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Virtual Art Tour: Philadelphia, PA

Updated: Nov 17, 2022

Visit a new art community without leaving home with this Philadelphia online art tour! Thanks to online museum art collections and gallery art databases, as well as social media, public art maps and other resources, it is easier than ever to have a #virtualartadventure in a new city, and learn where to see art in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia is home to world-class and famous museums, interesting commercial galleries and nonprofit spaces, as well as artist studios and public art.

Museums and College Galleries:

Philadelphia Museum of Art: Philadelphia's major museum is housed in an iconic 1800s-era building and contains a large and diverse selection of world class art atop the "Rocky Steps" and behind its striking columns. It currently hosts online exhibitions focused on Marcel Duchamp, Collection Highlights and African American Art, and its upcoming regular exhibition schedule includes "Jasper Johns: Mind/Mirror" opening this fall. Browse its vast online collection, which includes artists like Mary Cassatt, Edward Hopper, and Andrew Wyeth. The museum's virtual experiences include Object Stories that explore works in the collection, and online artist talks. The Art Deco Perelman Building, a short walk away, houses cutting-edge photography, fashion, and contemporary art and design. The museum's Anne d’Harnoncourt Sculpture Garden contains large-scale contemporary works by artists like Claes Oldenburg, Toshiko Takaezu, and Ellsworth Kelly.

Rodin Museum: Part of the Philadelphia Museum of Art system, the Rodin Museum hosts exclusively work by Auguste Rodin that represents every phase of the artist's career, and according to its Web site, "houses one of the most comprehensive public collections of Rodin’s work outside Paris." The Beaux-Artes building and its formal French garden were designed to evoke Paris, where Rodin lived and worked, and where the first Rodin museum is located. Click here to view its collection online.

Barnes Foundation: The Barnes Foundation's mission is "to promote the advancement of education and the appreciation of the fine arts and horticulture." Education, art and nature were top priorities for founder Dr. Alfred C. Barnes, and the Barnes Foundation includes both his art collection and a collection of rare trees, flowers and plants at the Barnes Arboretum at Saint Joseph's University in Merion, PA. Its collection includes works by Degas, Cézanne and Renoir as well as textiles, decorative arts and household objects from a wide range of cultures, media and time periods. The Barnes currently offers online classes in subjects like "Impressionism and Japonisme", "Decoding Barnes’s Ensembles," and "Afrofuturism: Introduction to the Multiverse," and scholarships are available.

Institute of Contemporary Art: ICA Philadelphia at the University of Pennsylvania is a free, non-collecting museum, and one of the only kunsthalles in America. It has a special focus on exhibiting new artists, and was the first museum to host a solo show for Andy Warhol in 1965! Exhibitions have included "Trevor Shimizu: Performance Artist," "Karyn Olivier: Everything That’s Alive Moves", and "Cecilia Vicuña: About to Happen." The museum offers a wealth of online content for most exhibitions, including guides and other publications, and its past exhibition archive goes back to the 1960s.

Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA): PAFA is America's first art museum and school. Its current exhibitions, many on view through August 2020 and beyond, include "Awakened in You”: The Collection of Dr. Constance E. Clayton, "At One Stroke: Prints by Helen Frankenthaler" and "Lonnie Holley: Lost Child," a multimedia installation piece. Browse its collection online and discover new favorites from artists like Bruce Pollock, Andrea Joyce Heimer and Jacob Lawrence. Its PAFA From Home offerings include weekly trivia, kids' activities and five-minute talks.

Woodmere Art Museum: Woodmere is housed in a 19th-century stone mansion on six acres, and is dedicated to the art and artists of Philadelphia. Its exhibitions include "Africa in the Arts of Philadelphia: Bullock, Searles, and Twins Seven-Seven," through September 2020, and its' sculpture garden features work by Fillipo Bermani, Linda Brenner and Harry Bertoia, among other notable sculptors. Explore the Woodmere online through podcasts, catalogues and the Violet Oakley Experience, a detailed online experience that catalogues the life of one of history's most prominent woman artists and cultural leaders.

The Fabric Workshop and Museum: The FWM is a contemporary art museum showing works that incorporate fabric and other innovative mediums including ceramics, photography, printmaking and more. Its exhibitions include Lorna Simpson: Spilling, Breaking Waves (through August 2020), and Jonathan Lyndon Chase: Big Wash Through January 2021. Online visitors can explore activities like Community Response Projects and mask creation, artist interviews and more.

Art Galleries and Artist Highlights :

Unlike museums, gallery exhibitions change fairly often and the art is for sale. If you see a piece you want to purchase from the gallery or its associated artists, contact the gallery for current eCommerce purchase and shipping policies.