Get inspired at the city’s cultural center
Explore the city’s cultural hub. The third largest museum in the US, you can browse and get a closer look at more than 225,000 pieces. Hop-off the Philadelphia bus tour right outside the front door and get inspired inside.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art sits on a rise at the end of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Fairmount Park. It was first established in 1876 in conjunction with the nation’s first centennial, housing the Memorial Hall. But the location was considered too far removed from the majority of the populous. The decision was then made to build a new museum on the site of the Philadelphia waterworks.
The eye of the tiger
Re-enact cinematic history on the museum’s 72 steps. The steps featured in the 1976 film Rocky – during the classic training montage. The iconic scene has led to the museum’s main entrance being known as the Rocky Steps. There’s even a bronze statue of the film’s title character placed at the base – perfect for a holiday snap.
Other interesting facts about the Philadelphia Museum of Art
- Construction of the current building began in 1919 and the building opened to visitors in 1928
- Designed by Julian Abele who was inspired by Greek temples– its columns and statues are the reason it’s known as ‘the Parthenon’
- Works featured in the museum’s collection include paintings by artists like Turner, Manet, Bosch and Gainsborough
- Owing to high attendance, the museum is undergoing a $500 million expansion, in part designed by architect Frank Gehry
- The museum is visited by more than 600,000 people every year.