Not far from Center City on the other side of the Schuylkill River is University City in West Philadelphia. Accessible via 30th Street Station, this area is home to a number of colleges and universities, including the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University. Many of the artworks on this tour are part of the University of Pennsylvania Art Collection.
Pennsylvania Railroad War Memorial(1950)
by Walker Kirtland Hancock (1901 - 1998)30th Street Station (interior), 30th and Market Streets
Commissioned to honor the Pennsylvania Railroad employees who died in World War II, Walker Hancock’s heroic bronze presents the Archangel Michael, angel of the Resurrection, lifting a lifeless soldier in his arms.
Anthony J. Drexel(1904)
by Sir Moses Jacob Ezekiel (1844 - 1917)Drexel University, Market Street between 32nd and 33rd Streets
Anthony J. Drexel was a powerful Philadelphia financier and philanthropist. He founded Drexel University and served as the first president of the Fairmount Park Art Association (now the Association for Public Art).
by Tony Smith (1912-1980)Singh Center For Nanotechnology, 3205 Walnut Street
Considered a pioneering figure of minimalism, Tony Smith is best known for his abstract, modular sculptures. This hulking open cube of welded steel, painted black, can be walked through but also create a boxed-in feeling.
Atmosphere and Environment XII(1970)
by Louise Nevelson (1899 - 1988)University of Pennsylvania, Shoemaker Green (east of 33rd Street between Walnut and Spruce Streets)
Atmosphere and Environment XII is a product of the mature style of Louise Nevelson, one of the most influential artists of the decades following World War II.
War Memorial Flagpole(1951)
by Charles Rudy (1904 - 1986)Smith Walk and 33rd Street, north of Spruce Street
This war memorial by sculptor Charles Rudy is dedicated to the University of Pennsylvania faculty, students, and alumni who died in military service.
Benjamin Franklin in 1723 (or The Young Franklin)(1914)
by R. Tait McKenzie (1867 - 1938)University of Pennsylvania in front of Weightman Hall, 33rd Street south of Locust Street
R. Tait McKenzie’s portrait of a young Benjamin Franklin was seen as an appropriate example to the students of the University of Pennsylvania, a school that Franklin helped to found.
by Jenny Holzer (b. 1950)Hill Square, University of Pennsylvania, 34th and Walnut Streets
Dedicated in November 2003, 125 Years by artist Jenny Holzer recognizes the anniversary of 125 Years of Women at Penn (celebrated November 1-2, 2001).
by Simone Leigh (b. 1967)Woodland Walk at 34th and Walnut Streets
This bronze bust of a Black woman by artist Simone Leigh references Batammaliba architecture from Benin and Togo, the teleuk dwellings in Chad and Cameroon, and the restaurant Mammy’s Cupboard in Mississippi.
Family of Man(1961)
by Constantino Nivola (1911-1988)University of Pennsylvania, Van Pelt Library entrance, between 34th and 36th Streets, Locust and Spruce Streets
The Sardinian artist Constantino Nivola was building sand castles with his children on a Long Island beach when he conceived a new kind of sculpture: bas-reliefs that would be molded in damp sand and then cast in concrete.
by Claes Oldenburg (1929 - 2022), Coosje van Bruggen (1942 - 2009)University of Pennsylvania, Blanche Levy Park, Locust Walk between 34 and 36th Streets
Artist Claes Oldenburg and his wife, Coosje van Burggen, collaborated on the Split Button, which has become a familiar part of the University of Pennsylvania campus environment.
by John J. Boyle (1851 - 1917)University of Pennsylvania, Blanche Levy Park, between Spruce and Locust Streets, 34th and 36th Streets
A sculpture of Philadelphia’s beloved Benjamin Franklin given to the City by Justus C. Strawbridge and later donated to the University of Pennsylvania.
by Sir Jacob Epstein (1880 - 1959)University of Pennsylvania, Memorial Garden Walkway near the Van Pelt Library
The Eternal Mother is seated with arms outstretched. Flanking her are two standing female figures: one representing Compassion and another that personifies Death. In 2019, Social Consciousness was relocated from the West Entrance of the Philadelphia Museum of Art to the University of Pennsylvania.
by Alexander Archipenko (1887 - 1964)University of Pennsylvania, 36th Street Walkway south of Walnut Street
In 1985 this majestic bronze came to the University of Pennsylvania campus on extended loan from the parents of a Penn student.
by Robinson Fredenthal (1940 - 2009)University of Pennsylvania, Blanche Levy Park at Claudia Cohen Hall, between Spruce and Locust Streets, 34th and 36th Streets
Fredenthal was fascinated by patterns made by simple geometric objects. These four interpenetrating pyramidal forms of black painted steel depict the shape of an asymmetrical evergreen tree.
Benjamin Franklin (on a bench)(1987)
by George Lundeen (b. 1948)University of Pennsylvania, 37th Street and Locust Walk (SE corner)
Sitting on a bench with a newspaper in hand and a pigeon at his side, this sculpture was a gift from the University of Pennsylvania’s class of 1962.
by Alexander Liberman (1912 - 1999)University of Pennsylvania, Locust Walk near 39th Street
A giant, angular composition of tubular red steel intended to convey a feeling of unity and spiritual participation.
by Andrea Blum (b. 1950)University of Pennsylvania, 40th Street and Locust Street
A series of stainless steel pavilions, tables, and concrete benches on the edge of campus create a social space for the University and community.
Dickens and Little Nell(1890)
by Frank Edwin Elwell (1858 - 1922)Clark Park, 43rd Street and Chester Avenue
Originally commissioned by a Washington newspaper publisher, the sculpture pays tribute to the heroine of “The Old Curiosity Shop.”
by Charles Searles (1937 - 2004)First District Plaza, 3801 Market Street
The abstract bronze Striving was described by the artist, Charles Searles, as “symbolic of African American peoples’ long and continued journey forward toward a better and higher level of existence and achievement in the United States.”
by Soo Sunny Park (b. 1975)University City Science Center atrium, 3767 Market Street
Light is captured and reflected by thousands of dichroic glass panes attached to stainless steel mesh, creating a shimmering effect within the atrium of the University City Science Center.
by Arlene Love (1930 - )Monell Chemical Senses Center, University City Science Center, 3500 Market Street
Arlene Love’s giant gilded nose and mouth with the rest of the face appearing to have broken away at the Monell Chemical Senses Center.
by Dennis Oppenheim (1938 - 2011)3401 Chestnut Street
Bell-like aluminum sculptures cluster together and serve as an entranceway on the University of Pennsylvania campus.