How Long Does It Take to Go Through the Philadelphia Museum of Art?

Art|Art Museum

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is one of the largest art museums in the United States, with a vast collection of over 227,000 works of art spanning over two millennia. This impressive museum houses everything from ancient artifacts to modern masterpieces. With so much to see, it can be overwhelming to decide how long it will take to go through the museum.

A complete tour of the museum would likely take several days, but for those short on time there are recommended highlights that can be accomplished in about three hours.

The first stop is the Great Stair Hall, considered one of America’s most beautiful public spaces and a perfect reflection of Philadelphia’s grandeur. From there visitors can explore the European collections which include works from Renaissance and Baroque masters like Raphael and Rembrandt, as well as Impressionist and Post-Impressionist pieces by Manet, Monet, Renoir, and Degas. The American collections are also impressive with highlights like Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks and John Singer Sargent’s Lady Agnew of Lochnaw.

In addition to paintings and sculpture, visitors can explore the museum’s vast collection of decorative arts including furniture, porcelain figures, silverware and tapestries. There is also an extensive collection of prints and photographs including works by Ansel Adams and Robert Mapplethorpe.

The museum also houses an impressive collection of contemporary art including installations by Yoko Ono, Keith Haring and Jenny Holzer. The Perelman Building is home to modern works from African American artists like Kara Walker and Romare Bearden.

Those looking for a more extensive experience can opt for one of the guided tours offered by the museum which are tailored to different interests such as Renaissance art or contemporary sculpture.

The knowledgeable guides provide insight into each artwork making for a more meaningful experience.


Visiting the Philadelphia Museum of Art is an experience that should not be rushed through; however it is possible to get a taste for this incredible institution in three hours or less if you know what you’re looking for. For those looking for a deeper experience there are guided tours available that will help you get more out your visit.