About the Palmer Museum

Scroll below to learn more about the museum and its mission, core values, staff, upcoming new museum at the Arboretum, and more!

Welcome to the Palmer Museum of Art

The Palmer Museum of Art at Penn State is the largest art museum collection between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia and the most significant academic art museum in the state of Pennsylvania. A key element of Penn State’s land-grant mission of teaching, research, and public service, the Museum is a vital and accessible cultural resource for Penn State’s students, faculty, and scholars, as well as for all visitors to and from the entire central Pennsylvania region. Through its world-class objects, programs, and outreach, the Museum is a welcoming, inclusive, and vibrant forum for authentic arts experiences and cultivates meaningful dialogue about today’s most potent ideas and pressing concerns. The free-admission Museum, which has strong and longstanding connections with the wider local community, celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2022.

Visitors to the Pincus Gallery at the Palmer Museum of Art

New Palmer Museum of Art

New Palmer Museum of Art rendering

The Palmer Museum of Art is constructing a new museum within the Arboretum at Penn State to replace the current building on Curtin Road. The innovative new Palmer will be a larger facility that features education spaces, including a teaching gallery, flexible event spaces, and nearly twice the exhibition space of the current museum, allowing for expanded student, faculty, and public access to Penn State’s growing collection of 10,260 works of art.

To access information about the new Palmer Museum of Art and the Arboretum at Penn State, please click below to visit our online media room.

Online Media Room

Mission

The Palmer Museum of Art serves Penn State’s land-grant mission of teaching, research, and public service for the University, its students, and audiences from Pennsylvania, the nation, and the world. Through its collections and an array of thought-provoking exhibitions and cross-disciplinary programs, the Palmer encourages critical thinking, inspires curiosity and creativity, fosters inclusion and respect for diverse cultures, and upholds the values of relevance, integrity, service, and engagement.

Core Values

R – Relevance – We are a place where innovation and discovery happen every day, and we are responsive to an ever-changing world. We utilize technology, research, and our university community to cultivate partnerships that keep us relevant and on the leading edge.
I – Integrity – We act, work, and treat one other and our constituents with the respect and dignity deserving of a world-class museum and university, and we do so at all times and in all places. We are committed to the highest standards of the profession and to best practices around inclusivity, diversity, and equity, as well as to being leaders in the field which other institutions can model.
S – Service – We deliver our work in the spirit of service leadership, creating an open and welcoming environment for exploration, wellness, and stewardship. In doing so we advance the University’s threefold mission of teaching, research, and service.
E – Engagement – We create a culture and environment that leads to meaningful experiences for all and has a transformative impact on our constituents. We understand that to be truly engaged we must act and work in an open, transparent, and collaborative manner with our colleagues and those whom we serve.


Meet the Palmer

Palmer curator giving a tour

Staff


Meet the Staff
Members of the Friends Leadership Council at their membership table during a Community Day event 

Friends Leadership Council


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Steven Wasser, a member of the Palmer National Advisory Council. Photo by Brianna Bennett

Palmer National Advisory Council


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Interested in getting involved at the Palmer Museum? Work with us!


Facility Use

The Palmer Museum of Art supports the use of its facility for educational events and public programming. Educational events, such as lectures and symposia, sponsored by Penn State colleges and departments are eligible for consideration as long as they relate to the visual or performing arts and are appropriate for a broad audience. The museum is not available for parties, job candidate interviews, or other non-educational events. The museum cannot be used for any fund-raising event not related to Penn State, for promotion or sale of a commercial product or service, for political events, or for religious ceremonies. Events with more than 150 attendees should be held elsewhere due to space limitations and the fire code. Contact 814-867-3022 for more information.

Submission Policy

The Palmer Museum of Art’s exhibition schedule is booked several years in advance. Our exhibition program is determined by the curatorial staff in concert with the director of the museum and is not developed from unsolicited submissions. Open calls for contemporary shows may be posted in the future, at which time we will announce a call for online applications. Due to limited staff, however, we are not able to respond to email or phone queries about exhibition possibilities. We appreciate your interest in the Palmer Museum.

Loan Moratorium

As we prepare for the opening of the new Palmer Museum of Art in the Arboretum at Penn State, the museum has implemented a moratorium on outgoing loans from its collection through December 31, 2023.

 All loan requests already under review will be considered.

New formal requests for objects with loan periods beginning on or after January 1, 2024, may continue to be submitted for review.

Donations of Works of Art

The Palmer Museum of Art accepts donations of art in accordance with its Collections Management Policy. Potential donors should contact one of the individuals listed below to discuss the nature of works they would like to donate and to clarify their relevance to the museum’s collection.

  • Joyce Robinson, Assistant Director – Contemporary Art, African American Art, and photography – 814-863-9185 – jhr11@psu.edu
  • Adam Thomas, Curator of American Art – American Art – 814-863-9186 – amt29@psu.edu
  • Patrick McGrady, Charles V. Hallman Senior Curator – European Art, ceramics, and prints and drawings – 814-863-9187 – pjm19@psu.edu