Philly: A Museum Review

There was a lot of talk about Will Smith at our house this past week. Because… the girls and I spent our spring break in his hometown of Philly! Why? Is there some other reason we’d be talking about Will Smith this week? It was a road trip full of “In West Philadelphia, born and raised on a playground is where I spent most of my days. Chillin’ out max and relaxin’ all cool….” etc. etc. My daughters loved my rapping as much as you can imagine.

We drove all day Monday, spent Tuesday doing historical stuff, and planned on visiting the Philadelphia Museum of Art on Wednesday.

Wednesday morning we saw the museum is closed on Wednesdays.

If we have learned one thing these past couple years, it’s how to pivot! Instead of the museum, we had a lovely morning in New Jersey (more on that another time) and a lovely afternoon in Delaware! Thursday the museum was open! It was walking distance from our Airbnb, so we headed over before it opened at 10 to pose with the Rocky statue (I mean, I do have a daughter named Adrienne, after all!) and run the famous steps (we weren’t the only ones! And everybody raised their arms in victory at the top. One guy was even wearing a gray sweatsuit. Way to commit, buddy!)

The museum is free to youth under 18 and was $25 for me. Three free tickets felt like a steal! We started in the American gallery, where we saw several works by John Singleton Copley (one of my favorites ever since I saw this gem at the DIA) and a bunch of art from various members of the Peale family (see same post from the DIA). The museum employee in that room was wonderful- she took the time to show my girls particular pieces she thought they’d like (they did!) and chatted with me about her own art and how she hopes to come to Michigan someday to visit ArtPrize.

We made our way up the regal stairs to the “Big Names.” The girls were delighted to see Monet’s bridge that they each recreated in third grade art class, Van Gogh’s sunflowers, Picasso’s cubes, Degas’ ballerinas, and tons of other uber-familiar works. Even better, we discovered a new favorite artist: Leon Frederic. We were completely enamored by his series, The Four Seasons. We even loved The Source of Life even if it made some of us cover our eyes and giggle. The girls were more mature about it.

I obviously had the girls pose like these children. It didn’t turn out. I was shaking with fear that C would tip over and hit the Van Gogh next to her.
Heehee. Little buns!

At the end of our visit, as always, I had everybody pick their favorite piece of art. Here they are:

Molly: this altarpiece was truly incredible. It was so majestic and intricate. She certainly did not waste her pick on a subpar work.

Zoom in for maximum wow!

Adrienne: this herd of sheep spoke to Adrienne for its cozy, quaint vibe. Plus, Adrienne will always give baby sheep the win.

The Return of the Flock by Anton Mauve.

Charlotte: Charlotte found her favorite almost immediately. It was a huge map of the United States on the wall. For once, the fuzzy picture is not my fault. The work purposely blurs the lines using more than 80 charcoal pieces. This showstopper was made by Teresita Fernandez.

My favorite was The Four Seasons, as I mentioned, but I also loved this sculpture by Brancusi. Some of us thought it was sweet (me), some of us thought it was gross (the 4th grader). What do you think?

Verdict: If you have the chance, definitely visit the Philadelphia Museum of Art (just not on a Tuesday or Wednesday!) It has old, famous artwork, lesser known artists to fall in love with, and something most museums don’t offer: a workout (Rocky was right, those steps are killer!)

Until next week, friends- “Yo cabby, smell ya later!”

Posted in: art

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