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The Best 15 Places to See Black Art in Philadelphia

December 23, 2019

One of the best ways we can learn about the historical Black experience in the United States is to expose ourselves to the rich culture that is Black artistic expression. Black visual culture is everywhere, from movies and TV shows to music videos and fashion runways, so it’s no surprise that Black visual art and fine arts culture is just as rich. 


If you happen to live in the vicinity of the old and historic city of Philadelphia, you’ll know that its art scene is flourishing and that it’s home to a myriad of museums and academically trained local Black artists. Whether you’re into the cubist style of Jacob Lawrence or more expressionist pieces like those of Basquiat, you’re sure to find a gallery that is hosting a Black artist in The City of Brotherly Love. Ahead are 15 museums and galleries showcasing Black art for you to explore this holiday season.


The African American Museum in Philadelphia


As stated in the name, The African American Museum is dedicated to Black history, and is currently housing two art exhibitions. One historical exhibition and one photography exhibition on Black masculinity.


Location: 702 Arch Street Philadelphia, PA 19106 


The Colored Girls Museum 


This museum prides itself on honoring ordinary Black girlhood, often presenting pieces that represent the story of the Black girl in the United States.


Location: 4613 Newhall Street, Philadelphia, PA 19144 


Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts 


A museum and art school that exhibits the work of several black artists on permanent display.


Location: 118-128 N Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19102


Philadelphia Museum of Art


Possibly the most famous art museum in the city, the Philadelphia Museum of Art is home to some permanent, Black historical pieces. Schedule a tour right from their website. 


Location: 2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy, Philadelphia, PA 19130



Art Sanctuary 


Art Sanctuary is committed to serve its surrounding community by showcasing local Black artists’ and photogapher’s work.


Location: 628 S 16th St, Philadelphia, PA 19146


Rush Arts Galleries 


Founded by one of the members of Run-DMC, Rush Arts has a mission to provide local youth of the community with artistic opportunity while supporting academic performance.


Location: 4954 Old York Rd, Philadelphia, PA 19141


October Gallery


The October Gallery not only makes art accessible for everyone to view, but also to purchase. Prices in the gallery start as low as $25. It houses mostly Black art. 


Location: 6353 Greene St, Philadelphia, PA 19144


Ellen Powell Tiberino Memorial Museum


Known as Philly’s first family of art, the Tiberino family is a family of artists of various mediums. The museum is named for the family matriarch, who was a Black women and phenomenal artist.


Location: 3819 Hamilton St, Philadelphia, PA 19104


Indigo Arts Gallery


This gallery showcases art from different regions around the world, including a large gallery dedicated to African art.


Location: 1400 N American St #408, Philadelphia, PA 19122


Urban Art Gallery


Here, emerging artists can exhibit and sell their work. UAG looks to create an appreciation for the arts within the local community.


Location: 262 S 52nd St, Philadelphia, PA 19139


Barnes Foundation


The founder of Barnes, Albert Barnes, was a huge fan of African artistic styles and today the foundation exhibits work by many Black artists including the 30 Americans exhibit which features 30 influential Black American artists until Jan. 12, 2020.


Location: 2025 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy, Philadelphia, PA 19130


Woodmere Art Museum


Woodmere exclusively exhibits the art of Philadelphia’s artists, many of whom are Black artists.


Location: 9201 Germantown Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19118


Penn Museum 


If you’re interested in seeing some more ancient works of art, head down to the Penn Museum which showcases some African artifacts of masks, figurines, jewelry and other objects from across the African continent. 


Location: 3260 South St, Philadelphia, PA 19104


Brandywine Workshop


Founded in a Black and Hispanic working class community, Brandywine prides itself on being a diverse institution that looks to connect global communities. The establishment focuses on printmaking as an art form.


Location: 730 S Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19146


The Fabric Workshop & Museum


This unique museum encourages its artists to branch out and experiment with non-conventional materials. A few of the current resident artists are Black.


Location: 1214 Arch St, Philadelphia, PA 19107  




What are some of your favorite creative spaces in your city? Talk to us about it in the comments below.


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