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Few artistic geniuses have captured the human form and condition in sculpture like Auguste Rodin. Marvel at perhaps his most famous work, The Thinker, and wonder at the introspective nature of man and the might that is thought and creation. The Kiss and other noteworthy sculptures are also on hand including his last work, Gates of Hell. Apart from the French Rodin Musee, the Philadelphia locale is considered the largest collection of his masterpieces.
Congregation Rodeph Shalom, founded in 1795, is the oldest Ashkenazic synagogue in the Western Hemisphere. The current building was constructed in 1928 and is the only synagogue in this country to retain its Byzantine-Moorish architectural style. The sanctuary's stained glass windows are a rare collection of D'Ascenzo design and the foyer houses the Obermayer Collection of Jewish ritual art. More than 500 international objects dating back to the 1700s are on display. The Congregation's Philadelphia Museum of Judaica features three original exhibits a year.
Casual visitors, artists and fabric buyers alike enjoy the fusion of the brilliant textile displays and on-site working fabric design shop of this unique museum. Located in an industrial loft, original designs from some of the most notable names in the fabric art world are on display. The institution also gets the community involved with the Apprentice in Training program that educates students about every characteristic of the textile production process and the artistic aspect. The gift shop also sells prints and other items.
This 115-year-old museum keeps on acquiring new collections to keep the avid archaeology or anthropology fan on his toes. The upcoming collection of photographs is 'Antoin Sevruguin and the Persian Image'. Photography enthusiasts can view images of Iran at the turn of the 20th century-taken by Antoin Sevruguin, one of Iran's most renowned early photographers. The exhibition includes 35 black-and-white photographs made from original glass-plate negatives and vintage prints.
A Transylvanian interior creates the perfect setting for the largest collection of European folk art in the country. Members of the Romanian Folk Art Museum have organized exhibits of Romanian costumes, rugs, pottery and other decorative arts in ten states and provide a valuable cultural liaison to Romania. The museum's gift gallery features contemporary folk art, decorative items and rugs. See their website for special event information. A donation is requested.
The Athenæum, founded in 1814, is a not for profit, member-supported library and historic site museum that provides research collections, public education and community outreach. This three-story building also sponsors lectures and changing exhibits, publishes books and administers grants that encourage distinguished scholarship in architectural history. In 1977 the Athenæum was added to the list of National Historic Landmarks. It is furnished with American fine and decorative arts from the first half of the 19th century. The library contains a nationally significant collection of architectural and interior design materials.
The Germantown Historical Society collects and interprets materials related to the rich history of Germantown from 1680 to the present. This section of town was a popular weekend escape for George Washington when Philadelphia was the nation's capital. There's a museum, library, archives and visitors center. Included in the Historical Society collection are genealogy records, maps, deeds, oral histories and an extensive collection of local photographs. Books, news clippings, periodicals, films, business and school records are also archived. The museum shop features historical materials and the work of local artists. Admission to the Visitors Center and Museum Shop is free and parking is available.
Charles Willson Peale's Museum could be considered the first Natural History museum in the United States. The museum was created by Peale's realization that his mastodon fossils drew a lot of public attention. An artist as well as a natural history enthusiast, Peale started collecting different types of bones, bird species, and several other artifacts, which led to the opening of this museum in 1786. One of the very first museums in America, Charles Willson Peale's Museum closed in 1997, and its remaining collections were either sold or given away to Maryland Historical Society.