Week 2: Thursday, July 23, 2015
The two neighboring buildings that compose the museum are, at first glance, two different worlds. What strikes the visitor—or maybe only me — is that you can see universal ties of art and expression and how they’ve changed over the last 200+ years since PAFA opened its doors.
The Furness-Hewitt Building Historic Landmark Building (or what most staff simply call the historical building), is a work of art in itself. It’s styled in the High Victorian Gothic fashion — which may sound a little creepy and antique,but it is truly stunning. When one hears “museum”, halls and halls of boring, irrelevant artwork may come to mind. You’ll be trapped in this huge building, almost maze-like with no escape or even notion of an outside world. PAFA’s Historical Landmark building, though palace-like has a homey charm to it. The walls are vibrant colors, there’s windows and there’s natural light.
They even have the only painting of a statue that used to be where City Hall is now, and the head is right next to it! There’s a wonderful room full of paintings and sculptures from the Civil War. There are contemporary portraits directly across from historic portraits, including a portrait of one of America’s presidents. The conversation between the two pieces as they shared a hallway was amazing and also reflects the conversation between the two buildings.
The Historic Landmark Building primarily houses the permanent collection of the museum , but the Hamilton Building, next door, is ever-changing. This building is very chic; white walls, high ceilings and glass fixings. PAFA is a great place to visit when looking for some history or something new (in respects of the art itself or the way it is presented). It is an awesome place to find something new in history, or to see something new make history. I hope you visit!