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List of museums in Philadelphia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This list of museums in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, encompasses museums defined for this context as institutions (including nonprofit organizations, government entities, and private businesses) that collect and care for objects of cultural, artistic, scientific, or historical interest and make their collections or related exhibits available for public viewing. Also included are university and non-profit art galleries. Museums that exist only in cyberspace (i.e., virtual museums) are not included.

To use the sortable table, click on the icons at the top of each column to sort that column in alphabetical order; click again for reverse alphabetical order.

Current museums[edit]

Name Neighborhood Type Summary
Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University Center City Natural history Nature dioramas, large mineral crystals, dinosaurs, live animals
ACES Museum Germantown Military Honors the black and minority veterans of World War II[1][2]
African American Museum in Philadelphia Center City Ethnic Formerly known as Afro-American Historical and Cultural Museum
American Philosophical Society Museum Center City Multiple Changing exhibits on history, science and art drawn from its collections
American Swedish Historical Museum South Philadelphia Ethnic - Swedish American Focuses on Swedish contributions to history, art, architecture, music, science and technology
Arthur Ross Gallery West Philadelphia Art Gallery of the University of Pennsylvania
Athenaeum of Philadelphia Center City Art Museum of American fine and decorative arts, exhibits about architecture and design history
Barnes Foundation Center City Art Post-Impressionist and early Modern paintings, American masters, Old Master paintings, African sculpture, Native American ceramics, jewelry and textiles, American paintings and decorative arts and antiquities from the Mediterranean region and Asia
Bartram's Garden Southwest Philadelphia Historic house Botanical garden with a historic house to tour
Belmont Mansion West Philadelphia History Historic mansion with Underground Railroad museum in Fairmount Park
Betsy Ross House Center City Historic house Possible home of Betsy Ross, who sewed flags for the U.S. Navy and may have sewn the first American flag.
Bishop White House Center City Historic house Part of Independence National Historical Park, late-18th-century-period house
Carpenters' Hall Center City History Part of Independence National Historical Park, colonial history of the carpenter's guild
Cedar Grove Mansion West Philadelphia Historic house 18th-century stone house reflection five generations of owners
Center for Art in Wood Center City Art International arts institution, gallery and resource center for design of art in wood
Civil War Museum of Philadelphia Philadelphia Civil War Temporarily closed 2008, seeking new location; collection stored at the Gettysburg Museum and Visitor Center, National Museum of American Jewish History and the African American Museum in Philadelphia[3]
Cliveden Germantown Historic house Operated by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, mid 18th-century mansion that was the scene of some of the bloodiest fighting of the 1777 Battle of Germantown during the American Revolutionary War
Colored Girls Museum Germantown Ethnic - African American A "memoir museum" devoted to the stories, experiences, and history of ordinary Black women and girls
Concord School House Germantown Education 18th-century one-room schoolhouse
Congress Hall Center City History Part of Independence National Historical Park, restored to period when the building served as the meeting place of the U. S. Congress from 1790 - 1800
Declaration House Center City Historic house website, part of Independence National Historical Park, 18th-century house where Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence
Dolley Todd House Center City Historic house Part of Independence National Historical Park, 18th-century-period home of Dolley Todd Madison
Drexel University Collection West Philadelphia Art website, painting, sculpture, decorative arts and porcelain, exhibited in the AJ Drexel Picture Gallery, Rincliff Gallery, Peck Gallery
Eastern State Penitentiary Lower North Philadelphia Prison Tours and exhibits about the 19th century prison that was in use until 1971
Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion Germantown Historic house Victorian mansion and garden
Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site Lower North Philadelphia Historic house Home once rented by author Edgar Allan Poe, exhibits about his life and works
Elfreth's Alley Museum Center City Historic house Only house on Elfreth's Alley that is accessible to the public
The Fabric Workshop and Museum Center City Art Devoted to creating new work in new materials and new media
Fairmount Water Works Lower North Philadelphia Natural history Interpretive center houses interactive exhibits about water and the water works
Firemen's Hall Museum Center City Firefighting website, history and heroic moments of Philadelphia firefighting
Fort Mifflin Southwest Philadelphia Military Centerpiece of the British conquest of Philadelphia during the American Revolution, 18th- and 19th-century buildings
Founder's Hall Lower North Philadelphia Decorative arts Part of Girard College, collection of furniture, silver, paintings, ceramics, textiles and archives of Stephen Girard, and school memorabilia
Franklin Court Center City History Part of Independence National Historical Park, site of Ben Franklin's house, features Benjamin Franklin Museum, an 18th-century printing office, an architectural/archeological exhibit, an operating post office and a postal museum
Franklin Institute Center City Science Many hands-on exhibits, also Ben Franklin's inventions
Galleries at Moore College Center City Art Part of Moore College of Art and Design
Germantown Historical Society Museum Germantown Local history website, furniture, decorative and historical exhibits, located in the John Fromberger House
Germantown White House Germantown Historic house Owned by the National Park Service, formerly the Deshler-Morris House, 18th-century house that sheltered George Washington and his family
Glen Foerd on the Delaware Northeast Philadelphia Historic site Philadelphia's only remaining Delaware riverfront estate open to the public, listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the Historic American Landscape Survey
Grand Army of the Republic Civil War Museum and Library Northeast Philadelphia Military Located in the John Ruan House, features Civil War and Grand Army of the Republic artifacts, books, and memorabilia
Grumblethorpe Germantown Historic house Mid-18th-century house
Hill-Keith-Physick House Center City Historic house Operated by the Philadelphia Society for the Preservation of Landmarks, 19th-century home of surgical pioneer Dr. Philip Syng Physick
Historical Society of Frankford Northeast Philadelphia Local history History of Northeast Philadelphia
Historical Society of Pennsylvania Center City History Changing exhibits of the history of Pennsylvania and the founding of the United States
Independence Hall Center City History Part of Independence National Historical Park, location where both the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution were debated and adopted
Independence National Historical Park Center City History Includes Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, Carpenters' Hall, Visitor Center and National Constitution Center
Independence Seaport Museum Center City Maritime Maritime artifacts, ship models, permanent and interactive exhibits, including the warship USS Olympia (C-6) and the submarine USS Becuna (SS-319)
Insectarium Northeast Philadelphia Natural history Thousands of live and mounted insects, interactive displays
Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia West Philadelphia Art Part of the University of Pennsylvania
