Home to thousands of works encompassing various forms and eras, Philadelphia is thought to have one of the biggest collections of public art in the United States. Here are some of the highlights of this art-loving city’s open-air museum.
One of the most recognizable images of the City of Brotherly Love is the LOVE sculpture by American artist Robert Indiana. Installed in John F. Kennedy Plaza (now known as LOVE Park) in 1976, versions of the scultpure now also appear around the world, from London to Tokyo, as well as in Spanish, Italian and Hebrew. Find it less than a 10-minute walk from Sofitel Philadelphia, just north of City Hall.
Founded in 1984 as an anti-graffiti initiative, Philadelphia's Mural Arts Program has contributed to the city earning the moniker "City of Murals." The program works with community groups, giving various individuals the opportunity to create thoughtful, colorful murals across the city. The best way to see the murals is with a tour through the program itself. These tours include details about the murals and the artists and can be taken on foot or by trolley, train or Segway.
The familiar figure of Rodin's The Thinker -- a man bent over, deep in thought -- sits outside Philadelphia's Rodin Museum. Both the statue and the museum are set in tranquil surroundings, surrounded by lush gardens on Benjamin Franklin Parkway, a 20-minute walk from Sofitel Philadelphia.
Find Swedish-born, American sculptor's quirky Clothespin a 5-minute walk from Sofitel Philadelphia, across the street from City Hall. Oldenburg said that the design for his 45-foot steel structure was inspired by Constantin Brancusi's sculpture, The Kiss, which is housed in the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
More colorful mosaic work can be found at Philadelphia's Magic Gardens on South Street. This indoor/outdoor space covers half a block and is the labor of love of a local artist who began tiling the street in the 1960s and continued until 2008, using everything he could find, from crockery to kitchen tiles and bicycle wheels. The site also hosts regular performances and educational programs.
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