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May 13th, 2010
Museum to Offer Free Admission on Tuesday May 18 in Conjunction with International Museum Day

The Philadelphia Museum of Art will offer free admission all day on Tuesday, May 18, in celebration of International Museum Day. Free admission will also be extended to the Museum-administered Park Houses, Cedar Grove and Mount Pleasant, as well as the nearby Rodin Museum. Initiated in 1977, International Museum Day was organized by the International Council on Museums (ICOM) as a way of recognizing the vitally important role that museums play in contemporary society and as a means of highlighting their ability to encourage dialogue, promote understanding, and encourage creativity. It is held annually on May 18.

“We are pleased to join museums around the world to build a broader awareness of the role art can play in our lives,” said Timothy Rub, the George D. Widener Director and CEO of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. “We hope that visitors from our community and beyond will make discoveries that help them appreciate the richness and diversity of the world’s cultures and reflect upon the sense of the connectedness that art can inspire.”

Museums from many different countries, including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Greece, Guatemala, Sri Lanka, and Zambia will participate in International Museum Day, contributing special programming, admission discounts and events held on and around May 18. This year’s theme is Museums and Social Harmony, which will highlight the ability of art to promote cultural heritage through sustainable development and intercultural relations.

Visitors to the Museum have the opportunity to enjoy more than 2,000 years of exceptional human creativity in masterpieces of painting, sculpture, works on paper, decorative arts and architecture. Several new special exhibitions will be on view, including Art in Revolutionary Philadelphia, showcasing artwork and objects from the revolutionary period, and Live Cinema/Histories in Motion, highlighting stop-motion and mixed-media animation created by young artists with local ties. Other new exhibitions that will be on view May 18 include the print exhibitions Water Work and Visions of Venice, and Forms of Contingency: New York and Turin, 1960s - 1970s, the newest installation in the Notations series. The Museum’s Perelman Building will also be open, featuring five exhibition spaces, a soaring atrium filled with natural light, and a café with outdoor seating that complements the newly installed sculpture garden on the Museum’s west side.

Visitors to the Rodin Museum (general admission by donation) can enjoy the newly restored Meudon Monument gates and façade, and inside, more than 120 sculptures, including bronze casts of The Burghers of Calais, Eternal Springtime, and The Thinker. Fairmount Park House offerings include views of Mount Pleasant’s 18th-century country estate, and Cedar Grove, the summer residence for five generations of the Paschall family during the early 1800s.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is among the largest museums in the United States, with a collection of more than 227,000 works of art and more than 200 galleries presenting painting, sculpture, works on paper, photography, decorative arts, textiles, and architectural settings from Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the United States. Its facilities include its landmark Main Building on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the Perelman Building, located nearby on Pennsylvania Avenue, the Rodin Museum on the 2200 block of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, and two 18th-century houses in Fairmount Park, Mount Pleasant and Cedar Grove. The Museum offers a wide variety of activities for public audiences, including special exhibitions, programs for children and families, lectures, concerts and films.

For additional information, contact the Marketing and Communications Department of the Philadelphia Museum of Art at (215) 684-7860. The Philadelphia Museum of Art is located on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway at 26th Street. For general information, call (215) 763-8100, or visit the Museum's website at www.philamuseum.org.

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