Rocky Statue

Rocky Statue | Tavel Poster

In a sadly ironic twist of fate the most photographed sculpture at the Philadelphia Museum of Art isn’t any of the priceless works inside, but the Rocky Statue that sits at the base of the museum steps. The city has been asking the question “what is art” since the Italian Stallion himself donated it after Rocky III. It’s traveled around the city, even sitting in storage for a number of years, as the city has debated what to do with it. Rocky has been very controversial.

If you visit the statue and stay longer than the obligatory photo op you’ll see the diverse number of people who stop to take a picture with the fictional boxer. There are joggers, tourists, students, museum goers, and kids. Kids love Rocky. Not the movie, mind you, but the statue. He makes a fantastic jungle gym. Can you do that with a Brancusi? I don’t think so.


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I actually struggled quite a bit with this one. I think it’s because in my head it was drawn before I put a pen to iPad. While I was taking pictures of people taking pictures at the museum I got the shot of a girl in a bright orange jacket doing her best boxing pose. As you can imagine, boxing poses are very popular. I decided to pretty much straight up illustrate her as she posed for the camera. I also wanted to make sure I got as much of the actual museum in the background, because of the irony of the situation.

I ended up taking some liberties with the actual position of the statue. Rocky’s actually set a little more off to the right. You might miss him if it wasn’t for the long line amateur photographers. The thing is I wanted to get the steps in too. The second most popular thing to do while at the museum, after you’ve taken a picture with Rocky, is run up the steps and raise your hands in triumph! The full Rocky at the museum experience.

Rocky Statue | Postcard


For the postcard I decided to focus more on the museum than the statue. I figured I’d blow Rocky up big and place him on the right. Unfortunately this meant I couldn’t use the girl. Also, Rocky looks a bit more like Atlas here. I’m not sure Stallone ever looked so classical. Not even on the actual statue.

And before I leave you, if you’re not currently singing Eye of the Tiger you are now!