Philadelphia Revealed: unpacking the attic

July 18–December 1, 2024 

An exhibition from the Atwater Kent Collection at Drexel University

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Fisher Brooks and Frances M. Maguire Gallery 
Samuel M.V. Hamilton Building, 128 N. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102

Hours: Thursday – Friday 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM / Saturday – Sunday 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM 
Monday – Wednesday Closed

Philadelphia Revealed: Unpacking the Attic is a large, interactive display of over 600 authentic objects, telling the story of Philadelphia’s city history collection. Inspiring pride in our great city, this major exhibition reflects 350 years of Philly history.

The exhibition highlights the strengths of the Atwater Kent Collection (former Philadelphia History Museum), including material representing the Atwater Kent Museum’s earliest acquisitions, eclectic collections it absorbed, national celebrations, development of the city and civic history, Philly sports, salvaged material and relics, manufacturing and retail, and art and music.  

The Collection grew over 80 years to encompass an array of Philadelphia stories: objects reflect the city’s diverse residents and their contributions over three centuries. Along with 600+ artifacts, the exhibition includes hundreds more historical images as well as multimedia and hands-on elements.  

Related Programming

Philadelphia Revealed is an exhibition, a podcast, and a platform for anyone to add their story to Philadelphia history. Through an interactive game, facilitated by First Person Arts, visitors can find and add their own stories to the archives. They can hear other Philadelphians’ stories through The Philadelphia Revealed Podcast, produced by WHYY. Hosted by Jamie Brunson of First Person Arts, each episode features a new storyteller highlighting an object from the exhibition and sharing their own story inspired by it. Public programs will enable further interaction. Philadelphia history is still being told; Philadelphia Revealed aims to find out what these objects mean to all of us. 

Curated by
Page Talbott, PhD, Stacey Swigart, and Melissa Clemmer, Drexel University Lenfest Center for Cultural Partnerships


The Philadelphia Revealed Podcast and additional programming—Reshaping Historical Narratives through the Atwater Kent Collection at Drexel University, in collaboration with WHYY and First Person Arts—has been supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.

Featured Image: Industrial Philadelphia – The Workshop of the World, oil on canvas by Morris Berd (1914–2007), 1952 (Gift of Stern’s Department Stores; acquired Gimbels, 90.81.1).