Top 5 Spring Exhibitions in Philadelphia

By: Jennifer Vanasco

Here are my Top 5 Spring Exhibitions in Philadelphia:

1. Philadelphia International Flower Show, March 4-11

Flower shows are not just for those to love to garden – they’re for anyone who’s looking for a burst of spring and a bit of wonder. Philly’s annual event is one of the largest in the country, which is why it’s known as the “Nation’s Flower Show.” This year’s theme is Hawaii and visitors, entering through a canopy of tropical flowers, will walk into a paradise of waterfalls, towering palm trees, music and fire dancing performances, hula dancing, and thousands and thousands of delicious-smelling flowers arranged to form stage-set-like scenes.

2.  Exhibit on Bruce Springsteen (Feb. 17 – Sept. 3)

Were you “Born in the USA”? Then catch “From Asbury Park to the Promised Land: The Life and Music of Bruce Springsteen” at the Philadelphia Constitution Center. Springsteen gives voice to the dreams and disasters of ordinary Americans, and at the exhibit, the first stop in a national tour, visitors will hear unreleased songs and recorded interviews and see personal artifacts like notebooks of song lyrics and memorabilia from the Stone Pony. Plus, his 1960 Chevrolet Corvette. Tickets are $24.50.

3.  Arrival of the Barnes Foundation, May 19, 2012

The Barnes Foundation has one of the world’s top collections of Impressionist, post-Impressionist and early modern paintings. Now they’re moving the art from the suburbs to the collection’s new, $150 million Center City home. Go see a Cezanne, Renoir, Braque or Degas you’ve only seen in textbooks. Tickets go on sale March 15 for opening day – Memorial Day Weekend and will be free round-the-clock to celebrate.

4. Light: Installations by Bruce Munro, June 9

Wander through a field of 5,000 light globes that look like dandelions, a meadow of glowing towers and a cascade of raindrops, all created out of light. Indoors and outdoors, by day and by night, the creations of British artist and light designer Bruce Munro are thrilling – and the Longwood Gardens exhibit is the first time you can see them in the U.S.

5. The Ordinary, the Extraordinary and the Unknown, June

The Philadelphia History Museum has re-opened following a top-to-bottom renovation and in June, they will showcase items that bring Philadelphia history to life, like Joe Frazier’s boxing gloves and Benjamin Franklin’s drinking glass. The Museum features “large-scale objects, hands-on experiences and multimedia presentations showing you what makes Philadelphia, well, Philadelphia,” they say on their website.

Jennifer Vanasco is an award-winning writer who’s an expert on travel, politics and LGBT issues. Her work has appeared in the Village Voice, Chicago Tribune, Sherman’s Travel and two Fodor’s guidebooks. Her website is Follow her on Twitter @JenniferVanasco.

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