What to see in Philadelphia's museums this summer

Patrick Jacobs' White Puffballs with Orange Slime Mold and Lichen, a mixed media diorama viewed through 2 3/4” window, at the Brandywine River Museum's Natural Wonders exhibition. The West Collection, Oaks, PA.

The sun shines and the outdoors calls. But don’t forget there are some great museum shows for those days when the call of the wild and the beach blanket fail to excite.

Natural Wonders: The Sublime in Contemporary Art (June 23-Oct. 21, Brandywine River Museum of Art). This exhibition features a baker’s dozen of American artists who engage nature — rendering its beauty and its terror. Artists include Suzanne Anker, Lauren Fensterstock, Patrick Jacobs, Maya Lin, Roxy Paine, Miljohn Ruperto & Ulrik Heltoft, Diana Thater, Jennifer Trask, Mark Tribe, Kathleen Vance, T.J. Wilcox, and Dustin Yellin. (610-388-2700, brandywine.org/museum)

Camera icon Courtesy of PAFA
Didier William’s Marassa Jumeaux (wood carving, ink, and collage on panel), part of Swarm at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

Swarm (July 1- Sept. 9, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts). Artists Didier William and Nestor Armando Gil explore colonialism and suggest alternatative legacies via printmaking, painting, sculpture, and performance. (215-972-7600, pafa.org)

Xtreme Bugs (through Jan. 21, Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University). Giant hissing, blood-sucking, fluttering animatronic bugs. What’s left to say? (215-299-1000, ansp.org)

American Moderns: The Legacy of Gerry and Marguerite Lenfest (through Oct. 21, Michener Art Museum). For the first time in 30 years, Gerry and Marguerite Lenfest’s gift of 27 significant works of modernism created by artists from the region will be shown together in the same gallery. Artists in the exhibition, such as Charles Frederick Ramsey, Louis Stone, Charles Evans, Lloyd Ney, and Charles Rosen, were all involved in the seismic shift in American art. (215-340-9800, www.michenerartmuseum.org)

Camera icon Michener Art Museum. Gift of Marguerite and Gerry Lenfest.
Charles Evans, “Lady in Spots,” a 1937 oil in the Michener’s American Moderns exhibition. James A. Michener Art Museum.

Modern Times: American Art 1910–1950 (through Sept. 3, Philadelphia Museum of Art). The hurly-burly and the desperation of the 20th century seen through the lens of the museum’s own collection. Offering up several surprises, the exhibition includes work by Georgia O’Keeffe, Marsden Hartley, Jacob Lawrence, George Bellows, Florine Stettheimer, and many others. (215-763-8100, philamuseum.org)

Renoir: Father and Son/Painting and Cinema (through Sept. 3, Barnes Foundation). Impressionist painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir and his son, filmmaker Jean Renoir, together, in a museum exhibition exploring their artistic relationship. (215-278-7000, barnesfoundation.org)

Agnes Martin: The Untroubled Mind/Works from the Daniel W. Dietrich II Collection (through Oct. 14, Philadelphia Museum of Art). Agnes Martin evoked emotional states in precise, minimalist compositions. This exhibition explores her ideas and her friendship with collector Daniel W. Dietrich II, whose recent bequest to the museum includes four Martin paintings. (215-763-8100, philamuseum.org)

Hamilton: The Constitutional Clashes that Shaped a Nation (through Dec. 31, National Constitution Center). Hamilton v. Madison, Jefferson, Adams, and Burr. (215-409-6600, constitutioncenter.org)

MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer
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Ivy Weingram, curator of the National Museum of American Jewish History’s Leonard Bernstein exhibition, next to Bernstein’s conductor’s suit, made for him by Otto Perl.

Game Masters: The Exhibition (through Sept. 3, Franklin Institute). The Franklin Institute showcases the work of more than 30 game designers and presents more than 100 playable games — including the Sims, Angry Birds, Donkey Kong, and Minecraft. The exhibit takes visitors through the evolution of gaming from arcade classics to console-based games. Games galore. (215-448-1200, fi.edu)

Leonard Bernstein: The Power of Music (through Sept. 2, National Museum of American Jewish History). On the occasion of the centennial of Bernstein’s birth, the museum mounts the first large-scale museum exhibition to illustrate the conductor and composer’s life, his Jewish identity, and his social activism. On view among the 100 historic artifacts: Bernstein’s piano and conducting suit, family heirlooms, original films, and immersive sound installations. (215-923-3811, nmajh.org)