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The Philadelphia Museum of Art is an art museum originally chartered in 1876 for the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. The main museum building was completed in 1928 on Fairmount, a hill located at the northwest end of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway at Eakins Oval. Read more …


Philadelphia Museum of Art Paintings

The Philadelphia Museum of Art, known locally and colloquially as "The Art Museum", is among the largest art museums in the United States. It is located at the west end of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia's Fairmount Park. The Museum was established in 1876 in conjunction with the Centennial Exposition of the same year. Originally called 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.

The Museum, at that time housed in the Centennial Exposition's Memorial Hall, opened its doors to the public on May 10, 1877. While this location was adequate, it was remote from the vast majority of the city's inhabitants. Construction of the current building began in 1919 when Mayor Thomas B. Smith laid the cornerstone in a Masonic ceremony on the former reservoir land of the decommissioned Fairmount Water Works covering 10 acres (40,000 m2) of ground. The first section was completed in early 1928. The quasi-Greek Revival design was produced by Horace Trumbauer and the firm of Zantzinger, Borie, and Medary. The facade of the building is of Minnesota dolomite. The pediment facing the parkway is adorned with sculptures by C. Paul Jennewein depicting Greek gods and goddesses. There is also a collection of griffins, which were adopted as the symbol of the museum in the 1970s.