Take your pick of several legendary art museums in Philadelphia. In addition to stunning permanent collections and installations, there are plenty of special exhibitions showing this summer. Here’s your guide to visiting the best art exhibitions this season.
The top top art exhibitions to see this summer season in Philly
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Explore art through different mediums by iconic impressionists Claude Monet, Vincent Van Gogh and Mary Cassatt in the The Impressionist’s Eye. This special exhibition at Philadelphia’s largest art museum has a wide range of works from popular and lesser known impressionists, including sculptures and works on paper, as well as paintings celebrated for how they capture light, color and expression. The exhibition casts a new light on many works from the Museum’s renowned permanent collection, and focuses on themes shared by the artists. The exhibition runs through Aug. 18.
2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkway, philamuseum.org
The Barnes Foundation is opening its first video art exhibition this summer. I Do Not Know What It Is I Am Like: The Art of Bill Viola will showcase pieces from the video artist, whose work captures death, spirituality and other essential human experiences. Viola is a celebrated video artist who started working with the medium in the 1970s. The exhibition is named after one of his longer films that shed light on the quest for self-knowledge and fulfillment. The exhibition includes several film screening dates and additional special events to make this experience even more interactive for film lovers. The exhibition opens on June 30.
2025 Benjamin Franklin Pkway, barnesfoundation.org
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
See Kensington captured in a new way during photographer Jeffrey Stockbridge’s Kensington Blues exhibition. The images empathetically capture something Philadelphians know all too well: the opioid crisis. Stockbridge’s work in this exhibition documents Kensington’s struggles during a time when opioid addiction and overdoses are steadily rising. He started photographing the people and landscape of Kensington more than 10 years ago while attending Drexel University. Shot on a 4×5 film camera, the images displayed in the exhibition are part of a book by the same name. With work appearing in the New York Times magazine, Stockbridge’s photographs blur the lines between art and journalism. Kensington Blues runs until Sept. 15.
118-128 N Broad St, pafa.org
Philadelphia Magic Gardens
In addition to the renowned outdoor mural visitors can walk through, Philadelphia Magic Gardens hosts exhibitions in its indoor gallery space. In the spirit of Magic Gardens founder and artist Isaiah Zagar, Philadelphia based artist Justin Tyner creates psychedelic stained glass works from repurposed glass found in the city. He incorporates everything from bottles to fallen stained glass pieces from abandoned churches to form kaleidoscope patterns to capture life and color, and bring new life to the pieces he finds. Light as Memory: Recollections through Stained Glass opens on July 12.
1020 South St, phillymagicgardens.org