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Top Photography Galleries In Philadelphia

More people are coming around to the idea that there can be as much artistry in photography as there is in painting or other forms of visual art. Maybe you've realized this for yourself, and you'd like to take in a few galleries but don't know where to start. Worry not. Philadelphia is chock full of photography galleries for anyone's taste or budget.

Works by photographer Ralph Eugene Meatyard will be on view at the Philadelphia Museum of Art from May 15 to August 5, 2012. (© The Estate of Ralph Eugene Meatyard, Courtesy Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco)

Philadelphia Museum of Art
26th St and Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19130
(215) 763-8100

Price: Adults - $16, Seniors ages 65 and over - $14, Students (with valid ID) - $12, Children ages 13 to 18 - $12, Children ages 12 and under - Free, Members - Free
Hours: Tues to Sun - 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., select galleries open on Fridays to 8:45 p.m.

Any artistic adventurer's first stop should be at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Everyone knows that the art museum's main building is not only beautiful but iconic, but did you know that the museum houses thousands of photographs? In fact, prints, drawings and photographs make up the majority of the museum's collection. Photography takes the cake at this museum, with works from some of art's finest including Alfred Stieglitz and Paul Strand. If you're looking for a one-stop gallery to take in world-class photography, the Philadelphia Museum of Art is for you.

Silence Existence by Testsugo Hyakutake is on view at the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center through June 11, 2012. (credit: Testugo Hyakutake)

Philadelphia Photo Arts Center
1400 N American St #103
Philadelphia, PA 19122
(215) 232-5678

Price: Admission to the gallery is free. Some special events may have a small entry fee.
Hours: Tues to Thurs - 12 p.m. to 8 p.m., Fri and Sun - 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., Mon - Closed

The Philadelphia Photo Arts Center is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the study, practice and appreciation of photography in the Philadelphia area. Every few months the exhibitions rotate, but the gallery has consistently shown works by Laura Heyman, Tetsugo Hyakutake and Christian Patterson. The best time to go to the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center is opening night of a new exhibition.  These feature gallery walk-throughs and book signings by the artists, as well as opportunities to buy prints of the artists' work. For anyone interested in contemporary photography, the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center is not to be missed.

Related: Top Art Museums In Philadelphia Area


Institute of Contemporary Art
118 S 36th St
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 898-7108

Price: Admission to the gallery is free.
Hours: Wed - 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Thurs and Fri - 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sat and Sun - 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mon and Tues - Closed

The Institute of Contemporary Art is the University of Pennsylvania's premier art institute. The institute has rotating exhibits, many of which show photography. This is one of the best places to see the art stars of tomorrow today. For anyone wanting to be on the cutting edge of photography, the Institute of Contemporary Art is your starting point.

(credit: Project Basho)

Project Basho
1305 Germantown Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19122
(215) 238-0928

Price: Admission to the gallery is free.
Hours: Sun to Thurs - 12 p.m. to 10 p.m., Fri - 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., Sat - Closed

Project Basho houses an 800-square-foot gallery dedicated exclusively to photography. The architecture of this gallery is unique in that it hosts a 14-foot ceiling, making the 800 square feet feel both spacious and intimate. Project Basho is a place where educated viewers meet to celebrate the beauty, craft and vision of photography. Basho's website says it all, "A good photography show doesn't need to equal a two-hour Chinatown bus ride."


Gallery 339
339 S 21st St
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 731-1530

Price: Admission to the gallery is free.
Hours: Tues to Sat - 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sun and Mon - Closed

Gallery 339 has rotating exhibitions that change more than once every two months. Its past exhibitions have included works by Rita Bernstein, Phillip Toledano and William Larson. Moreover, Gallery 339 hosts free photography events such as panels about photography, photography lectures and artist book signings. If you're looking for a gallery that feels hip and young, this is the place for you.

Related: Best Art Galleries In Philadelphia

Head to Philadelphia's Best Of pages for more local tips on family fun, shopping, nightlife, food, culture and more!

Katherine Ernst has done it all--kiddie carnival ride operator, attorney, concert tech--and now she's using her wealth of experience to enrich her writing. Katherine graduated magna cum laude from Loyola College of Law, and is now a full-time novelist and freelance writer in Montgomery County. Her work can be found at

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