A Museum Without Walls in Philadelphia

A Museum Without Walls in Philadelphia

The Somers Blog

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Charioteer of Delphi by unknown artist near the Philadelphia Museum of Art
“Charioteer of Delphi” (stop #20) is part of the Museum Without Walls™: AUDIO program. Photo Caitlin Martin © 2010 for the Association for Public Art

I have a confession to make: museums in the summer give me claustrophobia. It’s not that I don’t enjoy the exhibits – it’s just that I’d rather be outside, in the sunshine or the fresh air. Lots of air conditioning and I just find myself with my arms crossed, dreaming of the moment when I see the outdoors again. But we’re a city of museums and fantastic art exhibits worth checking out, and I’m always game for First Friday. I needed a solution.

That’s why Museum Without Walls, a new way to experience art outside in Philadelphia, sounds just like my kind of thing.

The audio program, from the Fairmount Park Art Association, launches on June 10 and will be available to the public for free. You can access a tour through your cell phone or online. Which makes it even more my thing.

So what exactly are these audio tours? 35 sculptures along the Ben Franklin Parkway and Kelly Drive will allow anyone, anywhere, learn a little more about Philadelphia’s outdoor art. The great thing about our city is that there is art all around us, with outstanding sculptures and installations en plein air.

Next time you’re taking a walk or even a run along the Parkway or Kelly Drive, listen to some art on your way.

Related Artworks


Charioteer of Delphi

(5th century BCE, cast 1977)

by Artist Unknown

Kelly Drive near 24th Street

Around 478 BCE, Polyzalos, the Tyrant of Gela in Sicily, commissioned a statue to express his gratitude to the god Apollo for his charioteer’s victory in the Pythian Games. The cast near Philadelphia’s Museum of Art was a gift from the Greek government.

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