A Day Out: Philadelphia

I met my sister Madeline for the day in Philadelphia. It’s about halfway by train for each of us between New Jersey and Maryland.

We walked first to the Barnes Foundation Museum. 

Dr. Alfred C. Barnes grew up poor in Philadelphia, attended UPenn, studied pharmacology in Germany, and in 1908 founded his own company to produce Argyrol, an antiseptic silver compound that prevented eye infections and blindness in newborns.

He began buying art in 1912, leading to one of the world’s largest private collections of post- impressionist and early modern paintings. He collected furniture, metalwork like door hinges, jewelry and sculpture, which he displayed in symmetrical wall arrangements called “ensembles.”

There’s an amazing assortment of Matisse, Renoir, and Picasso. And tons of others.

We had a good time, browsing through the galleries and chatting.

Then we walked—Philly is small and well laid out. There are street signs indicating directions of all the sites. It was cold and windy, but fun.  We saw a few of the murals painted on buildings, often adorning parking lots. CIMG2392CIMG2396

We stopped in at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, to surprise Madeline’s college friend Anne, who works there. We strolled through the current exhibit, “The Female Gaze: Women Artists Making Their World,” all donated by a private collector.  CIMG2402CIMG2401

From there we walked through Philly’s Chinatown CIMG2405 towards the historic district. We didn’t have much time left and wanted to see the gowns worn by The Supremes at Philadelphia’s African American Museum.  We enjoyed listening to the old songs and reading the newspaper articles about the group. CIMG2407CIMG2406CIMG2408

We ambled through the Reading Terminal Market, had a late lunch and headed back to the train station.

A great day!

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About cyclingrandma

I was a journalist (Danbury News-Times, Ct), before becoming a teacher, and continue to write for professional journals. I have written several study guides for Penguin Books and write for Education Update, a newspaper based in New York City. (www.educationupdate.com). I’ve interviewed many authors, college presidents, and scientists. I wrote “The Kentucky Derby’s Forgotten Jockeys” for Smithsonian Magazine's website, www.smithsonian.com. (April, 2009). Two essays have been published in book anthologies; one for Wisdom of Our Mothers, (Familia Books) and the other in “College Search and Parent Rescue: Essay for Parents by Parents of College-Going Students.” (St. Martin’s Press). I was a middle school Language Arts teacher for more than 10 years and have just completed a five year grant position under No Child Left Behind in Newark, NJ public schools. I have three children, two daughters-in law, and six grandchildren. I'm an avid cyclist, knitter, cook, and reader. I love theater, museums, and yoga.
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13 Responses to A Day Out: Philadelphia

  1. I love murals on buildings, they add personality to cities!

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  2. Coming East says:

    What a great day you had! We love Philly. Our youngest was born in Bryn Mawr, which is a suburb. I haven’t been to any of the museums you mentioned, but I do know Reading Terminal. What a fantastic place!

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  3. Sharon Gill says:

    Such a nice art day – looking forward to a day like that soon.

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  4. I’ve always wanted to see the Barnes museum. Has it moved? I know there was quite a kerfuffle about moving it due to the terms of the foundation, but it needed more space. So did they do it, or is it still outside Philly?

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  5. We saw the original museum, which was Dr. Barnes’ home. It was quite amazing, and I never thought it would ben possible to tire of Renoir, but by the end of the day I had seen quite enough of his work.

    Next week we’re going back to see the Philadelphia Flower Show, the largest one in this country. Philadelphia is a lovely city.

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    • I was amazed at the number of Renoirs. I’d never been to the museum outside Philly. Enjoy the Flower Show. Yes, a delightful city, so easy to get around.

      On Fri, Feb 22, 2013 at 5:26 PM, cyclingrandma

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  6. You are always on the go Lisa! Fantastic!!

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    • Believe me there are plenty of days I’m not doing so much. We try to meet half way once a year- unless I get down there. We used to meet up in Newark, Delaware- but have gotten bored with the town. Philly was a good alternative!

      On Fri, Feb 22, 2013 at 9:12 PM, cyclingrandma

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  7. CurlsnSkirls says:

    Enjoyed seeing those costumes, especially after seeing Dreamgirls live at Signature Theatre in December!

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