When people think of Philadelphia, they usually think of the Art Museum (thanks, Rocky!), the National Constitution Center, and the Mutter Museum. Many do not know just how many museums the city has for learning about its history and much more. The city has more museums than just the most popular museums, and the less-popular museums are just as worthwhile and amazing as the well-known museums. Here are 10 museums in Philadelphia you’ve probably never heard of.
The National Museum of Jewish American History is located at 5th and Market Streets. It tells the history of American Jews, from colonial times to popular topics of conversation that are relevant today. The museum even has an exhibit with artifacts of popular figures, such as Barbara Streisand’s Yentl costume and many more. The museum offers student discounts with a valid ID and prices are lower if purchased online.
The Museum of the American Revolution is located in Old City on 3rd Street and is one of Philly’s newest museums. It tells the story of the American Revolution, from beginning to end, and how it is still relevant today. The museum looks at the war through various perspectives, including Native Americans. One of the most impressive aspects of the museum is Washington’s war tent, which has been preserved through the years. Museum admission is $17 for students with a valid ID. The museums in Philadelphia are very unique, you should really take advantage of them if you have the opportunity.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art may be the most well-known art museum in Philadelphia, but it is certainly not the only one. The Barnes Foundation is located on the Ben Franklin Parkway. It was once located at an arboretum in Merion but moved to its Philadelphia location in 2012. The new location keeps the feel of the original location. College students only pay $5 with a valid ID and the museum is open Wednesday through Monday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The National Liberty Museum, located on Chestnut Street, seeks to tell visitors about the lives and experiences of those whose actions have allowed others a chance to have a life of liberty. The museum focuses on glass art, as liberty is as fragile as glass, but other forms of contemporary art and interactive experiences work together to give visitors a chance to explore themes of leadership and good character. Student admission is $5.
The Fabric Workshop and Museum was founded in 1977 and is located on Arch Street. The mission of the museum is to inspire artists and to share the art-making process with the public. Studios that feature a wide variety of contemporary art forms and the research that goes into it are open for the public to visit to explore how art. This museum is known globally as the only museum of its kind. A $5 donation is suggested for visiting.
While many people know about the Franklin Institute, not many are aware of the Benjamin Franklin Museum. Located on Chestnut Street, the museum details the life of Benjamin Franklin and his character traits. The museum takes approximately one hour to complete and is divided into five rooms, with each room focusing on a particular character trait of Ben Franklin. You can purchase tickets at the door for $5.
The Insectarium and Butterfly Pavilion, located on Frankford Avenue, is open until 5 p.m. every day and contains two floors of exhibits about insects around the world. The butterfly pavilion is open year-round and is home to 2000 tropical and native butterflies. The museum is one of the city’s newest science museums and while it is geared toward kids, there is something for visitors of all ages to enjoy. Student admission to the museum is $9.95. There is such a variety of museums in Philadelphia, you can find something for everyone.
Founded in 1963 by Holmes Perkins, The Institute of Contemporary Art is located on 36th Street at the University of Pennsylvania’s campus. The museum’s goal is to bring attention to the most under-recognized artists. One of ICA’s biggest claims to fame was in 1965 when they hosted Andy Warhol’s first solo show. The museum is free for all to visit, courtesy of Amanda and Glenn Fuhrman, for people to engage with contemporary art.
Founded in 1976 by Richard J. Watson, the African American Museum in Philadelphia is located at the intersection of 7th and Arch Streets. Its goal is to tell the story of African American history, from pre-colonial days to the current day, through history, culture, and art. The museum offers a wide variety of exhibits and events to educate the public on the lives and experiences of African Americans. Student admission is $10 with a valid ID. With all these awesome student discounts, there’s no excuse not to visit these museums in Philadelphia!
10. Mummers Museum
If you live in the Philadelphia area, you know that the Mummer’s Parade is a New Year’s Day tradition. Each year, bands choose a theme and design elaborate shows with music and exuberant costumes and parade in Center City. Opened in 1976, Mummers Museum is located on 2nd Street. The museum seeks to preserve the history of the Mummers through multimedia exhibits. Admission to get into the museum is $5.
Have you ever been to these museums in Philadelphia? Let us know in the comments below!
Featured image source: weheartit.com
Ashley is a recent graduate from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA with her Bachelor's in journalism. She love writing articles about music and Philadelphia. Ashley would love to pursue a career in journalism in New York City.