Philadelphia Museum of Art  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

The Philadelphia Museum of Art, located at the west end of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia's Fairmount Park, was established in 1876 in conjunction with the Centennial Exposition of the same year and is now among the largest art museums in the United States. Originally the Pennsylvania Museum and School of Industrial Art, its founding was inspired by the South Kensington Museum (now the Victoria and Albert Museum) in London, which grew out of the Great Exhibition of 1851. It is known locally and colloquially as "The Art Museum." The museum opened its doors to the public on May 10, 1877, originally housed in Memorial Hall. While the location was adequate, it was isolated from the bulk of the city.

Overview of the collections

One of the nation's great artistic and historic resources, the museum houses more than 225,000 objects spanning the creative achievements of the Western world since the first century A.D. and those of Asia since the third millennium B.C.

Highlights of the Asian collections include paintings and sculpture from China, Japan, and India; furniture and decorative arts, including major collections of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean ceramics; a large and distinguished group of Persian and Turkish carpets; and rare and authentic architectural assemblages such as a Japanese teahouse, a Chinese palace hall, and a sixteenth-century Indian temple hall.

The European collections, dating from the medieval era to the present, encompass Italian and Flemish early-Renaissance masterworks; strong representations of later European paintings, including French Impressionism and Post-Impressionism; sculpture, with a special concentration in the works of Auguste Rodin; decorative arts; tapestries; furniture; the second largest collection of arms and armor in the United States; and period rooms and architectural settings ranging from the fa├žade of a medieval church in Burgundy to a superbly decorated English drawing room by Robert Adam.

The museum's American collections, surveying three centuries of painting, sculpture, and decorative arts, are among the finest in the United States, with outstanding strengths in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Philadelphia furniture and silver, rural Pennsylvania furniture and ceramics, and the paintings of Thomas Eakins.

Holdings of modern art include extraordinary concentrations of work by such artists as Pablo Picasso, Marcel Duchamp, and Constantin Brancusi, as well as American modernists, making the museum one of the best in the world in which to see modern art. The expanding collection of contemporary art includes major works by Cy Twombly, Jasper Johns, and Sol LeWitt, among many others.

In addition to these collections, the museum houses encyclopedic holdings of costume and textiles as well as prints, drawings, and photographs that are displayed in rotation for reasons of preservation.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Philadelphia Museum of Art" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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