The first thing I noticed about the museum was its setting, occupying a prominent place on a hill overlooking downtown Philly, among some of the city's parkland. This elevated position and the museum's Greek architecture make you feel you are about to enter a temple, a temple dedicated to art. The exterior colors of the museum and its friezes also reminded me that the white marble temples we know from the ancient world were probably even more colorful than this building. I also appreciated, and was surprised by, the landscaping which was a great mix of ornamental grasses, flowering perennials and colorful shrubs.
Cue the theme from Rocky.
As much as I enjoyed what was outside, we were there to see what was on the inside. Through the front entrance is the Great Stair Hall with a statue of Diana at one end and an Alexander Calder hanging from the ceiling.
One of the artists I particularly wanted to see was Philadelphia's own Thomas Eakins. This painting is The Agnew Clinic and what follows is a bronze model of Eakin's hand by Samuel Murray.
Three Musicians - Pablo Picasso
Sunflowers - Vincent van Gogh
Mother Roulin with Her Baby - Vincent van Gogh
The Lifeline - Winslow Homer
Devil Face Jug by Davis Brown was created just south of me in North Carolina and I was glad to see it among the more traditional works.
In the spirit of equal airtime here is a crucifix ...
... and what became one of my favorite pieces, The Crucifixion, with the Virgin and Saint John the Evangelist Mourning, by Rogier van der Weyden. It had its own altar-like setting.
The museum had quite a few pieces by Virginia-born, Cy Twombly, and all of his works there were displayed in his own gallery that reminded me of a chapel.
I think my favorite thing about the Philadelphia museum was the collection of period interiors and all of the architectural bits and pieces they had gathered.
My least favorite thing in the museum was this painting, which I think is called The River of Life. I can't find any information on-line as to who the artist was. It is perhaps the most disturbing painting I have ever seen.
We will end our day at the museum with this piece, appropriately titled The True Artist Helps the World by Revealing Mystic Truths, by Bruce Nauman.
You can see my entire set of photos from the Philadelphia Museum of Art here on my Flickr page. Y'all go on ahead, and I will meet you at the car, I think I left my umbrella in the coat-check room.