American Art in Philadelphia Small Group Tour

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Observe and be amazed
Observe and be amazed
Second Bank of the United States - Portrait Gallery
Second Bank of the United States - Portrait Gallery
American Art in Philadelphia Small Group Tour
American Art in Philadelphia Small Group Tour
Observe and be amazed
Observe and be amazed
American Art in Philadelphia Small Group Tour
American Art in Philadelphia Small Group Tour

What To Expect

A small-group tour of American art, including the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and Second Bank Portrait Gallery.


Tours in Philadelphia
Departs From:
Meeting Point:
Arch of the side entrance to Pennsylvania Hospital's Medical Practices Building
3 hours
Thursday and Saturday at 10:00 AM
Product Code:
Voucher info:
Paper voucher printout not required for this activity. You may show e-voucher from your mobile device.
Featured On:
Philadelphia Segway & Walking ToursPhiladelphia City Tours & SightseeingSegway & Walking ToursCity Tours & Sightseeing


It is perhaps no surprise that American art begins with the founding of the American republic and in the fertile intellectual hubbub of Philadelphia. Led by such visionaries as Gilbert Stuart and Charles Willson Peale, Philadelphia became a locus for American aesthetic explorations for nearly a century. In this three-hour walking seminar led by a scholar in American art we will turn our attention to the important artists of the early 19th century and the institutions they founded in Philadelphia as we paint a portrait, so to speak, of American art at its beginning.

We will begin our discussion in the shadow of Independence Hall where Charles Willson Peale, a friend of Thomas Jefferson and the great portraitist of George Washington, who lived for a time here and used the structure to display his growing collection of art and natural specimens. We will consider Peale's museum (generally considered the first modern museum) in the context of the Enlightenment, which will allow us then to turn our attention to his work as an artist. Focusing on Peale's portrait gallery hanging in the history Second U.S. Bank, we'll talk about early American portraiture and such figures as Stuart, Copely, and West. We will also address how the institutionalization of "American Fine Art" took shape in the cultural and artistic hub of the young nation, and place art making and viewing within a larger context of Trans-Atlantic influences, philosophical inquiry, and evolving civic and national identities.

Our walk will then take us to the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the United States' first successful art academy. Here we will encounter Peale's seminal ""The Artist in His Museum,"" along with works by West, Stuart, Krimmel, Raphaelle Peale, and other Pennsylvania artists in the Academy's fine standing collection of American art. We'll look at the role of the Academy and various art movements and communities in the region through the early 20th century up to today.


  • Pennsylvania Hospital

  • Second Bank Portrait Gallery

  • Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts


  • Services of a docent


  • Meals and drinks

  • Personal expenses

  • Tips and gratuities

  • Optional activity costs

Please Note

  • Children below 12 years old are not permitted on this tour.

  • Minimum of 2 passengers per booking is required. Private walking seminars are available for solo travelers.

  • Tour will be operated as a guaranteed Small Group Tour with a maximum of 6 guests.

Cancellation Policy

  • Free cancellation: 8 days or more prior to start date of activity.
  • 20% Cancellation Fee (80% reimbursement): between 4 to 7 days prior to date of activity.
  • 100% Cancellation Fee (no reimbursement): 3 days or less prior to date of activity.

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