A short stretch of Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia — sometimes called “Museum Mile” — “is probably one of the finest boulevards in the world when it comes to true culture,” said Jack Ferguson, president and CEO of the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Visitors will find the Rodin Museum and The Barnes Foundation museum, bookended by the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.
The Philadelphia Art Museum is the third-largest art museum in the nation with nearly 230,000 pieces spanning some 2,000 years, so “there’s a palette for everyone,” Ferguson said, and exhibits are always changing. “Discovering the Impressionists: Paul Durand-Ruel and the New Painting” opens in June, and “International Pop” will open in February. Guided group tours are available and can be customized to focus on themes or collections.
The Barnes Foundation museum showcases Albert Barnes’ 800-painting collection of impressionist, postimpressionist and early modern art by masters such as Cézanne, Matisse, Picasso, Renoir and Rousseau. Visitors can browse the entire collection or opt for themed tours, such as one highlighting the foundation’s 181 Renoir pieces.
The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine arts is a teaching institution that features all 19th- and 20th-century American artists, so it’s a favorite among international travelers who want to see American works. The school also has a gallery to show students’ work.