Top 5 Murals in Philly

Art is very subjective. What one person thinks is a masterpiece for the ages is utter garbage to another. So it will be interesting to see if our Top 5 Murals in Philly match up with what you may have seen. And if you haven’t seen any murals in Philly, you’re in for a treat.

 

What’s even better, you can do a mural arts tour and even buy some of the murals as prints!

 

So, let’s get started with our #5 mural…

 

Dr. J (Julius Erving)

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We wanted to start this one with a bang! Who is more Philadelphia than Dr J? He was such an icon during the inclusion of the ABA (American Basketball Association) into the NBA, that everyone wanted to be like him. In fact, N.W.A.’s Dr. Dre named himself in part after this legendary Philadelphia sports icon.

 

Swing past 1234 Ridge Ave near Spring Garden to see this mural. It’s amazing the shading that the artist accomplished on an outdoor wall.

Image credit: MuralArts.org

 

Jackie Robinson

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Our #4 entry continues the sports theme with Jackie Robinson. Drive south down Broad St toward Lehigh Avenue. Once you pass Glenwood Ave look to your left. You’ll see a giant mural of Jackie Robinson sliding into base.

 

We’re no art majors but the technique used is certainly eye-catching. Which is what places it at #4 on our list.

Image credit: MuralArts.org

 

 

 

Famous Franks

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This is one of our favorites because of the creativity that went into it. Artist David McShane’s mural incorporates images of famous Franks that have some affiliation with Philadelphia. Some he just thought would be fun to paint.

 

Included on this mural at 1300 Pine St are everyone from Frank Sinatra and Aretha Franklin to  Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Frankenstein.

 

This mural also has some fun trivia. Every single image has “Frank” somewhere in their name. There are some who don’t seem to fit. Can you spot them? (Hint: Why is former Phillies’ Tug McGraw on a mural with all “Franks”?)

Image credit: MuralArts.org

 

Tribute to Harriet Tubman

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This mural is a must see for everyone. The Tribute to Harriet Tubman located at 2950 Germantown Ave is a reminder of the work so many did to free fellow humans enslaved in this country.

 

While the mural is a tribute to Harriet Tubman, it is also a memorial to “a few of the many who gave of themselves for others” (as written on the top of the mural). This includes white people as well as black; a reminder that not everyone agreed with the institution of slavery.

 

This is a sobering mural that deserves your consideration and why it lands at #2.

Image credit: PhillyMuralPics.com

 

Philadelphia Muses

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We chose this mural at 13th & Locust St as our number 1 because of its intricacy and detail. If you didn’t know better, you’d think it was a photograph. It’s a reflection of the skill of the artists that participate in the mural arts program.

 

There are a number of such detailed murals spread all across Philadelphia. There are likely some very close to where you are right now. Check out the Mural Arts Map to see what’s near you.

 

And to think, what started in 1984 as an anti-graffiti program has resulted in the largest outdoor art exhibit in the world!

Image credit: MuralArts.org

 

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