Major upcoming exhibitions will enhance the experience for gallery-going groups at Philadelphia museums.
Whether it’s a day trip or an extended visit to the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia museums are a must. Our founding fathers would have appreciated a break from their challenging task to visit one of these gems.
The Franklin Institute
Appropriate for all ages, the 12 galleries of this dynamic science museum, an august institution at the forefront of national science museums, is filled with interactive displays. New and special exhibits are introduced each year.
Through Sept. 6, 2015 The Art of the Brick displays the interaction of art and science through LEGO® masterpieces. From May 9, 2015 to January 3, 2016 Genghis Khan will be attacking The Franklin. A significant exhibit, Vatican Splendors, is slated from Sept. 19, 2015, to Feb. 14, 2016. It will be on display during the World Meeting of Families and Pope Francis’s visit to Philadelphia.
Enhancing the visitor experience are the Fels Planetarium, IMAX® Theater and Franklin 3D Theater. Programs for adult groups and student field trips are detailed online, including group-dining options. Due to the demand for special exhibitions, tickets guaranteeing a particular date and time should be purchased far in advance.
Philadelphia Museum of Art
The Philadelphia Museum of Art houses one of the largest collections of art and architecture from the United States, Asia, Europe and Latin America. More than 227,000 pieces are part of the museum’s collection.
Recently, the museum acquired paintings by Cezanne, Manet, Pissarro, Morisot and Duchamp and the Sachs Collection of Contemporary Art. The one-acre Anne d’Harnoncourt Sculpture Garden extends the museum’s significant galleries to the outdoors.
Opening June 14 and continuing through Sept. 13, 2015 will be the exhibition Discovering the Impressionists: Paul Durand-Ruel and the New Painting. Scheduled from Sept. 12 through Dec. 6, 2015 is The Wrath of the Gods: Masterpieces by Michelangelo, Titan, and Rubens. The exhibition Audubon to Warhol: The Art of American Still Life is set for Oct. 27, 2015-Jan. 10, 2016. In summer 2016 the museum will present a significant exhibition devoted to the Sachs Collection.
Group rates are based on a minimum of 15 with additional costs for guided tours, audio tours and special exhibitions. School groups are encouraged and teacher resources are available. Sample menus are available for the museum’s restaurant Granite Hill. Casual dining is available at Gallery Cafe at Perelman and The Cafeteria.
Administered by the Philadelphia Museum of Art since opening in 1929, the Rodin Museum, set along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in an iconic Beaux Arts-style building, offers a unique setting for experiencing the sculpture of Auguste Rodin. It houses the largest collection of Rodin’s work outside Paris.
The group admission fee includes a recorded audio tour. Guided tours are a few dollars more. A variety of subjects are connected to Rodin sculpture and teacher resources are available for K-12.
National Museum of American Jewish History
The National Museum of American Jewish History, a Smithsonian affiliate, is dedicated to preserving and sharing the 360-year American Jewish experience. The Core Exhibition is a story told on three-and-a-half floors of the museum.
From the social and religious to the political and economic, Jewish life is shared through more than 30,000 artifacts, covering art, charity, childhood, immigration, civic service, religion, sports and work.
On display now is the exhibition Richard Avedon: Family Affairs from the Collection of the Israel Museum, Jerusalem. This exhibit of striking photography will remain until Aug. 2, 2015. Lyle, Lyle Crocodile and Friends: The Art of Bernard Waber arrives in late August and runs into October 2015. In spring 2016, Designing Home: Jews and Midcentury Modernism explores Jewish designers and architects and their contributions to the American landscape.
Groups of 15 or more receive group pricing with advance booking. Kosher box lunches for groups require at least a two-week notice.
Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University
The New World’s oldest natural science museum is the world’s leader in freshwater science and biodiversity research. More than research, the Academy is dedicated to education and public engagement in the environment. Signature exhibits include Butterflies!, which is set in a lush tropical garden with live butterflies from Central and South America, East Africa and Southeast Asia. Hands-on activities are part of Outside In and The Big Dig. The Dinosaur Hall, 35 dioramas, What Eats What and Marveling at Mollusks should all be enjoyed.
The exhibition Animal Grossology, based on Sylvia Branzei’s children’s book series, will be at the Academy May 16-Aug. 30, 2015. Cleary Beautiful: Photographs by Adam Summers arrives June 6 and continues to Oct. 4, 2015. Reptiles: The Beautiful and the Deadly begins Sept. 26 and continues through Jan. 10, 2016.
For adults, the Academy welcomes groups of 10+ and offers extended group packages, library tours and behind-the-scenes guided tours. For students, there is a Field Trip Planner with both self-guided visits and a variety of enhanced museum experiences. All levels of Scouting will find the Academy full of activities just for them.
The list of upcoming exhibitions at other Philadelphia’s museums is considerable. The Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia will be featuring The Dream of Wonderland Alice Turns 150 and Alice in Philly-Land: The True-Life Adventures of A.S.W. Rosenbach, Alice Liddell Hargraves, and the Manuscript that Made Them Famous from Oct. 10, 2105 through March 27, 2016. From Oct. 14, 2015 to May 15, 2016, the Rosenbach will exhibit Why Is a Raven Like a Writing Desk? Lewis Carroll’s Riddles, Puzzles, and Games. Guided group tours of the historic Rosenbach home are available.
The Barnes Foundation also has an impressive list of upcoming exhibitions. May 16-Aug. 3, 2015 brings Mark Dion, Judy Pfaff, Fred Wilson: The Order of Things, a presentation of large-scale things. Wrought Iron from the Musee Le Secq Tournelles, Rouen collection will arrive Sept. 19 and continue to Jan. 4, 2016. Accompanying the exhibit will be Ellen Harvey: Metal Painting. Premiering at the Barnes in February 2016 will be Picasso and the Great War. The exhibition continues into May.
Find the Philadelphia museum that’s just right for your group at visitphilly.com/museums-attractions/philadelphia-museums. An experience like no other is awaiting you.