Art can portray the world's most complex subjects: the passion of love, the horrors of war, and the despair of fruit waiting to be eaten. Hold a mirror to nature with today’s Groupon for the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Choose between the following options:
- For $20, you get admission for two to the permanent collection and special exhibitions plus $15 to spend in the gift shop (up to a $45 value).
- For $35, you get admission for four to the permanent collection and special exhibitions plus $25 to spend in the gift shop (up to an $85 value).
Originally founded in 1805, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts balances a comprehensive collection of works ranging from Colonial times to the modern era inside a grand duo of historic gallery buildings. Visitors can slip inside the stately Victorian structure of the Historic Landmark building to gaze at monumental pieces such as Gilbert Stuart's George Washington, which offers a unique glimpse of the founding father's legendary biker tattoo, or immerse themselves in the contemporary audio-visual exhilaration of Bill Viola's Ocean Without a Shore, opening November 19.
The modernistic Samuel M.V. Hamilton building showcases a range of contemporary pieces, including works by students of the academy, in Gallery 128. On October 22, the building's Fisher Brooks Gallery will unveil here., an exhibition from 24 artists throughout the country who examine their home cities in works that challenge the idea of artistic regionalism. Connecting the two masterpiece meccas, the newly completed Lenfest Plaza allows for an artistic open-air stroll with outdoor seating, pieces by emerging and established artists, and fame-seeking trees hoping to be noticed by passing landscape painters.
The sunny and expansive Portfolio gift shop lines its bright shelves with an array of jewelry, books, and baubles selected to reflect the museum's collection, some items of which are created especially for the Academy. Inspire a budding Duchamp with a plush Artist Bear ($14.95), who dons a paint-smattered smock and sports a miniature mustache and vibrant easel. The eye-catching cube jigger blazes an innovative trail toward mixing cocktails, ensuring instant party conversation with three-dimensional and tesseract-shaped guests alike.
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA)
The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) celebrates art from America's entire history. Its galleries take visitors on a chronological trip through the country's ever-changing aesthetic landscape, with special attention paid to sculptures, paintings, and paper works. Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts also trains the next generation of artists, with full-time degree programs at the bachelor and masters levels.
- Size: two buildings—The Historic Landmark Building and the contemporary Samuel M.V. Hamilton Building
- Eye Catcher: Gilbert Stuart’s 1796 painting George Washington (The Lansdowne Portrait)
- Permanent Mainstay: Gallery 128, which showcases a rotating collection of works from current students, alumni, and faculty
- Visiting Exhibit: Spiritual Strivings: A Celebration of African American Works on Paper, which encompasses more than 90 works (through October 12, 2014)
- Don't Miss: Highway—George Tooker's 1953 painting depicting the challenges of living in New York City
- Pro Tip: artists can bring a sketchbook (pencil only) into the the Historic Landmark Building, provided it doesn't exceed 12” x 16” or erupt with trumpet fanfares when opened
- Special Programs: art-history lectures, evening gallery events, and continuing-education programs in drawing, painting, sculpture, and other mediums
Avenue of the Arts South
128 N Broad St.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19102