I spent the last few days in Philadelphia on vacation with some friends. There are so many museums and art galleries there, and unfortunately I was only able to visit a few. Here are some of the places/exhibits I visited.
American-Swedish Historical Museum
The traveling exhibit, ‘Colony to Community: The Story of New Sweden,’ was very educational, yet not as in depth as I had wished. The exhibit contained old charters, coins, weapons, a model of a Swedish log cabin, old world maps, and old Bibles used by Swedish immigrants.
Colony to Community: The Story of New Sweden describes the journey of Swedes and Finns who came to the Delaware Valley in 1638 to establish the New Sweden Colony, an outpost to give Sweden a foothold in the growing fur and tobacco trades. Through rare collection objects, historic documents and images, this exhibition explores the origins of the New Sweden Colony, the cultural endurance of the settlement that made it possible for Swedes and Finns to continue to immigrate to the area in the 18th and 19th centuries and how we preserve the past by commemorating New Sweden’s legacy today. http://www.americanswedish.org/
Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell
Two prominent symbols of the American Revolutionary War. Tradition is that the Liberty Bell was rung after the announcement of the Declaration of Independence, which was signed at Independence Hall. It was very interesting to see these sites. I took an American History class last semester, and although I already had basic knowledge of early United States history, it really made me appreciate the events that took place during the late 18th century much more.
This place was great! A fascinating museum of various rare specimens and medical oddities. Some things were quite bizarre, some sad, others gross. I recommend this museum!
The Mütter Museum was founded to educate future doctors about anatomy and human medical anomalies. Today, it serves as a valuable resource for educating and enlightening the public about our medical past and telling important stories about what it means to be human. The Mütter Museum embodies The College of Physicians of Philadelphia ‘s mission to advance the cause of health, and uphold the ideals and heritage of medicine. http://www.muttermuseum.org/
The Franklin Institute
Galileo: The Medici & the Age of Astronomy
This is a very interesting topic to me, but the exhibit didn’t really give it justice. On loan from a museum in Italy were several hundred fantastic items like old sundials, telescopes, and beautiful hand written notebooks and personal letters relating to the Renaissance’s amazing astronomy advances.
Created through The Franklin Institute’s exclusive partnership with the Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza in Florence, Italy, the exhibit showcases Galileo’s accomplishments, his relationship to the ruling Medici family, his discoveries, and his overall impact on astronomy, physics, and math. This will be the first time one of the two remaining Galileo telescopes has left Italy. Also exhibited will be other instruments belonging to Galileo, as well as paintings, prints, and manuscripts from the priceless Medici collection. Together, the collections will showcase how the union of science, art, and political power gave rise to Galileo’s success.
Much of the exhibit focused on the Medici family’s contribution to scientific advancement. It was only a small poster on the wall at the very end of the exhibit that even spoke about what Galileo went through due to his ideas and having to live out the rest of his live under house arrest. I will write an article about him another time. http://www2.fi.edu/exhibits/traveling/galileo/
Star Trek: The Exhibition
This exhibit contained a lot of memorabilia like clothing, stun guns and a set with original furniture of the “bridge” from the TV show. There was also a good bit of information about NASA’s space travel accomplishments. I’d say this exhibit is only worth going to if you are into Star Trek.
STAR TREK: THE EXHIBITION features the world’s most comprehensive collection of authentic Star Trek objects and transports visitors into parallel universes of the future and past. This 12,500 foot exhibition, an amalgamation of all five television and ten film series spanning over 40 years, is the ultimate opportunity to connect with iconic Star Trek moments and characters, while celebrating the creative spirit of science fiction and science that gave rise to many of today’s modern marvels. From the Next Generation Bridge, to the Engine Room, to sitting in Kirk’s original captain’s chair, STAR TREK: THE EXHIBITION not only relives the legacy but invites you to be a part of the Enterprise! http://www2.fi.edu/startrek/index.html
And what vacation to Philly would be complete without Geno’s? I have been to Philly at least half a dozen times over the past few years but have never made it to south Philly until this past week. Geno’s was very good, but since it is a tourist trap, over priced. By the way, whiz wit.
Sadly, we didn’t have time to visit the University of Pennsylvania’s Archaeology and Anthropology museum. I’m hoping to make it there in the next few months.