It is perhaps no surprise that American art begins with the founding of the American republic and in the fertile intellectual hubbub of Philadelphia. Led by such visionaries as Gilbert Stuart and Charles Willson Peale, Philadelphia became a locus for American aesthetic explorations for nearly a century.
This three-hour walking seminar led by a scholar in American art takes you to Pennsylvania Hospital, Second Bank Portrait Gallery and Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. On your journey you will discover the important artists of the early 19th century and the institutions they founded in Philadelphia, painting a portrait, so to speak, of American art at its beginnings.
This small group tour has a maximum of six participants so you will have plenty of chance to interact with your expert guide.
Thursdays and Saturdays
You will meet your guide at 801 South 8th Street, just in front of the the Garfield Duncan Building of the Pennsylvania Hospital.
Please reach the meeting point 15 minutes earlier.
Vicinity of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.
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
Please call the activity operator at least 24 hours prior to start of the tour for reconfirming departure details.
Entry to Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (Approx US$ 15)
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