City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program
October 7, 2011 9:29 PM   Subscribe

The City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program manages information about hundreds of murals that have made Philadelphia famous. is the site where information about the growing body of public art created by the Mural Arts Program has been planted. Pictures and detailed information about murals can be searched by artist, theme, date, location, neighborhood, and other key terms.

Each of the more than 800 catalogued murals has been assigned an identification number, and a single record. Within that record, there are photographs of the mural (and in some cases, "before" photographs of the mural site), and detailed information about the mural. In addition to the location and the title of the mural, details include the lead artist's name, names of assistants, partners and sponsors, dates of completion and dedication, description of mural, as well as tags and themes.

The search is powerful, but kludgy. Perhaps some of our Philly locals can help with choice locations.
posted by netbros (12 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
I love the Mural Arts Program! It's public art that doesn't make me cringe. Love Letter is probably the biggest hit, with dozens of murals in a series, most of which aren't visible from street level and are best observed from MFL elevated railway.

But there are lots of great pieces all over the city, some serious, some silly, nearly all of them nicer than the blank or graffiti-covered walls which preceded them. We even have one inexplicable mural dedicated to Noam Chomsky.
posted by ddbeck at 10:00 PM on October 7, 2011 [2 favorites]

Also, if you're curious about the architecture (and frequently empty lots) which are adjacent to Philly's murals, there's no better place to turn to than Philaphilia, which is my favorite Philadelphia-related blog. It's funny and surprisingly educational with delightful series such as Butt-Fugly Building of the Week.
posted by ddbeck at 10:13 PM on October 7, 2011 [2 favorites]

I used to live a block away from that Chomsky mural. I'd always meant to take a picture of it, then moved away from Philly before remembering to. Thank you ddbeck.
posted by 256 at 10:17 PM on October 7, 2011

The mural arts program helps add a little pleasure to my morning commute. Even after 5 years, I love coming upon these giant paintings scattered throughout west Philly. I'm really glad they are refurbishing the 3 story tall Paul Robeson at 45th and Chestnut.
posted by Larry Duke at 4:58 AM on October 8, 2011

I always feel like the 'Love Letter' murals give me +5 happiness points on the commute through West Philly.
posted by angrycat at 5:39 AM on October 8, 2011

If you happen to be in Philly this month, the Mural Arts Program has free mural tours every Saturday, including the popular Love Letters and a biking mural tour! Schedule!
posted by troublewithwolves at 6:07 AM on October 8, 2011

Our family worked on this one.
It's on the side of the neighborhood Vietnamese Buddhist temple, my daughter made one of the large panels on the right hand side, and my other daughter, my wife and I made some of the small tiles you see on the left. It was a community project, with everyone from the neighborhood invited into the temple to hand paint and stamp tiles. It was great, it's in a mixed neighborhood, so everybody was there: young hipsters side by side with old Vietnamese ladies, little Mexican kids, old school Italian guys, African American families, it was great. And the little old Buddhist ladies fed us lunch! When it was dedicated, the entire neighborhood came out, the temple monks blessed it, and we all danced.

I love my city.
posted by SPUTNIK at 6:16 AM on October 8, 2011 [4 favorites]

And that website doesn't have the hundreds of mosaics by Isaiah Zagar scattered throughout the Center City area either. We take our public art SERIOUS.
posted by SPUTNIK at 6:31 AM on October 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

We also need as much love as possible given the outcome of the Phillies game last night. Blech.
posted by angrycat at 6:34 AM on October 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

Whatever, I heard the Eagles are a dream team and *looks at record*, oh.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:50 AM on October 8, 2011

Apparently Philadelphia was completely passed over by the WPA between 1935-43. Weak (and contemporary).
posted by wallstreet1929 at 7:38 AM on October 8, 2011

My neighbor makes a living as a mural artist because of this program. We have a nice one about a block away. It's so much part of living in Philadelphia that I take the murals for granted and assume every great city must have beautiful paintings everywhere.

And please do not mention the Phillies or the Eagles. They both cause me pain right now (weeps).
posted by Peach at 6:31 PM on October 8, 2011 [2 favorites]

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