Tours

Guided tours of the Palmer Museum of Art are offered free of charge for university, school, and community groups of ten or more people. One-hour tours may be scheduled Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. A maximum of 60 participants can be accommodated for each tour. 

For questions regarding tours, call the museum at 814-863-9188 or e-mail pmoadocent@psu.edu.

REQUESTING A GUIDED TOUR

To schedule a tour, please complete and submit the Tour Request Form to pmoadocent@psu.edu at least three weeks in advance of the requested tour date. Click here for the TOUR REQUEST FORM.

When requesting a guided tour, please select a tour theme from the list provided below. University and school groups may request custom themes directly with class curriculum. 

Canceling Tours

If you must cancel a tour for any reason, please notify the museum as soon as possible. If the State College Area School District closes due to inclement weather, the museum will also cancel school tours.

Parking

Parking information is available on our VISIT page.

SCHOOL TOURS AND PRE-VISITS

School groups within the State College Area School District (30 minutes from the museum) may also arrange for a pre-tour visit from one of the museum's volunteer educators. These thirty-minute programs will introduce students to strategies for looking at art, what to expect during the museum field trip, and museum etiquette. Teachers can indicate their interest in pre-tour visits on teh tour request form.

Teachers for students in grades 2-8 should plan to provide one approved teacher or adult chaperone fore every ten students. For Pre-K through 1st grade, please provide one approved teacher or adult chaperone for every five children.

The safety of our youn visitors is a priority at Penn State. Palmer Museum of Art staff, volunteers, graduate assistants, and interns are mandated reporters and, as such, have undergone state-mandated background checks and training on how to identify and report child abuse. 

Nudity in Artwork

The Palmer Museum displays some artwork that features the unclothed, human form. Guided tours for grades Pre-K-8 will not feature such artwork as part of the focused discussion. However, students may see these works while moving around the galleries. If you have concerns about this, please plan to visit the museum prior to your class visit, and then call or e-mail to help make a suitable plan for your group.

Busing Program

The Friends of the Palmer Museum of Art are proud to support the K-12 school community in Central Pennsyvlania by providing reimbursement for bus transportation costs on a first-come, first-served basis. To request reimbursement, please complete the following:

  1. ) Follow the guidelines for requesting a tour outline above and submit a tour request form at least three weeks in advance of your visit.
  2. ) Note on your tour request that you are applying for bus reimbursement.
  3. ) When your tour is confirmed, you will also receive confirmation on whether your visit is approved for bus reimbursement.
  4. ) Visit the museum and complete your docent-guided tour.
  5. ) Within four weeks of your visit, download, complete, and return the bus reimbursement form to the museum along with the paid statement from the bus company. CLICK HERE to download the Bus Reimbursement Form and e-mail the filled-in form to pmoadocent@psu.edu.
  6. ) Please allow three weeks for processing. A check will be sent to the address indicated on the bus reimbursement form.

Please note the following maximum amounts for reimbursement:

  • State College Area School District: Maximum reimbursement is $100 per school per academic year.
  • Central Pennsylvania schools outside of SCASD: Maximum reimbursement of $300 per school per academic year.

SELF-GUIDED GROUPS

Groups that prefer to self-guide the museum are welcome to visit during our regular hours of operation, Tuesday through Sunday. To avoid overcrowding in the galleries due to other programs and tours, please contact us at least one week in advance of your visit by calling 814-863-9188 or e-mailing pmoadocent@psu.edu.

MUSEUM ETIQUETTE

All visitors are asked to observe the following museum policies during their visit:

  • Keep a safe distance - do not touch art objects or display cases.
  • Discard or store food, beverages, gum, and candy before entering the galleries.
  • For writing, use only pencils in the galleries (pens and markers are not allowed).
  • Check prohibited items at teh security desk. This includes backpacks, large bags, and umbrellas.

TOUR THEMES

Highlights of the Collection
Encounter art in the Baroque, Ceramics, Contemporary, and Nineteenth-Century American collections.

Building Blocks: Elements of Art
Learn the six elements of art through observation and discussion of paintings, masks, pottery, and sculpture.

Telling a Tale: Stories in Art
Search for narrative elements in paintings and sculpture that communicate a story or make a statement.

Contemporary Art: View the New
Observe and discuss artworks that reflect tremendous changes in the philosophy and production of postmodern art during the last thirty years.

Women in Art
Explore the ways in which women have been portrayed as subjects in art and view contemporary works by women artists.

Individual Galleries
University educators may request a tour of individual galleries, including Baroque Art (Seventeenth-Century Northern and Southern), Nineteenth-Century American Art, Twentieth-Century American Art, Contemporary Ceramics (Danish, English, Japanese), or Special Exhibitions, which rotate approximately nine times per year. Please note these in your request.

Adventures for Young Learners
The Palmer Museum of Art offers gallery experiences for Pre-K and Kindergarten age children that last approximately thirty minutes and include age-appropriate discussions about artwork, theme-related storybooks, and tactile experiences. To schedule an Adventures for Young Learners program, please follow the tour request process outlined above and include one of the following themes as your topic:

  • Wiggles, Squiggles, and Curves: Follow that Line!
  • Fuzzy, Feathered, and Scaly: A Search for Animals
  • The Places We Live, Work, and Play: Buildings in Art
  • The Shape of Things
  • Curious about Color
  • How Are You Feeling? A Tour about Emotions

Please plan to provide one approved teacher or adult chaperone for every five children that participate in Adventures for Young Learners at the museum.