John Johnson House Germantown Historic house Significant for its role in the antislavery movement and the Underground Railroad
La Salle University Art Museum Germantown Art Collections include European and American art from the Renaissance to the present
Laurel Hill Mansion North Philadelphia Historic house website, 18th-century Georgian house
Lemon Hill Mansion Lower North Philadelphia Historic house Located in Fairmount Park, operated by the Pennsylvania chapter of the Colonial Dames of America and the Friends of Lemon Hill, early-19th-century house
Leonard Pearlstein Gallery West Philadelphia Art website, part of Drexel University's Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts and Design, exhibits novel and experimental art in all contemporary mediums including digital, video, sculpture, photography, graphics, and fashion design
Liberty Bell Center Center City History Part of Independence National Historical Park, includes the Liberty Bell and exhibits about its history and role as an international icon of freedom
Library Company of Philadelphia Center City Library Changing exhibits from its collections of American history and culture from the 17th through the 19th centuries
Living Loft Puppet Museum West Philadelphia Puppet Creations of the Spiral Q Puppet Theater, open by appointment
Mario Lanza Museum South Philadelphia Biographical website, memorabilia from the career of the legendary tenor Mario Lanza
Marian Anderson Museum and Birthplace South Philadelphia Biographical Two sites operated by the Marion Anderson Historical Society
Masonic Library and Museum of Pennsylvania Center City Masonic Center of Freemasonry in Pennsylvania
Mount Pleasant Lower North Philadelphia Historic house Colonial era mansion
Mummers Museum South Philadelphia Art website, costumes from the Mummers Parade
Museum of the American Revolution Center City History History of the American Revolution
Mütter Museum Center City Medical Collection of medical oddities, anatomical and pathological specimens, wax models, and antique medical equipment
National Constitution Center Center City History History and relevance of the United States Constitution
National Liberty Museum Center City History Eight galleries focus on heroism, freedom, diversity, faith and more; includes over 100 works in glass illustrating the beauty and fragility of freedom
National Shrine of Saint John Neumann North Philadelphia Religious Shrine with museum about John Neumann
New Hall Military Museum Center City Military website, part of Independence National Historical Park, exhibits about the founding of the United States Marine Corps and the Army and Navy Departments
Old City Hall Center City History Part of Independence National Historical Park, site of the first U.S. Supreme Court
Painted Bride Art Center Center City Art Non-profit artist-centered performance space and gallery particularly oriented to presenting the work of local Philadelphia artists
Paul Robeson House West Philadelphia African American Legacy of Paul Robeson, community art exhibits
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Center City Art Oldest art museum and school in the nation, 19th- and 20th-century American paintings, sculptures, and works on paper
Philadelphia Art Alliance Center City Art Institution hosts art exhibits, theater and music workshops, poetry readings, lectures, concerts and recitals
Philadelphia Doll Museum Lower North Philadelphia Toy African, Europeans American Folk Art dolls, the renowned Roberta Bell Doll Collection, American and internationally manufactured dolls and more; emphasis on black dolls
Philadelphia History Museum Center City Local history History museum for the City of Philadelphia (currently closed, future unknown)[4]
Philadelphia Museum of Art Lower North Philadelphia Art European, Asian and American fine art, furniture and decorative arts, arms & armor, period rooms
Philadelphia Museum of Jewish Art Lower North Philadelphia Art Part of Congregation Rodeph Shalom, exhibits contemporary art that illuminates the Jewish experience
Philadelphia's Magic Gardens South Philadelphia Art Mosaic-covered gardens, building and art gallery
Please Touch Museum West Philadelphia Children's Interactive museum to promote learning in children
Polish American Cultural Center Museum Center City Ethnic - Polish website
Powel House Center City Historic house Operated by the Philadelphia Society for the Preservation of Landmarks, 18th-century Georgian townhouse mansion
The Print Center Center City Art website, contemporary printmaking and photography
RittenhouseTown Germantown Historic village 18th and 19th century houses. Site of British North America's first paper mill and birthplace of David Rittenhouse
Rodin Museum Center City Art Largest collection of sculptor Auguste Rodin's works outside Paris
Romanian Folk Art Museum Center City Ethnic - Romania website, Romanian costumes, rugs, pottery, furniture and a full Transylvanian interior
Rosenbach Museum & Library Center City Art, Library Rare miniature portraits, 18th- and 19th-century British and American furniture and decorative art, rare books, manuscripts and illustrations, collection of works by Maurice Sendak
Ryerss Museum and Library Northeast Philadelphia Historic house Mansion with Asian and European decorative arts, located in Burholme Park
Samuel S. Fleisher Art Memorial South Philadelphia Art Community art centre, contains art by Violet Oakley, tiles by Henry Chapman Mercer, 18th-century Portuguese art, primitive European art, religious art from the original church
Science History Institute (formerly the Chemical Heritage Foundation) Center City Science History of science, particularly chemistry, and the role science plays in the modern world
Second Bank of the United States Center City Art Part of Independence National Historical Park, art gallery exhibits of Colonial and Federal leaders, military officers, explorers and scientists, including many by Charles Willson Peale
Shofuso Japanese House and Garden West Philadelphia Historic house Part of Fairmount Park, traditional 17th-century–style Japanese house and garden
Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum Southwest Philadelphia Automotive Collection of over 65 historically significant racing sports cars
Stenton North Philadelphia Historic house Early American Georgian architecture, operated by The National Society of the Colonial Dames of America
Strawberry Mansion North Philadelphia Historic house late 18th-century house located in Fairmount Park
Tall Ship Gazela & Tug Jupiter Center City Maritime 1883 tall sailing ship Gazela, the 1902 iron tugboat Jupiter and lighter barge Poplar open for tours
Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine Shoe Museum Lower North Philadelphia Clothing Open by appointment, part of Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine[5]
Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial Center City Historic house Historic house where wounded Polish freedom fighter Thaddeus Kosciuszko lived
Tyler School of Art Lower North Philadelphia Art Features Temple Contemporary gallery
University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology West Philadelphia Archaeology, Anthropology Artifacts from Egypt, China, Mesopotamia, Greco-Roman antiquities, Buddhist art, African art, and Mayan and other Pre-Columbian artifacts
Upsala Germantown Historic house Late 18th century house
Wagner Free Institute of Science Lower North Philadelphia Natural history Victorian cases and hand-labeled natural history specimens arranged in the 1880s
Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History Center City Jewish Story of Jews in America
Wells Fargo History Museum Center City History Include a stagecoach, telegraph equipment, historic clothing and currency
Woodford North Philadelphia Historic house Part of Fairmount Park, houses collection of antique household goods, including Colonial furniture, unusual clocks and English delftware
Woodmere Art Museum Northwest Philadelphia Art Paintings, prints, sculpture and photographs focusing on artists from the Delaware Valley
Wyck House Germantown Historic house Oldest house in Germantown

