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What better place to discover the history of American art than Philadelphia, first capital of the United States? This 3-hour, small-group walking tour — led by an expert art scholar — details 19th-century American art and its influence on a nation’s history. Get an inside look at the paintings and sculptures at two National Historic Landmarks: the Portrait Gallery in the Second Bank of the United States and (for an additional fee) the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the first and oldest art museum and school in the U.S.


  • American fine art walking tour, great for art history buffs!
  • Visit the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and Second Bank of the United States, both US National Historic Landmarks
  • Browse 19th- and 20th-century paintings and sculptures from artists such as Charles Willson Peale
  • Your expert guide, an art scholar or museum curator, will explain how the artwork ties into American history
  • Small-group tour limited to six people ensures a more personalized experience

What You Can Expect

American Fine Art Tour in Philadelphia

Small-Group American Art Walking Tour

Meet at the Pennsylvania Hospital's Medical Practices Building in the morning to begin your 3-hour American art walking tour. Your expert guide -- a museum curator or art history professor -- will teach you about the visionaries Gilbert Stuart and Charles Willson Peale, who spearheaded the American art movement in the 19th century.

Start at the historic Second Bank of the United States, a US National Historic Landmark. Inside, walk through the art gallery that houses a large and famous collection of portraits of prominent American figures painted by various artists. One of these artists is Charles Willson Peale, a friend of Thomas Jefferson and the great portraitist of George Washington who is credited for establishing the first art museum and school in the US: the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts

Your guide will take you to this historic site, another US National Historic Landmark, where you’ll encounter Peale's The Artist in His Museum as well as works by West, Stuart and Krimmel.

Throughout your tour, your guide will discuss how American fine art took shape within the cultural and artistic communities of the young nation. You’ll also gain an in-depth understanding of the art movement within a greater context of global influences, philosophical inquiry and evolving national identities as you trace the movement from the 20th century to today.

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