Interpret

The Association for Public Art (aPA) works with private and public agencies to make public art accessible through educational and interpretative programs

Explore our website to learn the most up-to-date information available on a selection of outdoor sculptures in Philadelphia…

The Association for Public Art (aPA) works with private and public agencies to make public art accessible through educational and interpretative programs. Learn more about Philadelphia’s exceptional collection of public art through our interactive website, tours, publications, exhibitions, conferences, workshops, and lectures.

Our interpretive programs and materials include both old-fashioned print and signage, as well as online tools, the latest technology and digital assets, including our award-winning Museum Without Walls™: AUDIO program. Explore our website to learn the most up-to-date information available on a selection of outdoor sculptures in Philadelphia, including a searchable Interactive Public Art Map or take a self-guided public art tour to uncover an array of public art around Philadelphia.

Museum Without Walls logo: a program of the Association for Public Art

A program of the Association for Public Art (formerly the Fairmount Park Art Association), Museum Without Walls™: AUDIO is an innovative and accessible outdoor sculpture audio program for Philadelphia’s preeminent collection of public art.

User calls Museum Without Walls Audio for Robert Indiana's LOVE sculpture
Photo Albert Yee © 2010 for the Association for Public Art

A “multi-platform” interactive audio experience – available for free by cell phone, mobile app, audio download, or on the web – Museum Without Walls™: AUDIO offers the unique histories that are not typically expressed on outdoor permanent signage.

Unlike audio tours that have a single authoritative guide or narrator, each speaker featured in Museum Without Walls™: AUDIO is an “authentic voice” – someone who is connected to the sculpture by knowledge, experience, or affiliation. Over 150 unique voices are featured, including artists, educators, scientists, writers, curators, civic leaders, and historians.

LEARN MORE >>

 

LISTEN NOW —  online, mobile app, or by phone!

Explore the MWW Interactive Map

 

ONLINE

Stream or download audio and view audio slideshows using our interactive map, gallery, or list of sculptures featured in the Museum Without Walls™: AUDIO program.

>> Explore the interactive map

 

 

Screenshot of the Museum Without Walls: AUDIO mobile app

 

APP

Download or stream Museum Without Walls™: AUDIO programs on your mobile device! Search by artist, title or stop number. Available for free on iPhone and Android.

>> Download for iPhone

>> Download for Android

 

Museum Without Walls™: AUDIO signage

 

ON SITE

On the street or in the park, call 215.399.9000 and enter the stop number located on the sculpture sign or Museum Without Walls™: AUDIO map.

>> Download the map to take with you

Interactive Public Art Map

Explore Philadelphia’s public art treasures at home or on-the-go using our interactive public art map. Easily browse an expansive selection of Philadelphia’s public artworks initiated by diverse public and private agencies. EXPLORE >>

Interactive Public Art Map

 

Public Art Bike Map

Tour public art in Philadelphia with the Association for Public Art’s Outdoor Sculpture Bike Map! Created in collaboration with the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, our bike map offers a 4- and 10-mile route with sculpture stops and scenic views throughout East and West Fairmount Park. The map also indicates which artworks have Museum Without Walls™: AUDIO programs, which are accessible by phone, mobile app or online. (Riders can refer to the map or sign displayed in front of the sculpture to see if an audio program is available.)

>> Download the map to take with you!

These tours are recommended for urban cyclists with experience riding on busy streets or in traffic.

Public art bike map

 

Logos for the Association for Public Art, the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, and the Office of Arts, Culture, and the Creative Economy

 

Museum Without Walls™: AUDIO Map

The Association for Public Art’s Museum Without Walls™: AUDIO is an innovative and accessible outdoor sculpture audio program for Philadelphia’s preeminent collection of public art. This multi-platform audio experience is available for free by cell phone, mobile app, audio download, or online. A map listing all of the artworks in the program is available on our website or as a brochure at local visitor centers in Philadelphia.

