Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 118-128 N. Broad St., was founded in 1805 and is the nation's first museum and school of fine arts. The majority of major American artists has studied, taught or exhibited here. The building, a Victorian Gothic beauty with all its exterior embellishments, dates to 1876 and houses art from the 18th century to the present. Changing exhibits of multimedia works by students, faculty and alumni can be viewed at the Samuel M.V. Hamilton Building.
The collection showcases American art since the 1760s. Among the PAFA founders was painter/scientist Charles Willson Peale; his self- portrait, “The Artist in His Museum,” portrays him lifting a curtain to reveal scientific specimens. Other artists represented throughout the collection include Mary Cassatt, Thomas Eakins, Childe Hassam, Robert Henri, Edward Hopper, Georgia O'Keefe, William Rush, Henry Ossawa Tanner, Benjamin West and Andrew Wyeth.
Guided tours are available. Time: Allow 1 hour minimum.