Philadelphia Museum of Art

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is widely considered to be one of the country’s premier art institutions, joining the ranks of the Art Institute of Chicago, The Museum of Modern Art, and the The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Ironically enough, the site’s movie filming history draws more visitors than the museum itself. More tourists come to the museum to see the famous statue from Rocky and run up the steps just like Sylvester Stallone did than they do to take in the magnificent art collection.

Rocky statue at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
The famous Rocky statue donated by Sylvester Stallone after the filming of Rocky 3

Iconic movie locale outside, this is a fantastic art museum. The museum opened back in 1876, thereby making it one of the country’s oldest. With sizeable galleries dedicated to European, Asian, American, Chinese, and South Asian art, the museum also comes in as one of the largest in the country (#10).

Colorful modern artwork at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

More than 220,000 works are part of the museum’s permanent collection. Free tours are available with your admission ticket, or you can simply take your time and explore at your own leisure. The space is huge with over 200 galleries to explore, so plan for at least a few hours to explore the entirety of the collection.

The beautiful Gilding Diana, a mesmerizing gold statue created by Augustus Saint-Gaudens in 1892 , greets you as soon as you walk in. This piece has been impressing museum visitors for more than 80 years.

Gilding Diana at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

European Art Gallery highlights

Gorgeous paintings by Claude Monet at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Within the European 19th century galleries, you will find many beautiful pieces by notable artists like Claude Monet and Vincent Van Gogh. Works date from 1850-1900. Most impressive are the gorgeous works of Claude Monet, the French impressionist painter known for his gorgeous nature scenes.

Take a look below at a few of the highlights from the European collection

Poplars, End of Autumn, Claude Monet, 1891 (left)

Colorful artwork by Claude Monet at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Sunflowers, Vincent Van Gogh, 1889 (left)

Paintings by Van Gogh at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Claude Monet

Beautiful Monet painting at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
Port of Le Havre by Claude Monet at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Van Gogh self portrait

Van Gogh self portrait at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Paul Cezanne

Paul Gauguin

Paul Gauguin artwork at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Picasso

Arms and Armor galleries

Arms and Armour gallery at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
Ancient swords at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
Ancient armour at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Religious art & artifacts

Stained glass at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Choir screen from Chapel of the Chateau of Pagny

Religious art galleries at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Fountain from the Monastery of Saint-Michel-de-Cuxa

Fountain from the Monastery of Saint-Michel-de-Cuxa

Portal from the Abbey Church of Saint-Laurent

Portal from the Abbey Church of Saint-Laurent

Colorful contemporary art

Gorgeous landscapes

Gorgeous landscape paintings at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
Gorgeous landscape art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
Beautiful landscape art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

South Asian gallery highlights

Hall from the Madanagopala Swamy temple at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Equally impressive is the newly renovated South Asian section, which recently underwent a 2+ million dollar revamp. An impressive collection of pieces from India, Iran, Nepal, and Thailand include a 16th century Indian temple and a home altar from Tibet that dates back to the late 1800’s.

Pillared Temple Hall from 16th Century Madana Gopala Swamy Temple in Madurai India.

Temple Hall from Madanagopalaswamy Temple in Madurai

Late 19th-early 20th century home altar from Tibet

Home altar from Tibet, late 19th-early 20th Century at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

East Asian galleries highlights

The East Asian galleries consists of a diverse collection of artwork, from a 15th century Buddha temple ceiling to modern art pieces.

A ceremonial Japanese tea house built in 1917 by the Japanese architect Ögi Rodö.

Ceremonial Japanese tea house from 1917 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Coffered Ceiling from Zhihuasi Temple in Bejing ,1444

Coffered Ceiling from Zhihuasi Temple ,1444

Buddha

Ming Dynasty ceramics

Ming Dynasty porcelain plates at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

The Chinese afterlife

A horse for the afterlife from the East Han Dynasty. Horses were taken into the afterlife as a means to transfer the soul.

And don’t forget to enjoy that gorgeous view via the top of the museum steps!

Scenic vista from the Philadelphia Museum of Art