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Sculptures

From Fairmount Park's earliest days in the first half of the 19th century, to modern sculptures at our recreation facility, PPR's landscape is embellished with artwork. The Fairmount Park Water Works, for example, boasted two allegorical sculptures by William Rush (1756-1833), widely recognized as America's first significant sculptor.
The desire to combine public art with the natural landscape persisted when the park expanded, leading to the establishment of the Fairmount Park Art Association (now the Association for Public Art) in 1872. Since that time, thanks in large part to the efforts of the Association for Public Art, park areas have become a showcase for sculpture by noted American and foreign artists. Look for children-themed sculptures at many of the city’s playgrounds and recreation centers, as Philadelphia’s rich tradition of public art can be found in many unexpected places. Today, Philadelphia’s Park & Recreation spaces contain over 250 pieces of sculpture and 25 fountains.

For more detailed sculpture information or to find links and resources to "all things" sculpture, visit the Association for Public Art or the Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy Public Art, which provides a comprehensive list of over 788 sculptures, fountains, mosaics and memorials in Philadelphia – many of which are in the city’s parks and recreation facilities. This website is searchable by title, artist, years, people, landmarks, architecture or subject. Philart.net also provides 30 walking tours of city art complete with maps.

Also don’t forget to check out the award winning Museum without Walls cell phone audio tour to hear interesting sculpture stories told by those who have first-hand knowledge or special relationships with the artwork.