Philadelphia Art

This is part of our series on Philadelphia with Kids. You can see a full list of posts at the bottom.

art ben
Ben Franklin Craftsman statue in Philadelphia. Made in 1981.

One of the first things we noticed in Philadealphia was how much public art there was. It’s everywhere! Here I”ll feature some that we saw. This Ben Franklin Craftsman statue is at Broad and JFK Blvd in Philly. As you probably know, Franklin was a man of many talents and printing was his occupation.

art comcast

We really enjoyed the Comcast Center’s art. The tallest building in Philadelphia and the tallest “green” building in the country, a LEED certified building. There were realistic statues of people crossing beams high up throughout the lobby, which were fun to look at. These are by Jonathan Borofsky, who I always think of from Seattle’s Hammering Man. These are a very different style from that, though I recognize it from my recent trip to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts this past summer, where I saw his installation I Dreamed I Could Fly.

art comcast2

Most come, however, to see the realistic 2,000 foot LED screen in the lobby, with images changing constantly.

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art crab

Some of the public art was not so famous, as in these crabs painted on a seafood restaurant – can’t recall where. You’ll notice the Robert Indiana LOVE theme in the top crab.

art crab2

One of our first stops when leaving the hotel was outside the Philadelphia Municipal Services Building, across from City Hall (which you see in the background of the Sorry piece picture below). We discovered an outside full of oversized game pieces, which the kids loved climbing on. They’re called Your Move, by Daniel Martinez, Renee Petropoulis and Roger White.


art game pieces

Walking back one afternoon we came across Gumby (Gumby!) high up outside the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, yet another art gallery we did not have time to see.

art gumby

Also outside the PAFA, was this Claes Oldenburg paintbrush and paint dollop. It’s called Paint Torch and it’s one of four Oldenburg pieces in Philly, and the most recent, since it’s from 2010 or 2011. FYI – you’re not allowed to climb on it like my son did. He got shooed off.

art oldenburg

We loved the colorful lamps below, in a store in the 2nd and 3rd street art gallery area, between Race and Market.

art lantern

And the famous Robert Indiana LOVE statue, of which there are two in the City of Brotherly Love. The other one is on the Penn campus.

art philly love


Of course there’s also the fabulous Magic Gardens, but that will get its own post. And there are lots of murals too. We saw many on our walks.

By Deborah Abrams Kaplan

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