FINDING PHILLY MUSEUMS
FINDING PHILLY MUSEUMS by Merle Exit
With so many museums it seems that Philadelphia has added two more in the last few years; the Barnes Foundation and the National Museum of American Jewish History. Both located in the area known as Center City, I ventured out to experience them.
The Barnes Foundation, which recently opened, is located at 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, just near the Rodin Museum. I’m going to describe my experience of it and all about art. It’s like Albert C. Barnes and Laura L. Barnes had a huge art collection and needed a building to put them in. Then they asked some friends if they wanted to house their art collection as well. I didn’t ask for a docent to take me around nor did I rent an audio tour. For me, not a lover of the fine arts, it was inundating. I felt as if I needed a GPS to get around and wasn’t sure as to whether I was in that same room again. I didn’t notice that there are numbers on each of the entrances.
The National Museum of American Jewish History, a Smithsonian affiliate, tells the story of American Jews who have arrived to North America from 1654 to the present. Exhibiting and interpreting the American Jewish experience this five story building located on Independence Mall is the only museum in the nation dedicated solely to telling the story of Jews in America. They moved from a smaller building near the same area.
Currently, and until Sept. 30, 2012, the main exhibit is called “To Bigotry No Sanction”, and historic correspondence between George Washington and the Jewish community of Newport. Washington’s iconic address to “the children of the stock of Abraham” placed an emphasis on the confirmation of his commitment to a government that “gives to bigotry no sanction”.
I found this museum to be overwhelming as there is so much to see. Looking back I would have a full breakfast and get there at 10 a.m. Break for a something to drink at their cafe after two hours, and continue for another two hours. No photos, so you may want to take notes. They close at 5 p.m. Basic cost is $12 for adults. Check it out on www.nmajh.org.