Philadelphia & NYC are the U.S.’s top arts destinations

Philadelphia & NYC are the U.S.’s top arts destinations

03 mars 2020 | PAR O NEALL Libby

In a press conference on tourism in New York and Philadelphia, Julie Coker names the two U.S. cities as “the best destinations in the United States.” Both cities have exciting renovations and exhibitions, some new and some already existing with fresh takes, and all worth a visit.

New York City

“The best reason to travel is for art,” says Fred Dixon, the President and CEO of NYC & Company. As it turns out, New York has many arts-centric destinations worth considering on your next trip to the city. 

The Shed

Located in Manhattan, The Shed is an impressive and sustainable building. The building itself can expand and retract using the same amount of horsepower as a Toyota Prius, which as you can expect is not much energy. The Shed hosts art exhibitions from all disciplines; performance, visual, digital, and anything else you can think of. The showcases are constantly changing, but the live animation “Life After Bob” by Ian Cheng is available until January 2021. The Shed also has ongoing youth activist collaborations focused on dance and writing. For more information about their upcoming exhibitions, look at the calendar on their website.

New York Botanical Gardens (NYBG)

Beginning on May 9th and lasting until November 1st, Yayoi Kusama is making her way to the botanical gardens in the Bronx. Her latest installation entitled “Kusama: Cosmic Nature” is a multisensory immersion into nature, inspired by her childhood. Kusama’s work is vivid and flooded with patterns. The NYBG will feature her paintings and sculptures across their 250 acres. Visit here for more information about the future installation.

NEW Studio 54: Night Magic

The Brooklyn Museum opens its brand new exhibition Studio 54: Night Magic on March 13 which will last until July, 5. Tracing the history of the iconic nightclub and its prime during the Civil Rights Movements, this exhibit will feature photographs, films, and fashion from the time. The collection will bring to life the pivotal social context of the era, starting from the Prohibition and spanning through the 70s. Studio 54: Night Magic is a must-see destination if you want to get a sense of New York’s glamorous and diverse nightlife at its peak. For more information and tickets, visit here.

The Perelman Center

Also set to open this year is the Perelman Center, which will be a multidisciplinary performing arts center. It is located at the World Trade Center and the exact date for opening has not yet been announced. With Barbara Streisand as Chairwoman, the center aims to be a place of creative inspiration for all who visit. Performances will include opera, dance, and music. The building, hosting three theaters, is made of translucent marble, giving it a glow at nightfall. To stay up to date about when the Perelman center will open, check their website. 



Philadelphia offers a unique art experience. As Julie Coker, President and CEO of the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau says, “Art happens to you in Philadelphia.” She says this because art is found anywhere you walk in Pennsylvania’s capital. The city boasts one of the largest collections of public, including outdoor, art in the United States. Every neighborhood of Philly has a different story to tell and using statues and murals these areas can communicate their values. 

A Love Letter for You

Some of Philadelphia’s most popular murals are those in artist Steve Power’s collection entitled “A Love Letter for You.” Found on the rooftops of West Philadelphia, this series of 50 murals can be seen when riding either Market-Frankford El train. Locals refer to this line as the “El.” The messages on the murals are expressions of love from Powers to his hometown. For more information on these heartwarming murals, look here.

NEW Philadelphia Museum of Art: recently renovated

Expected to be completed in 2020, the Philadelphia Museum of Art is undergoing some serious renovations to open up space; both physically and figuratively. There will be no significant change to the building’s exterior to preserve its history. However, the renovation opens up an extra 180 square meters of new public space on the interior of the museum. Architect Frank Gehry expects this expansion to have an “amazing impact on culture.” The museum will be able to guest more people, bringing together people of different interests and backgrounds. 

The museum’s expansion will allow for the incorporation of more exhibitions of American art. Julie Coker says this is part of a “desire to view history through a more diverse and inclusive lense,” and to raise questions about “what it means to be American.”

The museum remains open throughout the renovation process, although some spaces are closed due to construction. To stay up to date on the reconstruction and exhibitions, visit the Philadelphia Museum of Art website.


A way to experience both cities

In an unprecedented collaboration, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York and the Philadelphia Museum of Art will both host works from American Artist, Jasper Johns. The exposition titled “Jasper Johns: Mind/Mirror” will open in both New York and Philadelphia on October 28th, hence the inspiration behind the “mirror.” Despite the exhibitions being in two different cities, the intention is for the viewer to visit both locations as they showcase “two sides of the same coin,” says Co-curator Scott Rothkopf. The Whitney will focus on Johns’ motifs such as maps and flags, including the iconic “Three Flags” while Philadelphia will have works that showcase the motif of numbers common in Johns’ work. Likewise, the Whitney will feature Johns’ more dreamlike and imaginative works, and Philadelphia will present those of darker, more nightmarish depictions. You can visit both expos in one day, as the train ride from one city to the next is less than 2 hours. Due to the large number of loans used to create this display, it will not travel, making it a truly once in a lifetime experience. 


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