Philadelphia & The Brandywine Valley

Philadelphia & the Brandywine Valley: Private Collections, Museums, Gardens

Philadelphia is not only a city of boathouses, string bands, and the Liberty Bell; it is a city that has continually nurtured the arts, with exceptional museums, generous art patrons, and an energizing creative spirit. Through special connections, SBMA is invited to view four jaw-dropping collections inside private homes and enjoy private guided tours at the city’s best museums, including a before public hours visit to the superb Barnes Foundation. An art historian will be with the group throughout to tie the visits together, and local experts, curators, and home-owners will educate and entertain.

A day will be spent in the Brandywine Valley, 45 minutes west of Philadelphia, where three generations of the Wyeth family have captured the wild beauty of its landscapes. A highlight will be a visit to Longwood Gardens where hundreds of acres of gardens contain plants from around the world. Pierre du Pont’s innate sense of the garden as theatre ties Longwood in spirit and tradition to the great gardens of Italy and France.

Weather is ideal in October and the tour is based at the elegant Four Seasons, in its equally elegant location on Logan Square, which is designed after Place de la Concorde in Paris. Soaring high above the city skyline, rooms are luxurious with uninhibited views of the city.

Traveling with SBMA means special access and private experiences not possible on one’s own. We hope you will join us on this journey, customized specifically for the SBMA Member, in The City of Brotherly Love—or another less-known but also endearing nickname—The City that Loves You Back.

To reserve space with an $1,000 per person deposit, please fill out the reservation form at the end of the brochure and email, fax, or mail it, or call 805-884-6435 to reserve by phone. Please contact with any questions. 

Tour Guide

Tour Scholar/Study Leader: Susanna Saunders Ph.D.

Susanna Saunders Ph.D., a Philadelphia local with extensive art background, will lead you through Philadelphia and add her expertise, tying the visits and experience together. Saunders is an art historian, curator, and educator specializing in contemporary, late nineteenth and twentieth century art. She received her MA and Ph.D. in History of Art from Bryn Mawr College. She has extensive expertise in arts administration, collections management, grants and funding, development of innovative exhibitions and programs, and leadership and management on boards of foundations and museums. She greatly enjoys talking about historical Philadelphia and is excited to welcome SBMA Members. 

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