6ABC Loves The Arts

Atwater Kent Museum gets whole new look

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Philadelphia's Atwater Kent Museum has a brand new name, a whole new look and a host of new exhibits that will soon be revealed.

After shutting its doors for three years of renovations, the Philadelphia History Museum at the Atwater Kent opened two galleries in February.

Now they're putting the finishing touches on the rest of the museum, designed to tell the story of Philadelphia's 330-year history.

The Philadelphia History Museum has 100,000 objects. Artifacts like Mike Schmidt's 1970s-era batting hat to a disguise worn by Abraham Lincoln as he passed through Philadelphia in the 1860s.

With new HVAC systems controlling the building's humidity, all of those artifacts can now be displayed.

"There is one gallery that is devoted to Philadelphia's history as a workshop of the world. There will be another gallery called Played in Philadelphia which will focus on everything from sports to broadcast to American Bandstand," said Charles Croce. He works as the museum's Executive Director and CEO.

Another exhibit called Face to Facebook will look at portraits and how people have pictured themselves through the years.

"At the end, you'll be able to step behind a frame, take a picture and email it to us so you can be included in our Facebook series," said Croce.

The museum's iconic floor map remains and there are two galleries now open and always free. One offers an overview of the city's history. The other is a community gallery with a new exhibit on the mural arts program.

"It has a lot of quick response codes that you can scan to hear the artist talk about how he/she created the mural. It's very interesting," said Croce.

The Museum's grand re-opening ceremony will be Saturday, September 22nd and the entire museum will be free that weekend. Go to Philadelphia History for all of the details.

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