>> Download the map

Museum Without Walls™ AUDIO brochure

 

Map Pick-Up Locations:

City Hall Visitor Center
Broad and Market Streets, Philadelphia, PA
Hours: Monday-Friday 9am-4:30pm

Fairmount Park Welcome Center
6th and Market Streets, Philadelphia, PA
Hours: Monday-Saturday 10am-5pm (Closed Sunday)

Independence Visitor Center
1 North Independence Mall W, Philadelphia, PA
Hours: Open daily 8:30am-6pm

Capriccio Cafe
Benjamin Franklin Parkway and 16th Street, Philadelphia, PA
Hours: Monday-Friday 6:30am-7pm, Saturday-Sunday 8am-8pm

Logan Square Cafe
Benjamin Franklin Parkway and 18th Street, Philadelphia, PA
Hours: Monday 6:30am-2pm, Tuesday-Friday 6:30am-2pm & 5:30am-9:30pm, Saturday 5:30am-9:30pm, Sunday 6:30am-12pm

 

Museum Without Walls™ AUDIO brochure map

MWW_Signage_Three_Discs

The Association for Public Art (aPA) has worked closely with the City of Philadelphia’s Center City District and the Department of Parks and Recreation to develop a comprehensive interpretive signage system for sculpture throughout the city.

Each permanent sculpture sign features a photograph and a short (approximately 100 words) description about the artwork’s history and significance. Public artworks that are a part of aPA’s Museum Without Walls™: AUDIO program include a stop number and phone number to access the interpretive audio on-site and online at anytime.

By developing, maintaining, and expanding sculpture signage and other interpretive initiatives, the aPA provides the public with more opportunities to connect with Philadelphia’s public outdoor sculpture while raising awareness and underscoring the important role public art plays in the creation and enhancement of successful and vibrant civic spaces.

Over the years, the Association for Public Art has published two seminal books on public art in Philadelphia, as well as catalogues for our groundbreaking projects. The following publications can be accessed at the Free Library of Philadelphia or purchased via the links below.

 

New•Land•Marks: public art, community, and the meaning of place

Penny Bach, Editor
Available on Amazon.com and at bookstores by special order

Cover of New Land Marks bookA catalogue that accompanied a major exhibition at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, this publication illustrates how artists and community organizations can work together to plan new works of public art for urban neighborhoods. A variety of proposals incorporate public art into ongoing community development, urban greening, public amenities, and other revitalization initiatives. Included are essays by Penny Balkin Bach, Ellen Dissanayake, Thomas Hine, and Lucy Lippard; site photography by James B. Abbott; sixteen detailed proposal descriptions; and a comprehensive bibliography.

Grayson Publishing, Washington, DC, 2001
$29.95 hardcover with jacket; ISBN 0-9679143-4-5
160 pages; color and b&w illus.

 

Cover of Public Art in PhiladelphiaPublic Art in Philadelphia

Penny Balkin Bach
Out of print but available online. First edition available at libraries.

This fully illustrated publication is an authoritative guide to the social and cultural history of Philadelphia’s public art. It chronicles the evolution of public art in the city from the spiritual roots of Native American culture to the pursuit of originality in the twentieth century. Its catalogue contains information about more than 200 works of art.

Temple University Press, Philadelphia, 1992
Hardcover with jacket; ISBN 0-87722-822-1
288 pages; b&w illus.

 


Form and Function: Proposals for Public Art for Philadelphia

Fairmount Park Art Association (now the Association for Public Art)
To order: send a check for $10.00 + $5.00 shipping and handling to the Association for Public Art

Form and FunctionA catalogue for the landmark exhibition Form and Function at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1982, this publication features public art proposals from fourteen artists, including Siah Armajani, Rafael Ferrer, Jody Pinto, and Martin Puryear. The aim was to design new works of public art that would be utilitarian, site-specific, and integral to community life in Philadelphia. The catalogue contains illustrated proposal descriptions and an introductory essay by Penny Balkin Bach.

The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the Fairmount Park Art Association (now Association for Public Art), Philadelphia, 1982.
Softcover
44 pages; b&w illus.

 

Sculpture of a City: Philadelphia’s Treasures in Bronze and Stone

Fairmount Park Art Association (now the Association for Public Art)
Out of print. Available at libraries and online

The Association’s centennial publication documents the history of public sculpture in Philadelphia through scholarly essays and black-and-white photography.

Walker Publishing Co., New York, 1974
Hardcover; ISBN 0-8027-0459-X
363 pages; b&w illus.