Friday Evenings at the Philadelphia Museum of Art opens the new year with a series of weekly jazz performances. The Museum recently extended its hours, giving visitors the option to begin their weekend—on Fridays until 8:45 p.m.—with a program of music and table service in the Great Stair Hall in addition to the experience of 200 galleries that house a vast collection of art from around the world.
“Many potential visitors find it difficult to get away to a museum on weekdays and would love the option to drop by after work. With this in mind, in addition to our popular Wednesday Nights series, we’re now keeping our doors open late on Fridays and turning the Great Stair Hall into a ‘jazz café’” said Gail Harrity, Chief Operating Officer at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. “We hope that people will relish the opportunity to visit on Friday evenings to see galleries they may have missed on prior visits and to hear top-notch jazz in an incomparable setting that possesses a special ambiance. In its own way, we think Friday Evenings will become as popular as Wednesday Nights.”
The extended hours include two gallery tours, at 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., spotlighting different aspects of the Museum’s collection. Against the backdrop of music, museumgoers can also enjoy the season’s exhibitions and installations, including Dox Thrash: An African American Master Printmaker Rediscovered (through February 24), West Meets East: China and Japan at the Centennial Exhibition (through June), and Barnett Newman (March 24 -July 7). All 200 of the Museum’s galleries will be open on Friday evenings and, as the Museum is one of the world’s finest encyclopedic art destinations, a stroll through the collections can always be filled with surprises and discoveries. To name a few:
- Experience the dramatic “Walk Through Time” offered by the impressive installations of monumental architecture and historic rooms on the second floor, from the Japanese Tea House to the Indian Temple Hall, to the Medieval Cloister, to the kitchen of an early Pennsylvania German home.
- Find a knight in shining armor amid a superb collection of European arms and armor. Considered one of the finest in the Western Hemisphere and housed in a gallery overlooking the Schuylkill River, this collection contains armor worn for jousting, battles and tournaments—and even a battle hood tailored for a falcon.
- Contemplate the adventurous works of 20th-century masters such as Picasso, Duchamp, Brancusi, and Miró. Enter the striking realm of Fifty Days at Iliam, a tenpart painting executed by Cy Twombly in homage to Homer’s Iliad, for which the Museum has devoted a gallery in collaboration with the artist.
Within the Museum’s exceptional setting, prominent and emerging jazz artists from around the world perform every Friday evening. From the trombone improvisations of Wycliffe Gordon’s Trio ("as exciting as it gets” – says The New York Times) on January 11, to the nimble hands of Fred Hersch (“a poet of a pianist” – declares The New Yorker), concluding the season on June 21, the January-to-June program offers a stellar musical line-up. Other highlights include saxophonist Steve Wilson, best known as a sideman in Chick Corea’s Origins (January 25); 1970’s six-string legend Pat Martino, continuing an inspirational comeback after a near-fatal brain aneurysm which forced him to relearn the guitar (February 1); jazz vocalist and pianist Andy Bey whose four-octave range has impressed fans and peers alike for over fifty years (March 15); and pianist Danilo Pérez, recently named Cultural Ambassador to Panama (May 31).
The Museum Restaurant is open for Friday Evenings (last reservation at 7:30 p.m.). In addition, a full cash bar and an à la carte menu of appetizers, small sandwiches, and desserts is available with table service in the Great Stair Hall.
Closed Mondays and holidays
Tuesday through Sunday, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Wednesday and Friday evenings until 8:45 p.m.
Pay what you wish on Sundays, all day, from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.
$10 for adults; $7 for students with I.D., children 13-18, and senior citizens (62 and over); children 12 years old and younger are admitted free at all times.
Parking on the terrace level outside the Museum is free on Fridays.
Support for Friday Evenings at the Philadelphia Museum of Art has been provided by The Christian R. and Mary F. Lindbach Foundation.