PHILADELPHIA, May 15, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- When the Barnes Foundation opens to the public on Saturday, May 19, 2012 (after the collection's relocation from nearby Merion, Pennsylvania), the already-compelling cultural district along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia will become the focus of the art world, and a new interactive website, visitphilly.com/withart, is launching on May 15 to help visitors curate their own plentiful art experiences.
To tell the whole story of the parkway and the city, a growing list of organizations have partnered for the city's first-ever coordinated and sustained visual arts marketing campaign called With Art Philadelphia™. Led by the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation and the City of Philadelphia, the $2 million (to date), two-year, campaign aims to position Philadelphia among the world's great art destinations, draw more and new audiences and generate overnight stays from visitors worldwide.
Here's a look at the famous collections that await visitors to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, along with some 2012 highlights:
On The Parkway (in geographical order):
- One of the city's most recognized buildings, the neoclassical Philadelphia Museum of Art is the third-largest art museum in the country and houses Renaissance, American, Impressionist and Modern artworks. Just behind the Art Museum is a one-acre garden that houses an ever-changing selection of sculpture. In celebration of the Barnes' arrival to the parkway, the Art Museum will display Gauguin, Cezanne, Matisse: Visions of Arcadia, June 20-September 3. 26th Street & Benjamin Franklin Parkway, (215) 763-8100, philamuseum.org
- The Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building, the Art Museum's first major annex, sits across the parkway in a renovated Art Deco building that expands the museum's gallery space, particularly for textiles. Fairmount & Pennsylvania Avenues, (215) 763-8100, philamuseum.org
- In July of 2011, the Rodin Museum unveiled its redesigned outdoor sculpture garden, and in July 2012, museum officials will open the doors to a fully renovated interior. The museum holds the most extensive public collection of Auguste Rodin's works outside Paris, including The Thinker and a bronze cast of The Gates of Hell. 22nd Street & Benjamin Franklin Parkway, (215) 763-8100, rodinmuseum.org
- To house the late Albert Barnes' treasured art holdings, architects have designed a building that duplicates Barnes' original gallery layout, while adding classrooms and an interior garden space. The new Barnes Foundation allows the world's largest collections of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist and early Modern paintings and African sculpture to be viewed as intended. The gallery space is part of a 93,000-square-foot building, which also includes a changing exhibition gallery, conservation lab, auditorium, library, cafe and gift shop. Reservations are highly suggested. 20th Street & Benjamin Franklin Parkway, (866) 849-7056, barnesfoundation.org
- The Fels Planetarium, the Tuttleman IMAX Theater and the Joel N. Bloom Observatory join with flight simulators, a sky bike and the iconic Giant Heart to make The Franklin Institute Science Museum a fun favorite for all ages. From May 12-October 14, The Franklin will host Dead Sea Scrolls: Life and Faith in Biblical Times. 222 N. 20th Street, (215) 448-1200, fi.edu
- Founded in 1848, Moore College of Art & Design continues its mission to train aspiring female artists. The Galleries at Moore explore the work of established and emerging artists. 20th Street & Benjamin Franklin Parkway, (215) 965-4000, moore.edu
- Celebrating its 200th birthday in 2012, The Academy of Natural Sciences houses Dinosaur Hall and a live tropical butterfly garden and hosts live science shows and demos. 19th Street & Benjamin Franklin Parkway, (215) 299-1000, ansp.org
- The Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul now has a front yard worthy of its grandiosity. Opened in May, Sister Cities Park boasts a contemporary, eco-forward pavilion that houses a cafe and a visitor center. The pavilion is surrounded by an outdoor children's garden, a boat pond and a fountain that pays tribute to Philadelphia's 10 sister cities. 18th Street & Benjamin Franklin Parkway, centercityphila.org/life/sister_cities.php
Near The Parkway:
- Best known for its 19th- and 20th-century American paintings, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) is also a national leader in fine arts education. Heralded by a 51-foot paintbrush sculpture by Claes Oldenburg, Lenfest Plaza connects the historic building (a fine example of Victorian Gothic architecture) to the newer Samuel M. V. Hamilton Building. PAFA is marking the opening of the Barnes Foundation with PAFA and Dr. Barnes, featuring pieces from the permanent collection that relate to Barnes's tastes and philosophy, as well as works by his friends, through July 8. 118-128 N. Broad Street, (215) 972-7600, pafa.org
- Started in 1871, City Hall is the world's largest masonry structure, and it stands among the nation's finest examples of French Second-Empire architecture. At the top of the 510-foot tower, a 37-foot statue of William Penn casts its gaze across the region. Tours available. Broad & Market Streets, (215) 686-2840, phila.gov/virtualch
The With Art Philadelphia™ collaborative is a first-of-its-kind partnership to position Philadelphia among the world's great art destinations and to increase visitation to the region from around the world. The groups contributing financial and other resources to the campaign are: the City of Philadelphia, Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation, Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Penn Museum (University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology), Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, Philadelphia International Airport, Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau, Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, The Lenfest Foundation, William Penn Foundation, Knight Foundation, PNC and PECO.
For more information about travel to Philadelphia, visit visitphilly.com or uwishunu.com, where you can build itineraries; search event calendars; see photos and videos; view interactive maps; sign up for newsletters; listen to HearPhilly, an online radio station about what to see and do in the region; book hotel reservations and more. Or, call the Independence Visitor Center, located in Historic Philadelphia, at (800) 537-7676.
NOTE TO EDITORS: For more information about With Art Philadelphia and high-resolution photos of the Philadelphia art scene and the region, visit visitphilly.com/withartpress.
SOURCE Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation