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Coming This Spring: Philadelphia Museum of Art Unveils the Next Phase of Frank Gehry Redesign


Stunning new gallery spaces highlight art of the Americas...

The Philadelphia Museum of Art’s much-anticipated Frank Gehry-designed master redesign plan hits an exciting milestone on May 7 when the iconic attraction debuts new and refurbished spaces, completing the “Core Project” portion of the multi-year, multimillion project.

Dramatic changes taking place inside the building include the opening up of spaces not seen by the public for decades and brand-new galleries to showcase the museum’s spectacular collection.

Among the highlights of the Core Project set to debut:

  • a soaring forum, with its inaugural installation of Teresita Fernández’s Fire (United States of the Americas)
  • 20,000 square feet of new gallery space to be filled with art that rethinks the story of Philadelphia and the nation
  • a renovated Lenfest Hall
  • views that show off the city skyline from inside the building
  • an outdoor portico overlooking the Schuylkill River

New American Art Galleries

("Portrait of Yarrow Mamout (Mamoud Yarrow)," 1819, by Charles Willson Peale Oil on canvas, 24 × 20 inches. Image courtesy of Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2021.)

The new Robert L. McNeil Jr. Galleries dedicated to American art between 1650 and 1850 comprise 10,000 square feet arranged around a spacious corridor and mirror a space for contemporary art — together, the largest expansion of gallery space in the museum’s main building since it opened in 1928.



Among the highlights of the new galleries dedicated to American art: works by Philadelphia’s Peale family, including this portrait depicting a formerly enslaved Black Muslim, painted by Charles Willson Peale in 1819.

The galleries — American Encounters, Global Connections, Loyalty and Independence, Pennsylvania Crossroads, A Family of Artists, Splendor in the New Nation, Presidential China, Art & Ambition and Traditions on the Move — explore immigration, colonialism, trade and underrepresented narratives.

New Modern and Contemporary Art Galleries

In addition to the new American art galleries, the redesign unveiling also coincides with an exciting new exhibition of contemporary works: New Grit: Art & Philly Now.

Housed in the brand-new Daniel W. Dietrich II Galleries, a space that will be devoted to modern and contemporary artwork, the exhibit showcases work by 25 artists across different media representing a variety of perspectives on social and timely issues.

("Flight (From the Camden series)," 2017, by Tim Portlock. Courtesy of Locks Gallery and the artist)


A digital rendering by Tim Portlock is just one of more than two dozen works featured in the first exhibition in the museum’s new 10,000-square-foot galleries devoted primarily to modern and contemporary art.

Look for a mural by Odili Donald Odita evoking the Black Lives Matter movement, a textile work by Jesse Krimes capturing issues of incarceration and a digital rendering by Tim Portlock that explores the surreal. All the works in New Grit were created by artists with strong connections to the City of Brotherly Love.


Once the redesigned space and new galleries debut on May 7, they will be included in general admission. Check out the museum’s visitor tips before planning your trip. (Advance reservations are strongly recommended.)

Bonus: Book the Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package to treat yourself to a night (or two or three…) away from home and score buy-one-get-one-free tickets to the Philadelphia Museum of Art (and other iconic Philly museums and attractions) when purchased at the Independence Visitor Center. The deal is available for stays through June 1.

Don’t miss this opportunity to be among the first to see the fresh new spaces and exciting new exhibitions at one of Philadelphia’s most iconic attractions this spring.