Philadelphia Museum of Art Collection

Overview

Artist/maker unknown, Chinese; Horse (made for a tomb)The Philadelphia Museum of Art houses more than 225,000 objects spanning the creative achievements of the Western world since the first century A.D. and those of Asia since the third millennium B.C. Highlights of the Asian collections include paintings and sculpture from China, Japan, and India; furniture and decorative arts; Chinese, Japanese, and Korean ceramics; Persian and Turkish carpets; and architectural assemblages such as a Japanese teahouse, a Chinese palace hall, and a sixteenth-century Indian temple hall. The European collections date from the Medieval era to the present, with a special concentration in the works of Auguste Rodin. In fact, the museum administers the Rodin Museum, which is located across the street from the main building. The museum's holdings of modern and contemporary art include exceptional collections of works by artists such as Pablo Picasso, Marcel Duchamp, Constantin Brancusi, Cy Twombly, Jasper Johns, and Sol Lewitt. Selections from the Philadelphia Museum of Art's collections are represented in ARTstor with more than 3100 images, including a selection of Rodin sculptures.

Selections from the Philadelphia Museum of Art's collections are represented in ARTstor with more than 3100 images, including a selection of Rodin sculptures.


The museum was chartered in 1876, and was originally named the Pennsylvania Museum and School of Industrial Art. It was a legacy of the Centennial Exposition of 1876 held in Fairmount Park, and was modeled after the South Kensington Museum in London (now the Victoria and Albert Museum). The permanent museum was opened in 1877, while the adjunct School of Industrial Art was inaugurated in a separate location on Broad Street. The school would later join with the Philadelphia College of Performing Arts to form The University of the Arts in 1987. As the museum grew, plans for a new Greek-Revival building on Fairmont Park were drawn up by Horace Trumbauer and the architectural firm of Zantzinger, Borie, and Medary. This new building, echoing the design of a Greek temple with wings embracing an open court, was opened to the public in 1928, with the galleries in the upper floor arranged according to historical sequence. Plans are currently underway to expand and renovate this existing structure. Under the direction of Frank Gehry, the museum aims to enhance and modernize its current space while maintaining its Neo-Classical exterior. In addition, additional galleries, study centers, and a library are being built on a separate site, the Perelman Building, located across from the main museum. Designed by the same architectural team as the main building, the Perelman Building features a distinctive Art Deco polychrome façade.

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Collection information

Total size of collection* 5,046
Percentage of completion 62%
Search terms philamuseum
Collection URL http://library.artstor.org/library/collection/philadelphia

* Image totals should be regarded as an approximation until a given collection is 100% complete. Users should also bear in mind that the number of images available to them may vary from country to country, reflecting ARTstor’s approach to addressing an international copyright landscape that itself varies from country to country.

Last updated: May 19, 2008

Image Credits

Artist/maker unknown, Chinese; Horse (made for a tomb); Philadelphia Museum of Art

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