Become a Docent

Get Involved - Become a Docent!

Docents are a vital part of the educational mission of the Palmer Museum of Art. They are volunteer educators who provide tours of the museum’s permanent collection and special exhibitions to a vast public audience. Docents facilitate personal interaction, education, and enrichment between museum visitors and artwork. They develop expertise through ongoing training, research, and continuing education.

Qualities that make a great docent are: the ability to communicate effectively with others, a warm and friendly attitude, a commitment of the time and effort, and a sincere interest in art history and art education.

Docent training for candidates is held every other year, and the next opportunity to join will be Fall 2019. Training consists of in-depth discussion and practice of art interpretation and touring strategies, as well as art history instruction related to the museum's permanent collection. Ongoing training for active docents includes continuous practice in touring strategies and information sessions on special exhibitions. 

All docents are required to be members of the Friends of the Palmer Museum of Art. All volunteers must adhere to the museum’s mission and policies. For more information about upcoming information about upcoming docent training opportunities, please e-mail pmoadocent@psu.edu

Docent on Duty Program

The docents at the Palmer Museum of Art are on call and ready to answer your most pressing art-related questions—just ask for the Docent on Duty! You'll find a museum education volunteer seated in the lobby or walking through the galleries Tuesday through Friday, 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. on Sundays.