Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Museum Without Walls - Philadelphia

Today Wawa Welcomes America Highlights "Museums Without Walls"
Philadelphia has one of the largest collections of outdoor sculptures, I offer a glimpse at a few of my favorites.  Go to the link, to find out more about where to find these pieces and how to connect to the audio tour. 

"The Prophet" by Jacob Lipkin (1909 - 1996) stands at 16th and the Parkway.
To read more about the artist, I found a very fascinating and detailed description at

Paul Philippe Cret was the supervising architect of the Philadelphia Parkway now know as the Ben Franklin Parkway. I believe it to be an open air museum all its own. I love to stroll along the artist's pathway. I find something new every time. 

Just passing by in a car, I am not sure I would notice the following pieces as standouts, just as we pass by so much on any given day and consider it ordinary. Do the walk and take time to observe and read about these unique pieces of art.

It's a turtle!

It's a bird pecking at the ground!

 It's a star!

It's a fish!

From every angle it is something different, as in life there is the creator's perspective and the observer's translation. After you decide what it is, read the sign " Three Way Piece Number One Points" by Henry Moore. It reminds me of the saying, there are three sides to every story, Yours, Mine and the Truth to me this designates a Fourth.

Rock Form ( Porthcurno) by Barbara Hempwworth is an abstract.  I thought it looked like a couple embracing and having an intimate moment, similar to couples that exhibit PDA's in front of the LOVE sculpture just down the street in Philadelphia. The description suggests Barbara had rocks in her head when she designed this piece. I mean no disrespect, she created something different in my mind's eye.Maybe she was seeing rock solid relationship just in another medium.

Three Disc, One Lacking by Alexander Calder (1898 - 1976) looks like an airplane and a pilot rising into the sky. Reading further about this artist, I learned he created a sculptor called "WTC Stabile", also known as "Cockeyed Propeller" and "The Three Wings". In 1971, his creation was installed at the entrance of the World Trade Center, North Tower. It moved around the plaza through the years. On September 11, it stood in front of 7 World Trade Center one of the buildings on the perimeter of the plaza. Thirty percent of the sculpture was recovered but cannot be restored. There are hopes to bring it back to life in a different form. In a roundabout way, this sculpture stands to support the many victims of that horrible tragedy.

Not far from the above sculpture you will pass by Logan Square and "The Swann Fountain" created by Alexander Stirling Calder (1870 - 1945). It is a memorial to Dr Wilson Carey Swann, founder of the Philadelphia Fountain Society. The Native American figures represent three local rivers, the Delaware, Schuylkill, and the Wissahickon.  

Look up for this one, the 37 foot William Penn statue atop City Hall was  designed by Alexander Milne Calder, the father of Alexander Stirling Calder and grandfather of  Alexander "Sandy" Calder.

You can find a smaller replica inside the Athenaeum in Philadelphia

The Athenaeum is another fascinating museum in Philadelphia but it is inside maybe you would want to save this trip fora rainy day.

The Holocaust

The Holocaust statue stands also at 16th and the Parkway across from "The Prophet". The Monument to Six Million Jewish Martyrs by Nathan Rapoport. The flames at the top of the statue represent a Moses and the burning bush.

Nathan Rapoport also designed this thought provoking statue called Liberation that stands in Liberty State Park in Jersey City, New Jersey.

This is just a small sampling.

Another great link to find a sculpture that you spot in Philadelphia

I found the answer to one of my mysterious sculptures in Fairmount Park on the above website.

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