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SummerArts: College Art Museums

Palmer Museum of Art at Penn State (University Park, PA)

Penn State on Curtain Road
University Park
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With eleven galleries, a print-study room, a 150-seat auditorium, and an outdoor sculpture garden, the Palmer Museum on the Penn State University Park campus is a major cultural resource for the central Pennsylvania region. Founded in 1972 in a modest three-story building, the permanent collection has blossomed in the past thirty years to include over 6,000 works. With Old Master paintings and sculpture, international art, twentieth-century European works, and American paintings, sculptures, and works on paper from the eighteenth century to the present displayed in seven galleries, the Palmer Museum’s collection also includes a wide-range of twentieth-century paintings and sculptures by artists like Marsden Hartley and Richard Diebenkorn.

Still offering free admission to all, the Palmer features a continually changing series of exhibitions from their permanent collection, as well as special events and travelling exhibitions. Gallery talks, lectures by national and international artists and scholars, music, dance, and theater performances, film series, and workshops, are regularly offered with free admission.

Nearly a quarter of the Palmer’s permanent collection is comprised of works on paper, including prints, drawings, watercolors, and photographs. These pieces are rotated in the museum’s American Works on Paper Gallery and can also be viewed in the print study room by appointment. (KCE)

Palmer Museum of Art at Penn State Information

  • Public Transportation: Good (accessible by all CATA bus routes)
  • Handicapped Accessibility: Good
  • Hours: Tuesday–Saturday 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; Sunday Noon–4 p.m.
 Closed Mondays and some holidays (extended hours on football Fridays)
  • Admission: Free
  • Tour: Guided tours are available for school, university, and community groups of ten or more people. Tours are free of charge. Reserve tour at least two weeks in advance of your visit
  • Membership: Individual membership ($35–$59); Student ($10–$34); Family/Household ($60–$99); Sustaining ($100–$299); Benefactor ($300–$599); Sponsor ($600–$999); Director’s Circle ($1,000+). Member benefits are tiered with every member receiving a 10 % discount at the Museum Store; invitations to “members only” events celebrating art, such as private openings of special exhibitions; the most up-to-date information about activities surrounding each new exhibition; opportunities to tour major art centers; Palmer Museum of Art newsletter and calendar of events; and an invitation to the Friends’ annual meeting and Purchase Party
  • Other Benefits: At the Sponsor Level ($600–$999) members receive 2 complimentary tickets to the annual Friends Gala and at the Director’s Circle Level ($1,000+) members receive recognition on the donor board in museum lobby and a private director’s tour for invited guests.