ARTS & CULTURE


From University City to Old City, there's really too much art, music, and culture to absorb in if you're only in Philadelphia for a few days. Take advantage of this sampling of must-sees to make the most of your time.


Tucked between the Barnes Foundation (1) and the Philadelphia Museum of Art (2), the Rodin Museum (3) chronicles Rodin's entire career as a sculptor. Admission is pay-what-you-wish ($10 suggested donation).

Philly has more murals than any other U.S. city, thanks to the Mural Arts Program. While you're likely to happen upon a few of the 3,500 murals while strolling around town, you can download a self-guided audio tour from the website to maximize your viewing.

You'll probably notice a plethora of mosaic art on the sides of buildings as you explore Philly. Most of these are by local artist Isaiah Zagar, and Philadelphia's Magic Gardens (4) on South Street is his largest, most immersive work of folk art. It has to be seen to be believed!

For a bit of the macabre, browse the unique Mütter Museum (5and its fascinating specimens that range from Albert Einstein's brain to the tallest human skeleton in North America. Then cross the Schuykill for UPenn's Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (6), which features real mummies and a 13-ton Sphinx, circa 1200 B.C. And while you're on Penn's campus, visit the free Institute for Contemporary Art (7) for new and challenging works from some of the world's most exciting contemporary artists.

 

Around the corner from the conference is The Fabric Workshop and Museum (8) where you can find experimental and interactive art installations in a wide range of media.

If you're in town Friday evening, take advantage of First Friday at galleries across town, most of which are in the Old City (9) neighborhood. Galleries serve drinks and light fare, and are worth a visit later in the weekend too.

The Arden Theater (10) in Old City will be presenting "Funnyman"" by award-winning Philadelphia playwright Bruce Graham. The play is about an aging vaudeville actor who, struggling to remain relevant, takes on a role in an avant-garde production.

The Kimmel Center (11) is a short walk down Broad St from the conference, so take a peek inside this breathtaking bit of architecture by Rafael Viñoly and stay for a show. Catch The Philly Pops performing the music of Carole King (Fri-Sun) or the Philadelphia Orchestra performing Beethoven and Brahms (two shows Sat). Check the box office for availability.