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May 9th, 2012
On Friday, May 18, Admission Will Be Free To The Public At The Philadelphia Museum Of Art

Admission waived in celebration of International Museums Day

Philadelphia, PA—The Philadelphia Museum of Art will be free to the public on Friday, May 18 from 10:00 a.m. to 8:45 p.m. in celebration of the International Council of Museums’ (ICOM) International Museum Day on Friday, May 18, 2012. All galleries will be open in both the main Museum building and the Perelman Building, showcasing more than 2,000 years of exceptional human creativity in masterpieces of painting, sculpture, works on paper, decorative arts and architecture. This year’s theme of International Museum Day, which is dedicated to promoting the value of museums in society, will focus on the evolving role of museum is a changing world. In 2011, The Philadelphia Museum of Art joined with more than 100 other AAMD member museums across North America to participate in International Museum Day.

“We are delighted to join museums around the world to build awareness of the role art can play to enhance our lives in an ever changing world,” 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 explore our galleries and enjoy the countless discoveries that await them. Fridays are always lively at the Museum and we invite our first time visitors to taken any path through the galleries and discover what makes so many others come back so often.”

More than 200 galleries will be open for visitors to explore on May 18. Among the special exhibitions on view will be The Art of German Stoneware (through August 12), Main Building, and in the Perelman Building 35 MM, Photographs from the Collection (through June 3), Secret Garden (through July 12), and Collab: Four decades of Giving Modern and Contemporary Design (through September 12). Also in the Perelman Building is the newly opened Craft Spoken Here, which includes within the installation the CraftLAB, open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., where visitors can engage in their own creativity using supplies and books about making, with the assistance of craft experts.

In the main building will be gallery tours during the day and the lively Art After Five evening performances. The four tours include “American Mavericks” in 19th century art (noon), a “Perelman Building Architecture” tour (1:00 p.m.), the “Parthenon on the Parkway” tour of Museum architecture and outdoor sculpture (6:00 p.m.), and “Late 19th Century Art.” (7:00 p.m.). All tours meet in the Museum’s West Entrance, with the exception of the Perelman Building Architecture tour, which meets in the Perelman Lobby.

Art After 5 (5:00–8:45 p.m.) spotlights the Cuban-born jazz drummer Francisco Mela. A favorite among jazz’s elite instrumentalists, Mela has worked with Joe Lovano, John Scofield, and McCoy Tyner, among others, all of whom cite his charisma, sophistication, and life-affirming spirit as an extension of his talents as a composer and drummer.

 “Art museums create opportunities for the public to engage directly with works of art in new and meaningful ways—from transformative educational initiatives to innovative public partnerships.” said Chris Anagnos, Executive Director of AAMD. “AAMD believes that art should be accessible and relevant to all, and we are so pleased that The Philadelphia Museum of Art is joining with us and the global community of museums to celebrate the role museums play in their communities and to encourage visitors to share their museum experiences.”

Held annually on May 18, International Museums Day was organized by ICOM in 1977 as a way of recognizing the role museums play in the development of society. AAMD’s Art Museum Day is an opportunity to focus attention on the role of art museums in North America, as part of ICOM’s global celebration of museums. ICOM, an international organization of museums and museums professionals, is committed to the conservation, continuation, and communication to society of the world’s natural and cultural heritage. The worldwide community of museums will celebrate International Museum Day with workshops, programming, and admission discounts.

A comprehensive list of participating AAMD member art museums will be available in the newsroom of the AAMD website (http://www.aamd.org/newsroom/). 

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 Communications Department of the Philadelphia Museum of Art phone at 215-684-7860, by fax at 215-235-0050, or by e-mail at pressroom@philamuseum.org. The Philadelphia Museum of Art is located on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway at 26th Street. For general information, call (215) 763-8100.

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