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November 23rd, 2012
Holidays at the Museum

 November 28, 2012–January 1, 2013

This festive season, the Philadelphia Museum of Art welcomes visitors with a host of events, including musical performances and hands-on activities. The Museum will spotlight work from its collection, including The Christmas Story in Art tour and the All Dressed Up fashion display for children and adults. A curated selection of gift ideas is available in the Museum Store, while the Balcony Café presents culinary delights. The Great Stair Hall, a dramatic backdrop for the whole experience, will be lit and decked for the holidays in lush greenery and white amaryllis.

The Museum presents seasonal offerings each Saturday and Sunday in December, plus every day during the holiday week (December 26–January 1). Daytime performances begin on Saturday, December 1 with Caroling through the Galleries, featuring the Pennsylvania Girlchoir singing European and American carols. During holiday week, daily programs include Hidden Treasures tours, the Winter Family Studio, and Winter Concerts. A variety of acclaimed local groups are scheduled to perform, including Nashirah, the Jewish Chorale of Greater Philadelphia, The Keystone State Boychoir, Upper Darby High School Encore Singers, St. Thomas Gospel Choir of the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas, Singing City, First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia, and The Philadelphia Chorus. In addition, visitors may play impromptu chess games and local artists will be on site for Still-Life Drawing.

Take a journey through the European painting and decorative arts galleries to celebrate the art of entertaining. The 31 objects in the collection, one for each day of December, are marked with a special label; some are family stops with activities for children.

Courtly and Devotional Painting from the Indian Subcontinent (Gallery 227) showcases the vibrant miniature painting tradition. Originally seen in illustrated manuscripts, the paintings were often owned or commissioned by royalty. The subject matter of these works ranges from religious epics and devotional love poetry to portraits and narratives of court life. These paintings express beauty, devotion, wealth, and sophistication, as well as the complex web of human relationships.

Predella: Stories from Italian Altarpieces (Gallery 273) presents Italian Renaissance panels which were once part of fourteenth through sixteenth-century altarpieces. Usually made from a single, long section of wood, these pieces are often decorated with scenes of biblical stories or legends of saints.

Art After 5 gets into the holiday spirit every on Friday evening until 8:45 pm.

  • December 7, Just Breathe: Yoga Night
  • December 14, Festival of Lights with the West Philadelphia Orchestra
  • December  21, Jingle Bell Jive
  • December  28, New Year’s Eve Pre-Party Mistletoe Hop

Experience the charm of historic Philadelphia with seasonal tours at the Fairmount Park Houses. Mount Pleasant will host guided tours with stories of colonial American Christmas, as well as a Wassail and Confections Happy Hour Toast on December 27 and 29 with authentic eighteenth-century food, drink, and musical performances.

Among its wide range of amusing and adventurous gifts, the Museum Store is stocking Jonathan Adler ornaments and an elegant, ornately-cut, white cardboard Christmas tree, as well as a Menorah crafted from pewter and spalted maple wood. The Store also has a special section for children with an array of thoughtful gifts such as the Santa is Coming to Philadelphia book, the Bruno Racing Car, and 3-D drawing pad.

Every weekend, the Balcony Café will be transformed into a sweet shop serving pastries, cookies, hot mulled apple cider and several types of hot chocolate.

Full holiday program:

Support for the Museum’s holiday décor was generously provided by the Women’s Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Social Media:
Facebook: philamuseum; Twitter: philamuseum; Tumblr: philamuseum; YouTube: PhilaArtMuseum; Instagram: @philamuseum

Museum Hours:
Mondays: Closed. Tuesday through Sunday: 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Friday evenings: 10:00 a.m.–8:45 p.m. The Museum will be closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day and open during normal hours on New Year's Day.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is one of the largest museums in the United States, with a collection of more than 227,000 works of art. The Museum’s many galleries present painting, sculpture, works on paper, photography, decorative arts, textiles, and architectural settings from Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the United States. Its facilities include a landmark main building; the Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building; the Rodin Museum, and two historic 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 press information and images, contact Kristina Garcia, Philadelphia Museum of Art at or 215-684-7860. For general information, call 215-763-8100, or visit the Museum's website at


Social Media
Twitter/Facebook/Instagram/Tumblr/YouTube: @philamuseum

We are Philadelphia’s art museum. A landmark building. A world-renowned collection. A place that welcomes everyone. We bring the arts to life, inspiring visitors—through scholarly study and creative play—to discover the spirit of imagination that lies in everyone. We connect people with the arts in rich and varied ways, making the experience of the Museum surprising, lively, and always memorable. We are committed to inviting visitors to see the world—and themselves—anew through the beauty and expressive power of the arts.

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 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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