Tours

Requesting a Tour of the Palmer Museum of Art

Guided tours of the Palmer Museum of Art are available for school, university, and community groups of ten or more people. Entrance to and tours of the museum are free of charge. Information about parking is available by calling Penn State’s Transportation Services Parking Office at 814-863-7021.

We are happy to assist you in planning your visit to the museum. You may schedule a tour of the Palmer Museum of Art by calling the museum at 814-865-7672 or email pmoaDocent@psu.eduPlease contact us at least two weeks in advance of your visit with the following information:

  • Name of school/course/organization
  • Name, phone number, and e-mail address of contact person
  • Number and grade level (if applicable) of members in the group
  • Desired date and time of tour
  • Topic of tour (see Palmer Tours for more information)
  • Any accessibility needs of members of the group
  • Whether or not a visit to the gift shop will be part of your visit

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

Tours at the Palmer

Building Blocks: Elements of Art

Learn the six elements of art through observation and discussion of paintings, masks, pottery, and sculpture. (Grades K-3)

Telling a Tale: Stories in Art

Search for narrative elements in paintings and sculpture that communicate a story or make a statement. (Grades 3-6)

Early America on Canvas

Discover American artistic traditions from the early 1800s, including portraiture, landscape, and still life. Includes several artists and subjects from Pennsylvania. (Grades 5-Adult)

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. (Grades 9-Adult)

Ways of Being: Women in Art

Explore the ways in which women have been portrayed as subjects in art and view contemporary works by women artists. (Grades 9-Adult)

Palmer Museum of Art: Highlights of the Collection

Encounter art in the Baroque, Ceramics, Contemporary, and nineteenth-century American collections. (Grades 7-Adult)

Architecture of the Palmer Museum

View and discuss the historical, decorative, and aesthetic aspects of architecture at the Palmer Museum. (Grades 7-Adult)

Educators may also request a tour of individual galleries, including:

  • Ancient to Sixteenth c. (Ancient–Sixteenth c. European)
  • Baroque Art (Seventeenth c. Northern and Southern)
  • Asian Art (Japanese, Chinese, Korean)
  • Nineteenth-Century American Art
  • Twentieth-Century American Art
  • Contemporary Ceramics (Danish, English, Japanese)
  • Or Special Exhibitions, which rotate approximately nine times per year


Adventures for Young Learners

Think young children don’t belong in museums? Think again! The Palmer Museum of Art offers experiences for children ages 3–6 that include:

Discovering themes in works of art
Talking about big ideas
Sharing personal responses
Hearing related storybooks
Tactile experiences

Pre-visits for school groups are available for public, private, and charter schools (30 minutes).

The following experiences are available for classes or groups. Please allow 30 minutes for each tour and provide one approved teacher or adult attendant for every 10 children that visit the museum.

Hunt for Images: A Tour about Textures
Book: Spiky, Slimy, Smooth: What is Texture? (2011) by Jane Brocket

Wiggles, Squiggles, and Curves: Follow That Line!
Book: Lines That Wiggle (2009) by Candace Whitman

Fuzzy, Feathered, and Scaly: A Search for Animals
Book: The Artist who Painted the Blue Horse (2011) by Eric Carle

Hats, Hats, Hats!
Books: Caps for Sale: A Tale of a Peddler, Some Monkeys, and Their Monkey Business (1968) by Esphyr Slobodkina or Whose Hat is This? A Look at Hats Workers Wear (2006) by Sharon Katz Cooper.

The Places We Live, Work, and Play: Buildings in Art
Book: If I Built a House (2012) by Chris Van Dusen

The Shape of Things
Book: When a Line Bends, A Shape Begins (2001) by Rhonda Gowler Greene or Bear in a Square (2000) by Stella Blackstone.

Curious About Color
Book: My Many Colored Days (1996) by Dr. Seuss & Steve Johnson, The Big Orange Splot (1993) by Daniel Pinkwater, or Blue Chicken (2011) by Deborah Freedman.

We Are Family
Emma (1980) by Wendy Kesselman

How Are You Feeling? A Tour about Emotions
Book: How Are You Peeling: Foods with Moods (2004) by Saxton Freymann and Joost Elffers

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