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Top Exhibitions in Philadelphia

Date April 17, 2024

Top Exhibitions in Philadelphia

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Philadelphia has a treasure trove of exhibitions that attract science and culture enthusiasts from across the globe.

From world-renowned museums to cutting-edge galleries, the city offers a diverse range that caters to every taste. Here are some of the top exhibitions in Philadelphia.

The African American Museum in Philadelphia

Neighborhood: Old City
Address: 701 Arch St.

“Imprint: Dox Thrash Black Life, and American Culture”

Dates: March 23 – August 4, 2024

Explore the life and artistic legacy of Dox Thrash, a visionary printmaker, in the exhibition “Imprint: Dox Thrash Black Life, and American Culture.” Born in 1893, Thrash’s journey from an artist to a printmaking trailblazer is highlighted, showcasing his resilience and creative spirit. The exhibition delves into the diverse influences of Thrash, including his experiences as a Buffalo Soldier, a performer on the Black Vaudeville circuit, and an art student in Chicago, presenting rarely-seen works that provide insight into his personal narrative.

Barnes Foundation

Neighborhood: Fairmount
Address: 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway

“Alexey Brodovitch: Astonish Me”

Dates: March 3 – May 19, 2024

Alexey Brodovitch: Astonish Me” at the Barnes Foundation examines a legacy in modern design. This exhibition highlights the work of Alexey Brodovitch, a designer, photographer, and instructor from Russia. He is best known as the art director of Harper’s Bazaar, an American fashion magazine. Photography became the cornerstone of the publications’ visual identity thanks to Alexey Brodovitch’s vision and mentorship of extraordinary photographers.

The Fabric Workshop and Museum

Neighborhood: Center City
Address: 1214 Arch St.

“Risa Puno: Group Hug”

Dates: March 1 –July 21, 2024

Risa Puno’s inaugural solo exhibition is an interactive installation called Group Hug, delving into the intricate social dynamics of caregiving. Developed over a two-year residency in collaboration with the Fabric Workshop and Museum Studio, the exhibition utilizes gameplay with unexpected incentives, drawing inspiration from the pre-colonial Philippine concept of kapwa. Group Hug, named after a New York Times crossword clue, intertwines the language of games to explore themes of caregiving, cultural identity, and familial dynamics.

The Franklin Institute

Neighborhood: Center City
Address: 222 N 20th St.

“Wondrous Space”

Date: Ongoing

The Franklin Institute, in partnership with Boeing, opened its newest core exhibit, an entirely new future-focused “Wondrous Space” exhibit.  The 7,500-square-foot exhibit, situated between the museum’s planetarium and observatory, offers a dual-level experience. The first level immerses guests in space simulations, putting them in the role of a solar explorer. The upper level offers insights into the future of life and work in space, highlighting new tools, technology, and diverse careers related to space exploration.

“The Art of the Brick”

Dates: Through September 2, 2024

Known as the world’s largest display of LEGO® art, “The Art of the Brick” has returned to The Franklin Institute. This exhibition features 100 incredible works of art made from millions of colorful LEGO® bricks by artist Nathan Sawaya. Visitors will be able to get an up-close view of original pieces, as well as reimagined ones. This exhibition also includes a Philadelphia-exclusive Liberty Bell creation and a 9,000-square-foot brick play space.

A Liberty Bell LEGO creation at The Franklin Institute's "The Art of the Brick" exhibit

The Liberty Bell at the Art of the Brick by D. Casarella for PHLCVB

Museum of the American Revolution

Neighborhood: Old City
Address: 101 S 3rd St.

“Witness to Revolution: The Unlikely Travels of Washington’s Tent”

Dates: February 17, 2024 – January 5, 2025

Witness to Revolution: The Unlikely Travels of Washington’s Tent” highlights the journey of General George Washington’s headquarters tent during the American Revolution. The exhibition delves into the individuals who preserved this historical artifact, transforming it into a symbol of the American republic. Showcasing art, documents, and objects from various collections, it traces the tent’s path from Washington’s farewell in 1783 to its role in the Civil War era. The exhibition unfolds the tent’s complex history, involving figures like Martha Washington, Robert E. Lee, and Mary Custis Lee, ultimately leading to its preservation at the Museum of the American Revolution.

People in a crowded auditorium look at an old tent on stage.

George Washington’s Tent at the Museum of the American Revolution

National Liberty Museum 

Neighborhood: Old City
Address: 321 Chestnut St. 

“In Pursuit: Artists’ Perspectives on a Nation”

Dates: May 10 to October 28, 2024

The National Liberty Museum hosts “In Pursuit: Artists’ Perspectives on a Nation,” an ambitious exhibition curated by Philadelphia Sculptors. It showcases sculptures and installations by seven acclaimed artists across three floors. Featuring works by artists like Anila Quayyum Agha and Nicholas Galanin, the exhibition fosters civic dialogue on America’s complexity. The exhibit invites viewers to envision a future that values the dignity of all. Through themes of justice, freedom, and cultural identity, it explores and expands our understanding of America’s history and present.

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA)

Neighborhood: Center City
Address: 118-128 N Broad St

“Philadelphia Revealed: Unpacking the Attic” 

Dates: July 18 –December 1, 2024

Philadelphia Revealed: Unpacking the Attic” is a comprehensive exhibition showcasing over 600 genuine artifacts from the city’s history collection, spanning 350 years. It celebrates Philadelphia’s heritage, emphasizing the Atwater Kent Collection’s evolution over 80 years, encompassing diverse narratives from the city’s residents and their contributions. Through interactive displays, multimedia, and hundreds of historical images, the exhibition vividly portrays Philadelphia’s rich cultural, civic, and sporting history 

Philadelphia Museum of Art

Neighborhood: Fairmount
Address: 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway

“Mary Cassatt at Work”

Dates: May 18–September 8

Pennsylvania-born Mary Cassatt, a celebrated member of the French Impressionists, challenged societal expectations in Paris, focusing on the social and working lives of modern women in her prints and paintings. The “Mary Cassatt at Work” exhibition will feature over 130 pieces of the artist’s diverse works. The exhibit and technical study explore Cassatt’s materials, processes, and her broader impact on gender, work, and artistic agency.

Rodin Museum

Neighborhood: Fairmount
Address: 2151 Benjamin Franklin Parkway

“Rodin’s Hands”

Dates: Through January 5, 2025

At the Rodin Museum, “Rodin’s Hands” highlights the artist’s mastery in conveying emotion through the sculpting of hands. The exhibition features fifteen bronzes and plasters — many of which are rare or unique to the Philadelphia collection. These join the other masterpieces on view as part of one of the largest Rodin collections outside of Paris.

A bronze sculpture of two human hands is shown in front of a white backdrop.

‘Two Hands,’ modeled 1904 by Auguste Rodin, French, 1840–1917; cast 1925 by the founder Alexis Rudier (French, 1874–1952). Bronze, 18 x 20 7/8 x 12 3/4 inches (45.7 x 53 x 32.4 cm). Bequest of Jules E. Mastbaum, 1929. Image courtesy Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2021. 

There are plenty of attractions and places to explore in Philadelphia. Check out our discover page for more.