15 Can’t-Miss Stops for Arts and Antiques Lovers
Chestnut Hill is a destination for one-of-a-kind finds. Whether you’re searching for a quirky vintage owl brooch or upscale artisan-made jewelry, centuries-old map prints or striking new photography, you will uncover something to love (and take home) within the galleries and shops that pepper the quaint main street of Germantown Avenue. The best part: Nobody you know already has it.
Here’s exactly where you should go to explore the eclectic mix of modern arts and antique treasures in Philadelphia’s urban village.
Head to The Antique Gallery to find fun collectors’ items like match safes and brass inkwells alongside Austrian glassware, Asian pottery and decorative accents from around the world. Then go next door to Isabella Sparrow, the spot for all things farmhouse vintage, including woven baskets, agricultural ephemera and galvanized accents galore. You can even tap the shop owner for her styling expertise via interior design services – and once you take a peek in the store, you’ll want to.
If furniture is what you’re really after, Blum’s Antiques, located just off the main stretch on East Chestnut Hill Avenue, is a must. Established in 1930, Blum’s sells a carefully curated array of quality American pieces from the 18th and early 19th centuries, plus mirrors, clocks and more housewares you can’t find in stores today.
The Philadelphia Print Shop is your stop for wall art, specifically antique prints, maps and rare book illustrations. The store’s impressive inventory encompasses natural and botanical prints, fashion sketches, fine art works and a large library of items highlighting Philadelphia’s history.
Looking for something to wear? Search the racks at Statement Boutique, which features a mix of vintage and modern clothing. From standout handbags and jewelry to couture gowns and casual wear, this upscale consignment shop offers a handpicked selection of pieces in pristine condition. You just might buy the beautiful mid-century hat you never knew you needed.
You can bring your own heirloom accessories into Delphine Gallery for appraisal. With a nationally accredited appraiser and gemologist on staff, this jewelry salon can help you determine the value of your vintage and estate pieces. But drop in even if you’re empty-handed, because the gallery sells exquisite new artist-designed jewelry, too.
Start your cultural experience at Woodmere Art Museum, located in a beautiful Victorian mansion about a mile north of the Avenue’s main shopping stretch. In addition to special exhibits, the museum celebrates regional artists through its permanent collection of more than 25,000 works from the 19th century to modern day. Music fans will also love the museum’s Friday Night Jazz and Classic Saturdays concerts. More of a theater person? Buy tickets to a show at The Stagecrafters, a nearby non-profit that features classic and contemporary plays on its stage.
You don’t have to walk far to appreciate more artwork – just go to “Gallery Row” at the heart of the Avenue. Discover contemporary art at Gravers Lane Gallery, where you can buy fine jewelry, ceramics, fiber arts and pieces of all mediums. Get to know more emerging and established artists at Borrelli’s Chestnut Hill Gallery, which changes its main exhibit every two months and welcomes you to sip wine and meet the artmakers on opening nights. And you won’t be able to resist buying eclectic homewares and modern décor across the street at Bjorn & Co.
A few cobblestoned blocks down the road, venture into Wendy Concannon Photography Gallery to glimpse a colorful collection of images, including modern still lifes and bold interpretations of nature. Then pop into Profiles Printmaking Studio & Gallery to learn about the art of giclée printmaking and peruse the shop’s range of works for sale.
If you’re inspired to create something of your own, check out Artist and Craftsman Supply. Whether you need paint brushes, calligraphy pens or craft tools for kids, this supply store has you covered. Or consider a trip to The Knit With, a specialty yarn store that offers classes and workshops.
Mark Your Calendar
Check out Chestnut Hill’s calendar of events while planning your trip – there’s always something new going on around here! Green thumbs won’t want to miss the Chestnut Hill Home & Garden Festival in spring, featuring Ask the Expert demonstrations, plants and flowers, art and artisans, and live entertainment. And when the leaves change in autumn, Chestnut Hill Fall for the Arts Festival transforms the Avenue into an open-air marketplace full of crafts, art, music and culinary goodness.
Photo and video by Dustin LaCava-Wingate, En Route