On the corner of 22nd Street and Fairmount Avenue stands Eastern State Penitentiary, a hulking stone fortress that once housed some of the country’s most notorious criminals. The historic site has since opened as a museum and welcomed swarms of visitors, but what was life like for the men housed behind these imposing walls so many years ago?
From Thursday, March 3 through Sunday, March 13, Eastern State presents its fourth annual special exhibition about the lives of its prisoners. With Pop-Up Museum: Sports & Leisure, curators focus on an often-overlooked aspect of the inmate experience.
The exhibit includes rarely seen recreation-related prison artifacts, including photographs, inmate-made crafts, paintings and confiscated homemade weapons. As part of the exhibit, a 1929 film about sports at Eastern State will be shown at the historic site for the first time ever.
Pop-Up Museum: Sports & Leisure is included with regular admission ($14 for adults, $12 for seniors, $10 for students and kids 7-12). Because Eastern State lacks museum-quality climate control, this fascinating exhibit will only be on display for 11 days. Buy your ticket today.