5 Great Places to Take in History & Art in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania has a rich history and a thriving community of artists, which makes it a great state for anyone who wants to take in some culture. Whether you're looking for an educational family outing, a relaxing vacation, or an inspiring place to explore with a sketch pad in hand, there's sure to be something on this list that piques your interest. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

5 Great Places to Take in History & Art in Pennsylvania

Organization Mission
Mural Arts Philadelphia Create art with others to transform places, individuals, communities, and institutions
Fabric Workshop and Museum Encourage artists at all stages of their careers to experiment with new materials and new media
Awbury Arboretum Association Preserve and interpret Awbury's historic house and landscape, thereby connecting the urban community with nature and history
Woodmere Art Museum House works of art and celebrate art and artists in the Philadelphia area
Andalusia Historic House and Gardens Preserve historic buildings and gardens for the public and future generations

8 Great Movies Set in Pennsylvania

  1. Groundhog Day (1993)
  2. The Philadelphia Story (1940)
  3. The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996)
  4. Pittsburgh (1942)
  5. That Thing You Do! (1996)
  6. Scotland, Pa. (2001)
  7. The Town That Was (2007)
  8. National Treasure (2004)

The Early History of Pennsylvania

In Depth

The state of Pennsylvania offers many great places for history and art enthusiasts. Whether it be museums, restored historic houses, or protected greenspace and arboretums, this great state offers a wide variety of experiences. In no particular order, here are five great places to take in history and art in Pennsylvania.

First on our list at #1 is Mural Arts Philadelphia. This organization's work is created in service of a larger movement that values equity, fairness, and progress across all of society. If you are passionate about public art and its effect on the city of Philadelphia, you should consider attending one of the organization's many events or volunteering with Mural Arts. Volunteers help the organization achieve its mission by serving as ambassadors of the organization, interacting with the public at events, paint days, and advocating for the arts.

Next on our list at #2 is the Fabric Workshop Museum, also located in Philadelphia. The museum was founded in 1977 with the purpose of stimulating experimentation among leading contemporary artists and sharing the process of creating works of art with the public. By providing studio facilities, equipment, and expert technicians to artists, F.W.M. invites artists to experiment with fabric and a wide range of innovative materials and media while also serving as an educational center for Philadelphia's youth.

By providing studio facilities, equipment, and expert technicians to artists, F.W.M. invites artists to experiment with fabric and a wide range of innovative materials and media while also serving as an educational center for Philadelphia's youth.

F.W.M is recognized as an internationally acclaimed contemporary art museum with permanent collections including material research, samples, and prototypes. Visitors can view artwork from conception to completion in a number of studios that can be viewed by the public. Additionally, comprehensive educational programming is available for those who would like to learn more including lectures, tours, in school presentations, and apprenticeship programs.

Coming in at #3 on the list is the Awbury Arboretum Association. The Awbury Arboretum is an extraordinary 55 acres of greenspace located in the Germantown neighborhood in northwest Philadelphia. The property also contains the historic Francis Cope House, which is maintained by the organization and used as an active community learning center and for art exhibitions.

Environmental education programs focus on exposing young people to the natural world through fun activities and exploration while farm programs focus on exploring the arboretum's 16-acre urban farm dedicated to food and flower production and education. Those looking to expand upon their knowledge or become more involved can attend regular volunteer events or any number of community events and classes. Lessons include such topics as Nature Explorers, Animals at Awbury, Growing Green at Awbury, and Wilderness Survival.

Environmental education programs focus on exposing young people to the natural world through fun activities and exploration while farm programs focus on exploring the arboretum's 16-acre urban farm dedicated to food and flower production and education.

Next up at #4 on the list is the Woodmere Art Museum in Philadelphia. Located within a 19th century stone mansion, it is dedicated to the art and artists of Philadelphia. The building and grounds, along with the permanent collection are the gifts of Charles Knox Smith, who purchased the estate in 1898 with the intent of transforming it into a showcase for his extensive art collection.

Woodmere's collection consists of more than 8,000 works of art spread over nine galleries. Additionally, the properties carriage house has been converted to a studio offering paint and watercolor classes. Those looking to be more involved with the museum can take classes or workshops or sign up for a number of available volunteer opportunities.

Last on the list at #5 is the Andalusia Historic House and Gardens. Located on a wooded plot of land overlooking the Delaware River, just north of Philadelphia, Andalusia houses the former home of the family of Nicholas Biddle, a prominent financier and cultural leader, as well as a natural paradise of native woodlands and beautiful gardens that have evolved over time. The Big House, which is located on the National Register of Historic Places, is one of the finest examples of Greek Revival architecture in the United States.

Located on a wooded plot of land overlooking the Delaware River, just north of Philadelphia, Andalusia houses the former home of the family of Nicholas Biddle, a prominent financier and cultural leader, as well as a natural paradise of native woodlands and beautiful gardens that have evolved over time.

Its surrounding gardens are also available for visitors' enjoyment throughout the year. The organization offers private house tours as well as self-guided garden tours for visitors. There are also a limited number of open Saturdays where visitors can bring a picnic to enjoy along the river as well as special lectures and workshops throughout the year.