To join the American Art in Philadelphia Tour, make your way to
Pennsylvania Hospital's Medical Practices Building, which is located on 8th Street between Pine and Spruce Streets.Your guide will be waiting in the arch of the side entrance to the Building, just across from where Delancey Street deadends into 8th Street.
This fascinating tour led by our experienced tour guide explores Philadelphia’s contribution to American art. The discussion begins in the shadow of Independence Hall where Charles Willson Peale, a friend of Thomas Jefferson and the portraitist of George Washington, lived for a time and used the structure to display his growing collection of art and natural specimens.
You will look at Peale's museum (generally held to be the first modern museum) in the context of the Enlightenment, and then consider his work as an artist and portrait painter. At the Second Bank Portrait Gallery your guide will talk about early American portraiture and such figures as Stuart, Copely, and West. You will find out how the institutionalization of “American Fine Art” took shape in the cultural and artistic hub of the young nation, and see art-creation and art-viewing within a larger context of Trans-Atlantic influences, philosophical inquiry, and evolving civic and national identities.
Your walk will then take you to the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the United States' first successful art academy. Here you will encounter Peale's seminal "The Artist in His Museum," along with works by West, Stuart, Krimmel, Raphaelle Peale, and other Pennsylvania artists in the Academy's fine standing collection of American art. We'll look at the role of the Academy and various art movements and communities in the region through the early 20th century up to today.
The tour ends in the vicinity of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts