very center and to let the sculpture surround them. 

Joan of Arc and the Charioteer of Delphi

In 1889, Philadelphia's French community honored their centennial by purchasing a statue of Joan of Arc from Emmanuel Fremiet, the artist of the 1872 monument to Joan of Arc at the Place des Pyramides in Paris. Fierce and brave, the striking statue was cast in bronze in 1960. The Charioteer of Delphi is another timeless testament to western art. Cast by Greek artists Nikos Kerlis and Theodora Papayannis from the 5th century B.C. statue now in the museum at Delphi, Philadelphia's statue was a gift to the city from the Greek government in 1977.