Philadelphia Museum of Art

(Pediment on the North Wing of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Photo by Robin. June 2007)

I think I’d need at least a year or two to truly appreciate the Philadelphia Museum of Art and all that it contains. Maybe a lifetime. The building itself is beautiful, with lots of little details on the outside that it’s worth taking a walk around to see. There are also the famous Rocky Steps where you can either do the Rocky thing and run up them or watch as many others take on the stairs and do the Rocky pose when they reach the top. Some tourists don’t bother with the run up the stairs. They go straight to the pose.

(Rocky statue. Photo by Robin. June 2007)

The museum contains 200 galleries with over 225, 000 works of art. Because there’s so much to see and we only had about 4 hours to see it, M and I looked over the map and picked out some highlights (things we really wanted to see). I wish we had thought to go to the museum when we first arrived in Sabbaticalville and gotten a membership. That would have been great incentive to go back several times. At this point, with only a month left here, it’s not worth the price of joining as I don’t think we’d be able to make it back more than once, if that.

We entered through the back, Lenfest Hall (which is closer to parking and doesn’t require a run up the Rocky Stairs).  Parking, by the way, is cheap ($5).  Admission was, I think, $24 each.

(Small part of a mural in Lenfest Hall. Photo by Robin. June 2007)

If you enter the building through the front, you’ll be faced with the Great Stair Hall. At the top is a statue of Diana, created as a weathervane for the tower of the first Madison Square Garden in New York City by Augustus Saint-Gaudens.

(Diana, 1892-1894. Photo by Robin. June 2007)

(From the Great Stair Hall. Photo by Robin. June 2007)

M and I started by going to the Great Stair Hall and climbing up to the 2nd floor because I wanted to see the Ceremonial Teahouse and Japanese Temple. We worked our way over there through the European Art (1100-1500) which included a French Gothic chapel, a 15th-century Venetian bedroom, and a lot of religious art from the Medieval and early Renaissance time periods.

The lighting in the museum is designed to protect the art. My camera has limitations that make it difficult to take photographs under those lighting conditions. On the other hand, it also made for some interesting photos when light would come in through a doorway or window.

(The Crucified Christ with the Virgin Mary, Saint John the Evangelist, and Angels with Instruments of Passion, c. 1460-90, artist/maker unknown, Flemish. Photo by Robin. June 2007)

(Bedroom from the Palazzo Soranzo — Van Axel, Venice, c. 1473-79 woodwork, artist/maker unknown, Italy. Photo by Robin. June 2007)

(Through the doorway: Christ Mocked and Presented to the People (Ecce Homo), c. 1500-1525, artist/maker unknown, French)

The day is racing away from me this morning.  I’ll have to continue this tomorrow.