Art of Interfaith Understanding

2020 Series

In 2020, we are offering six special Art of Interfaith Understanding programs at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.  All programs will be guided by Dr. John B. Hougen, a consultant with Interfaith Philadelphia and a volunteer guide at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.  These programs are co-sponsored by Interfaith Philadelphia & the Philadelphia Museum of Art's Division for Community Engagement.

Cost: $25 / $10 with scholarship

Free parking, entry to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the uniquely designed tour(s) of your choice are all included in this experience - a $40 value offered to you at just $25. Don't miss out!

If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Hougen at

Remembrance and Liberation: Images of Passover and Holy Week

Wednesday, March 18

6:30 – 8:30 PM

Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Last Supper (detail): from Altarpiece with Scenes of the Passion, follower of Pieter Coecke van Aelst, Antwerp, Date: 1535, Credit Line: Purchased with Museum Funds from the George Grey Barnard Collection, 1945  

Our group will view and discuss art illustrating themes and events relating to Passover and Holy Week, noting both connections between Judaism and Christianity and each tradition’s uniqueness. (This tour has been revised since last offered in 2018.)


To request a refund, please email John at

Art from the World’s Religions 

Sunday, May 17

2:00 – 4:30 PM

Philadelphia Museum of Art, Dancing Ganesha, Artist/maker unknown, Indian, Date: c. 750.
Credit Line: Purchased with the New Members Fund, 1971

One resource for understanding the religious traditions practiced by our neighbors is art produced within those traditions. We will view and discuss art illustrating beliefs and practices from Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism.

Limit: 15 Participants

Bible Stories in Art (Hebrew Bible and Christian New Testament)

Sunday, June 14

2:00 – 4:00 PM

Philadelphia Museum of Art: Moses and the Burning Bush, with Moses Removing His Shoes, Attributed to Dierick Bouts the Elder, Netherlandish, Date: c. 1465-1470, Credit Line: John G. Johnson Collection, 1917

A NEW, interactive tour for adults and children. Together we will view art that illustrates Bible stories and recall the stories that inspired them.

Limit: 15 Participants

Children: No charge

Religious Pluralism in America: Ideals and Obstacles Illustrated in Art

Sunday, October 18

2:00 – 4:30 PM

Sculpture of William Penn atop Philadelphia City Hall by Alexander Milne Calder, Date: 1894 (photo credit: Pinterest saved from Joseph Cristina)

William Penn’s vision for religious pluralism still inspires America. This tour / discussion takes us to works of art that illustrate how Penn’s ideals have been realized and challenged in American history, even into the 21st Century. (This tour has been revised since last offered in 2018.)

Limit: 15 Participants

Guided Meditations: Encounters with Art Exploring the Self and the Other

Wednesday, September 16

6:30 – 8:30 PM

Philadelphia Museum of Art, Mother and Child, Mary Stevenson Cassatt, American, Date:
1908, Credit Line: The Alex Simpson, Jr., Collection, 1928

Meditating on works of art can lead us on “journeys inward” toward greater self-awareness and “journeys outward” toward greater understanding of others. With openness to the spiritual dimension of such journeys, the group will be guided to provocative works of art for exploration and conversation. (This is a NEW mini-retreat.)

Limit: 12 Participants

Continuity and Reform: Insights into the Protestant Reformation

Wednesday, November 18

6:30 – 8:30 PM

Philadelphia Museum of Art, Portrait of Martin Luther, Workshop of Lucas Cranach the Younger, German, Date: 1555, Credit Line: John G. Johnson Collection, 1917

Martin Luther and other reformers in the 1500s wanted to reform not replace the Roman Catholic Church. Nevertheless, new denominations evolved with much carried over from Catholicism and some startling changes. Works of art at the PMA will help us understand the historical background for Catholic / Protestant relationships today. (This tour has been revised since last offered in 2017.)

Limit: 15 Participants

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