Visiting the Portrait Gallery in the Second Bank
This building houses a fine collection of over 100 portraits, many of them by 18th century artist Charles Willson Peale. Originally built to house the Second Bank of the United States, the building now draws visitors to gaze upon the faces of the "People of Independence".
The Second Bank of the U.S. is located on Chestnut Street, between 4th and 5th Streets. Enter through the doors at the top of the steps, or through the wheelchair accessible ramp on the west side of the building.
Open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. through October 31. Open Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in November and December.
Admission is FREE. No tickets are required.
The "People of Independence" exhibit provides a glimpse into the lives of those who prized order and reason, yet lived in a world marked by disease, slavery, and the fear of the unknown. Portraits by artist Charles Willson Peale form the core of the collection. In the early 1800's, these likenesses of "worthy Personages" were exhibited in Peale's Philadelphia Museum, located on the second floor of Independence Hall. Additional portraits by other artists, particularly a number by British pastel artists James and Ellen Sharples, have been added to the collection through the years.
The Portrait Gallery in the Second Bank is accessible for visitors with mobility impairments. The accessible entrance ramp is located on the west side of the building. The gallery level is reached via elevator. Accessible restrooms are located in the basement near the elevator. Learn more about the accessibility services offered throughout the park on our website.
Did You Know?
In the summer of 1793 “ten thousand people in the streets of Philadelphia … threatened to drag Washington out of his house, and effect a Revolution in Government” but an outbreak of yellow fever dispersed the mob and saved the national government. (J Adams to T Jefferson, June 30, 1813)