The American Philosophical Society (APS), the umbrella institution of which the APS Museum is a part, was founded in 1743 by Benjamin Franklin to "promote useful knowledge." The museum's fine art collection, which dates to the society's early years, includes works by leading American artists of the 18th and 19th centuries such as Charles Willson Peale, Gilbert Stuart, Rembrandt Peale, Thomas Sully, and Thomas Eakins. Its material culture collection contains an array of scientific specimens, instruments, and patent models, including 185 Lewis and Clark herbarium sheets and surveying instruments built by David Rittenhouse. The APS Museum routinely commissions artists to complement and expand on their exhibition programming. A 2011 Center grant allowed the museum to complete its most ambitious group of commissions with The Greenhouse Projects, which included work by 2010 Pew Fellow Jenny Sabin.