Defunct museums[edit]


  1. ^ "ACES Museum". Historic Germantown. Retrieved 5 January 2015.
  2. ^ "Facebook site". ACES Museum. Retrieved 5 January 2015.
  3. ^ Civil War Museum of Philadelphia; The Museum's Collection
  4. ^ Crimmins, Peter (28 June 2018). "Philadelphia History Museum shuts its doors indefinitely". WHYY. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  5. ^ "TUSPM Shoe Museum". Temple University. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  6. ^ Joe Clark (July 14, 1997). "Americana Starts Here Love Of Rockwell Led To Amassing Museum Treasures". Philly Magazine. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  7. ^ "Cover Story -- Norman Rockwell's America". Atwater Kent Museum. Archived from the original on 6 January 2015. Retrieved 6 January 2015. On Wednesday, June 16, 1999 Atwater Kent Museum, Philadelphia's history museum, opened Cover Story-Norman Rockwell's America, a major exhibit of all 321 covers that Rockwell created for The Saturday Evening Post from 1916 through 1963. In addition, through September, an original painting, The Ouija Board, Rockwell's illustration for the May 1st, 1920, Post cover, will also be on view. This painting is on loan from Dr. Don and Phyllis Stoltz, who, along with Marshall Stoltz, were curators of the former Curtis Center Museum of Norman Rockwell Art that closed in 1997. The Stoltzes donated that Museum's collection of Post covers to the Atwater Kent.
  8. ^ Diethorn, Karie. "Peale's Philadelphia Museum". Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia. Retrieved 27 April 2024.
  9. ^ Emily Babay (October 19, 2015). "The mansions of Fairmount Park: Historic houses have rich pasts and new uses". philly.com. Philadelphia Media Network (Digital), LLC. Archived from the original on November 7, 2017. Retrieved December 3, 2017.
  10. ^ "Neon Museum of Philadelphia closes for good this weekend". www.cbsnews.com. Retrieved 2023-01-08.