The Mutter Museum


One of the main reasons why I wanted to visit Philadelphia was to see the Mutter Museum. It has been on my “must visit” list for far too long. I am happy to report that not only did I get to visit the museum, but, it lived up to my expectations. The museum is named after Thomas Dent Mutter who was a physician and Fellow of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia (for the record I have never used the word “of” so much in one sentence).  Throughout his life, Mutter acquired a substantial teaching collection including human specimens and medical instruments. On his death, 1 700 objects were bequeathed to the College. Today, that number has grown to over 25 000.

Here is a run down of what exactly you’d find in the collection:

Wet Specimens – biological material preserved in a fluid (alcohol or water)
Skeletal Specimens – whole skeletons or bone fragments
Models – anatomical models used for teaching
Instruments – an array of medical equipment and apparatus

Continue reading “The Mutter Museum”

Philadelphia Museum of Art


The Philadelphia Museum of Art is an overwhelming institution in the best way possible. You could so easily spend an entire day here and not come close to seeing everything. I had been warned that this is a huge gallery filled with everything from 15th century European art to Picasso and Mondrian. Basically, if you want to visit a gallery that has a bit of literally everything, then this is the one to add to your list. Continue reading “Philadelphia Museum of Art”

National Portrait Gallery 


On our final day in Washington we decided to finish our museum journey at the National Portrait Gallery. My main motivation for visiting was to see the portrait of Benjamin Franklin and pose with the same judgemental smirk on my face. Now my motives are clear, I want to quickly add that as soon as we entered the gallery, we discovered there was so much more to see.

The first gallery that caught my eye was the American Presidents Gallery located on the second level. At the top of the stairs is a huge painting containing four individuals and called “The Four Justices”. Depicted is Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, and Sandra Day O’Connor. Like every label in this gallery, it was super easy to read and understand. This one in particular had a lot of history woven into an explanation of the artwork. Continue reading “National Portrait Gallery “

Eastern State Penitentiary


Again I find myself so excited to write a review I just can’t wait to share! The Eastern State Penitentiary is such an incredibly fascinating heritage place. I’m going to start with a little bit of history then move into my experience of the site. There is so much I want to cover so I’m going to try my best to summarise as much as possible and hopefully persuade you to visit for yourself!

The Eastern State Penitentiary is regarded as one of the most famous prisons in the world. It was opened in 1829 and functioned as a prison until 1971. According to their website, this prison was the first true penitentiary, meaning a place designed to “inspire penitence”. As opposed to other prisons at the time, namely Sing Sing in New York, the Penitentiary favoured solitary confinement over physical punishment. Bit by bit the prison closed and eventually was left to ruin. The decision had to be made with what to do with the site. Some wanted it completely demolished but others argued it should become a shopping mall. On the eve of the decision, a group of historians and preservationists fought to keep the site as a reminder of America’s past. Luckily, they won and now it is a site of stabilised ruin. I will write so much more on this concept later but let’s get into the site itself. Continue reading “Eastern State Penitentiary”

Museum of the American Revolution 


Although I am still releasing posts on Washington, I couldn’t resist writing about the Museum of the American Revolution. After our visit to the Mütter Museum (which will be posted about later) we were a little lost for what to do. This isn’t because there is nothing to see, actually it’s quite the opposite. You can’t take two steps in Philadelphia without seeing a museum. This is otherwise known as my kind of town.

We decided to visit the newest museum in Philadelphia, the Museum of the American Revolution. We are determined to leave Philadelphia with a better idea of what happened during the American Revolutionary War. At first I was a little hesitant to visit. I thought it was going to be another extremely patriotic museum that just focused on the Founding Fathers with little to no mention of anyone else. Of course they were mentioned, however, there was a great effort to integrate other groups into the narrative. Continue reading “Museum of the American Revolution “