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 on Monday mornings in the Palmer Lipcon Auditorium beginning in September and ending in December. Training consists of in-depth discussion of the permanent collection and architectural aspects of the building, tour techniques, communication methods, age-appropriate concepts for touring, and questioning strategies. Texts for the class include a notebook with relevant articles and information as well as Penn State and Palmer Museum publications. Active docents are provided with training for special exhibitions and continuing education sessions throughout the academic year.

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. An application for membership is available by emailing pmoaDocent@psu.edu.

Join a Friends Committee

The Friends of the Palmer Museum of Art, the museum's membership organization, continually volunteer their time to further the educational and public service interests of the museum. In doing so, they strive to raise funds that are used to support more than 100 annual museum programs and events, offered to all visitors, admission free. For more information, please email Amber Krieg, Associate Director of Membership and Donor Relations, at adk5@psu.edu.