Philadelphia Museum of Art

More Tours at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

One of the great benefits of being an intern at the Philadelphia Museum of Art is going on exclusive tours with department curators. Pictured above are photos from three different tours in which I recently took part: one in the Indian and Himalayan galleries, one in the European Painting Before 1900 galleries and another in the American Art Galleries. All three curators (Darielle Mason, Joseph J. Rishel and Alexandra Kirtley) gave some fascinating information about the collection they handle on a day-to-day basis. For instance, Ms. Kirtley's fun fact was that the claw and ball foot often associated with Chippendale furniture was, in fact, never sold by Thomas Chippendale. the claw and ball foot was never published in the company's catalogs, therefore not offered to their customers (Of course coming from me this doesn't sound too exciting, but these people, especially Alexandra Kirtley, get you just as, if not more excited than they are about the museum's collection). The great thing about going on tours guided by curators is experiencing their contagious compassion for art.

I highly recommend going on a tour at the PMA. Click here for tour details.

Philly's 4th of July Frenzy

Every year Philadelphia makes the most of Independence Day, scheduling all sorts of free and ticketed events throughout the city to celebrate. As a newbie to the whole situation, I found almost everything delightful! I attended the parade from 11:00 AM to about 1:00 PM and saw hundreds of people doing the same. The participants and the audience were all just as excited as me to be in the streets of Philadelphia. Immediately after the parade, I went to "Party on the Parkway," which had lovely young women and men doing great dance routines on stage, tons of food vendors, Wawa giveaway tents (they gave away a great iced tea lemonade drink), and some commercial spaces as well. Next on the schedule was a free concert with performers such as Kevin Hart, J. Cole, and Ne-yo. Conceptually this was a great event, but the amount of people that showed up made it unenjoyable with no room to breath, and (with my height) no view of the stage or anyone on it. The performers were also very hard to hear if you were outside concert seating. If you are thinking about coming to Philadelphia for next year's events please do spend the money to get a seat for the concert(s); they will be much more enjoyable that way. Finally, I made it to the fireworks (which, may I say, were the highlight of the evening!) Growing up in a small town didn't allow for many awe-inspiring shows, but let me tell you, Philly's fireworks are the best I've seen yet. Anyway, what I believe made July 4th even better was the diversity of event attendees; people of all ages, colors, and cultures were celebrating together as a family. Philly's truly the city of brotherly (and sisterly) love!

Tour of the PMA's Perelman Building

A week or so ago I had the opportunity to take part in yet another tour, this time focused on architecture rather than an exhibition. Wonderful women by the name of Connie Ragsdale and Linda Field gave all of the interns including myself a fantastic introduction to the the Perelman building's history. The Perelman Building, a recent addition to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, has a rich history as the ex-home of Fidelity Mutual Life Insurance Company, one of the largest Philadelphian insurance companies of its time. The building just so happens to be made of the same stone (Minnesota dolomite) as the PMA's main building and were both built around the same time (the 1920's). The Perelman building with its Art Deco facades beautifully contrasts the main building which is Greek revival. I guess opposites attract; These buildings are totally soul mates! As pictured in this post, both the outside and inside of the building includes intricate details carved in the stone, cast in doors, and placed on the lobby's ceiling; Each figure or shape intentionally symbolizes a variety of ideas regarding family and the need to protect the ones you love. A multitude of cultures and stories are represented on the side of the building just above the grand windows looking into the Perelman's special exhibition galleries.

The original building included only the section which is pictured above, creating a long, thin "U" shape.

"In October 2004, following a groundbreaking celebration for its donors, the major construction began in earnest and the original building was expanded by a 59,000-square-foot addition."[1]

Once the project began, the back of the beautiful lobby was opened up to accommodate galleries and a cafe (with great food I might add!). The interesting thing about this expansion is that the lobby is the only point in which the new addition meets the the old building even if it does come really close in other sections (I have a great picture showing the closes the two buildings meet outside the lobby connection). Needless to say the new addition compliments the old and now allows the Philadelphia Museum of Art to become part of the history of this grand building.

[1]"A Museum Milestone- A Gateway to the Future," Accessed 7/2/13,

Happy Belated Birthday to Ellsworth Kelly!

Ellsworth Kelly Sculpture

To celebrate for Ellsworth Kelly's 90th Birthday (May 31st, 2013) and his artistic genius, I visited two institutions in Philadelphia who are exhibiting his work. The Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Barnes Foundation both have exhibitions highlighting two contrasting sectors of the artist's work. The Barnes' show, "Ellsworth Kelly: Sculpture on the Wall" (open until September 2nd, 2013), really appeals me due to the each sculpture's monumental size and brilliant color. Moreover, the PMA has a tasteful exhibition, "Homage to Ellsworth Kelly" (open until August 25th,2013), which primarily highlights four of Kelly's paintings: Red Yellow Blue White (1952), Diagonal with Curve III(1978), Black Red-Orange (1966), and Yellow Relief with White (1990).


Photograuve & Starting From Scratch

The Prints, Drawings, and Photography department at the Philadelphia Museum of Art currently has two exhibitions on view: "Photograuve: Master Prints from the Collection" and "Starting From Scratch: Etching From Durer to Dine" both open until August 11, 2013. As one of the 2013 summer interns, I had the opportunity to take part in a great curatorial tour of each exhibition. Peter Barberie, the Brodsky Curator of Photographs (Alfred Stieglitz Center) curated "Photogravure: Master Prints from the Collection" and James R. Wehn, Margaret R. Mainwaring Curatorial Fellow of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs, co-curated "Starting from Scratch: The Art of Etching from Dürer to Dine" with Shelley R. Langdale, Associate Curator of Prints and Drawings. These two exhibitions give their audiences a well-rounded understanding of each medium throughout history.

Officially an Intern!


2013-06-11 13.37.26 After lots of hard work and dedication, I was finally accepted into the Philadelphia Museum of Art's Museum Studies Internship Program. I am stoked!  The entire summer I get to work with world renown art professionals while also learning the ins and outs of a large institution. I am interning in the PMA's registrar's office, which manages the museums collection along with incoming loans. Working with art....YAY! I had a week or two to adjust to the program (my first day was June 10th, 2013) before I began this series. Since I haven't posted for quite sometime, I figured this is a great time to come back into the blog-sphere!  The series will record my professional development, give all my readers a behind the scenes look at the PMA's internship program, and show some of the fun art and/or museum related events I attend throughout the summer so keep your eyes and ears peeled for my upcoming posts. :)