Sunday, March 16, 2014

Beautiful Walls in the Inner City: Photographing Philadelphia's Murals

When people think of Philadelphia, what often comes to mind are the Liberty Bell, cheesesteaks, or Rocky Balboa.  The Philadelphia Museum of Art, whose steps were immortalized in the Rocky films, displays some of the world's truly magnificent and famous works of art.  But one of the interesting (and I think very cool) things about Philadelphia is that hundreds of beautiful and inspiring paintings are on permanent exhibition, all over the city, in plain view.  Over the past few years (most recently a few days ago) I made trips into Philly to explore and photograph these wonderful murals.  

"Famous Franks" 
345 S. 13th St. 
"Common Threads"
Broad and Spring Garden Streets
"Heavenly Hall"
40th and Poplar Streets

"Dr. J"
1219 Ridge Ave.
"It Has To Be From Here…Forgotten but Unshaken"
3263 N. Front Street
"Jackie Robinson"
2803 N. Broad Street
John B. Stetson School
320 B Street
"Father Paul Washington"
3405 Ridge Avenue
"Healing Walls (Victims Journey)"
3065 Germantown Ave.
"Philadelphia Muses"
S. 13th and Locust St.
"Philadelphia Stars: a tribute to Negro League baseball"
4304 Parkside Ave.
"Progress for Women"
1307 Locust St.

As I photograph the murals, at times I tried to highlight a particular section or detail (see my photographs of "Common Threads" or "Progress for Women" above).  Other times I tried to show how the mural is situated within a neighborhood (see "Jackie Robinson" or "Healing Walls" above).  Prior to venturing into Philly, I always map out a few murals which seemed interesting (using my online resources, below).  While I always tried to reach predetermined locations, I always had "happy accidents", in which I was looking for a particular place only to stumble upon another beautiful wall.

Most of these murals were created as part of Philadelphia's MURAL ARTS PROGRAM. Visit their website to learn more about their mission and their interesting 30+ year history.  To search murals by theme, artist, or section of the city, use "muralBase," and click HERE.  To see more of my photographs, or to purchase a print, visit my online ETSY shop, and click HERE.


  1. These are awesome. Great captures of iconic wall murals.

  2. These are great murals, such fantastic work.. I really enjoyed seeing them. Thank you so much for sharing...

  3. These are a great reminder that Philly does have a penchant for the arts.