I love this little museum specializing in Philadelphia area artists. It’s small, but has some great spaces:
*Three rooms have been restored to their Victorian glory, including one with a display of reproduction electric lights. It’s always cool to see art hanging as it was originally intended – in this case, big, beautiful canvasses in ornate frames against Victorian decoration.
Most of the art is in galleries with rotating exhibits, but the exhibits always focus on art from artists connected to Philadelphia or artwork about Philadelphia. They have several pieces by my favorite Philadelphia artist, the impressionist Walter Schofield. His work isn’t on permanent display, but they include it regularly in their shows (the Philadelphia Museum of art also has several of his paintings):
One permanent display is the gallery of art by Violet Oakley, the first women to receive the Gold Medal of honor from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. The c. 1911 murals on display are from the entrance hall and music room of a demolished Philadelphia mansion.
This museum is very accessible and fun for kids. They often have kid-friendly exhibits and classes, plus an outdoor hay bale maze in the fall.
Watercolors from a 2018 exhibit:
Kids and students are always free. Adults are $10 (free for everyone on Sundays).
Another plus for visiting with kids: the museum is only 1/2 mile (drive – the road is not walker-friendly) to Wissahickon Creek. There are 2 parking areas on Bell’s Mill Road, where you can access trails along the creek – either on the wide gravel Forbidden drive trail or the rougher dirt path (https://secretsofphiladelphia.com/2018/10/29/garnet-collecting-along-the-wissahickon-creek/).
Tobey says: If I have to get dragged to a museum, this is a fun one.
Location: Chestnut Hill. Near Morris Arboretum and Germantown.