A Trip to the Art Museum for a Penny
If you are looking for an affordable, educational, and fun day in Philadelphia, planning a visit to the Philadelphia Museum of Art is a great choice!
What many people don’t realize is that the Museum offers pay what you wish days to visitors, in which even a penny will get you general admission into the art museum, with access to the main art exhibits! These days are: the first Sunday of every month from 10 A.M. to 5 P.M. and every Wednesday night from 5 to 8:45 P.M. In addition to these days, however, the museum offers many opportunities for affordable admission; children 12-years-old and younger are always free, active duty military personnel and their families have free admission for the summer (from May 30, 2016 to September 5, 2016), and if you have an ACCESS/EBT card, general admission costs only $2 for up to four adults (you must have your ACCESS/EBT card and a photo ID).
In addition to the various ways in which the Museum of Art offers affordable admission options, admission includes two consecutive days of access to each of the Museum’s buildings, including:
• The Main Building at 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
• The Perelman Building at 2525 Pennsylvania Ave
• The Rodin Museum at 2151 Benjamin Franklin Parkway,
• The Historic Houses Cedar Grove at 1 Cedar Grove Drive and Mount Pleasant at 3800 Mt. Pleasant Drive (which is currently closed for maintenance).
Perelman Building, Philadelphia Museum of Art
Each of these buildings house their own unique exhibits and events, which are all constantly changing both daily and seasonally. In fact, over Fourth of July weekend, I took advantage of their ‘pay what you wish’ day on Sunday, July 3rd, and visited both the Main Building and the Perelman Building with my husband, my fifteen-year-old sister, and my two-year-old son. In the Main Building, we spent most of our time in the “Embracing the Contemporary” collection, which is available for the summer only (June 28, 2016 to September 5, 2016).
This collection consisted of beautiful paintings and sculptures, but also experimented with some unexpected forms of art, such as a fluorescent light and a tree. These nontraditional works are a particularly excellent reason to see this collection, especially if you will be visiting the Main Building with older children; after walking through, seeing the art, and reading the descriptions, my husband, sister and I became engaged in a conversation about what constitutes art, spurred on specifically by the nature of this collection, which seemingly intentionally provokes that very question!
After our time spent in the Main Building, we moved to Perelman Building, which proved to be much more kid-friendly. When we first arrived, my son was offered paper and colored pencils and was able to sit and create his own work of art, which was displayed on the floor alongside drawings by other children in the room. After coloring, we moved out into the atrium, in which we discovered that this summer, running from May 14, 2016 to September 25, 2016, the Perelman building is hosting a Creative Africa exhibition, the theme for which is consistent throughout the many rooms and exhibits of the Perelman.
One of our first encounters with this exhibition was the incredible work by Francis Kéré, in which paracord (a type of yarn-like material) was hung from the ceiling in various colors and lengths. Here, my son was allowed to get out of his stroller and run through the paracord, which he did rather gleefully, as did many of the other museum guests (children and adults, in fact). Also at the Perelman Building that day was a beautiful dance performance, and even a room in which my son could sit quietly and read books, all of which corresponded to the Creative Africa exhibition.
We did not continue on to another building of the museum (though we could have, with our admission to the museum for that day), nor did we manage to visit all of the exhibits in either of the two buildings that we visited, but that only evidences the vast amount of potential activities that the Philadelphia Museum of Art has to offer, all of which we had access to for only a penny.
And of course, if you’d rather spend a day outside, it’s always nice to pose with the Rocky statue and do a quick run up the stairs.
Rocky Statue, Philadelphia Museum of Art