Street Art: Philadephia Murals

Philadelphia Murals

Philadelphia Muses by Meg Saligman

While zigging and zagging through Philadelphia, we were lucky enough to stumble upon one of the famous Philadelphia murals. We were exploring and wandering the Society Hill neighborhood when we came across the mural below, Mapping Courage, which took up almost half the block! The mural honors W.E.B. Du Bois and Engine #11, a historical African American firehouse. Du Bois lived in Philly for a time, and in 1896 conducted a groundbreaking census of African American households in the 7th Ward.

Mapping Courage

Mapping Courage by Carl Willis Humphrey

Philadelphia Murals

On further inspection, we saw that the mural is part of downtown’s “Mural Mile,” 17 of the most iconic Philadelphia murals, organized into a self guided walking route assisted by a phone number or a podcast. It’s one of the projects that Mural Arts Project has spearheaded over the past 30 years. There are also seasonal guided tours available by foot or trolley.

Thirty years after Mural Arts’ humble beginnings as an anti-graffiti program, it has evolved into an internationally recognized leader in community based public art and a leading expert in mural-making and art education, having served over 30,000 young people and created 3,600 works of public art. This legacy reflects our driving mission to create art that transforms public spaces and individual lives and asserts our fundamental belief that art can ignite change.  -via


Pride & Progress, Philadelphia murals

Pride & Progress by Ann Northrup

We used our phone to pull up the self-guided walking tour and we were off!  In usual fashion we did the walk backwards.  Below are some of the highlights! If you like street art, be sure to check out some of our other gallery posts from Bogota, Medellin and Cartagena. To help find murals near you, Mural Locator has a great, international map feature we recently discovered, too!

Alley Mosaic

Alley Mosaic, Isaiah Zagar

Isaiah Zagar’s Mosaic Murals

An added bonus along our walk was a glimpse of some of the famous mosaic works by Isaiah Zagar, an award-winning mosaic mural artist whose works are featured in Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens. Zagar began tiling South Street in the 1960s, and today has 200 mosaics around the city. Zagar is well-traveled, and his years spent in the Peace Corps in Peru and residencies in China and India have clearly influenced his art. Peek down the alleys along Bainbridge Street for some cool mosaics in surprising places.

Garden of Delight

Garden of Delight by David Guinn

Mosaic Face

Another Isaiah Zagar work: Mosaic Face

Building the City

Building the City by Michael Webb

Taste of Summer

Taste of Summer by Ann Northrup

Finding Home, Philadelphia murals

Finding Home by John Sarantitis

Theater of Life Philadelphia

Theater of Life by Meg Saligman

Crystal Snowscape

Crystal Snowscape by David Guinn

Women of Progress

Women of Progress by Cesar Viveros and Larissa Preston

Tree of Knowledge

Tree of Knowledge by Michael Webb

Is there somewhere you’ve been wowed by street art? Tell us about it in the comments, so we can add it to our list!

About the author

Tamara and Donny have wandered together since 2004, with no cure for their insatiable wanderlust. They write about discovering new destinations including beautiful photography, plus budget travel tips and how to give back through travel.