Virtual Museum Resources

Being stuck at home while physical distancing doesn’t mean you have to go without art. Explore resources from the Palmer Museum and other arts organizations via the links below.


Palmer Museum of Art Resources 


The Palmer Museum of Art has a growing number of virtual resources to explore from home. You can view work from the collection, as well as special exhibitions, gallery talks, lectures, and more through the following resources.


Check back often as we update and add to the list. 


  • Art Activities
    • Museum Sketchbook Series - Experience the museum collection in a new way–at home with art supplies. Tune in to this weekly online video series to get creative ideas and inspiration for simple, low-key art activites that can be done with basic supplies: paper, pencil, and color (such as crayons, markers, or colored pencils). All ages and artistic skill levels are encouraged to participate, and a variety of ideas will be demonstrated in each video. This is not an instruction-based class focused on building skills, but rather an opportunity to experiment with new techniques and explore the potential of a blank page! A new video will be released every week through July 31.
      • ​Need sketchbook supplies to participate? . . . Thanks to support from the Art Bridges + Terra Foundation Initiative, we are able to partner with local art supplier Uncle Eli's to provide 75 supply kits to people in the community. Kits will be available to pick up at Uncle Eli's in downtown State College by mid- to late-June, and registration is required. Each kit will contain a sketchbook, colored pencils, sharpener, eraser, and drawing pen. Supplies are limited to one kit per email address and two kits overall per household. Use this link to register and receive a supply kit while supplies last.
    • African Brilliance coloring pages - Looking for new coloring ideas for the kids? - or for yourself to keep calm and create? These coloring pages feature artwork from African Brilliance: A Diplomat's Sixty Years of Collecting. Download the images to print and color or save them on your phone or tablet to use with a coloring app. Created by Palmer Museum graduate assistant Chelsea Borgman.
    • Assemblage Activity after Louise Nevelson - This short video is a fun and easy art project using supplies from around the house. It walks you through making an 'assemblage,' inspired by one of artist Louise Nevelson's works in the Palmer Collection, Diminishing Reflection XXIII. Nevelson (1899-1988) was an American sculptor known for creating large-scale sculptures from used, cast-off, and found materials. She referred to herself as "the original recycler" because of her extensive use of discarded objects. After collecting, cutting, and manipulating everyday materials, she would assemble them into large 3D collages and spray them a single, unifying color, often black. Her use of color served to disguise the material's original purpose and highlight the visual elements of line, space, shape, and repetition within her composition. Send photos of your finished creations to or post a pic and tag us on social media! Created by Palmer Museum education intern Jules Edelmann.
    • Cyanotypes - Enjoying the warming temperatures? Here is a great art activity to do while spending some time in the great outdoors. Follow Michele Randall, supervisor at the Palmer Museum Store, to experiement with creating cyanotypes, images that use photo-sensitive materials to create a beautiful blue silhouette. Some special materials are needed, and supply links are shown in the video.
    • Mancala Gameboard inspired by African Brilliance - Kids and families love to play Mancala. It's a simple game that rewards players who master its challenges with thoughtful strategy. If you're looking for a new game to try at home, this video guides you through creating your own Mancala gameboard using a recycled egg carton. The art activity and game were inspired by the Palmer's spring exhibition African Brilliance, which features an intricately carved wooden gameboard in the likeness of a ram, a fiercely competitive animal. Created by Palmer Museum education intern Hannah Thornton. For a step-by-step PDF lesson plan of how to make your gameboard and instructions on how to play Mancala, click here
    • Paper Beads Art Activity inspired by African Brilliance - Enjoy making your own beads for decoration or jewelry with simple supplies from around the house! In this activity, create beautiful beads inspired by the Kuba beadwork from the African Brilliance exhibition with just paper, glue, and scissors. Created by Palmer Museum intern Jules Edelmann.
    • Repetitive Pattern Drawing Art Activity inspired by African Briliance - This quick and simple drawing tutorial is for everyone, no matter what you think of your drawing skills. Inspired by the Kuba patterns of the textiles in African Brilliance, use shapes and lines to jazz up your sketchbook or create your own coloring pages. Created by Palmer Museum intern Hannah Thornton.
    • Weaving Activity inspired by African Brilliance Looking to stay creative at home? This video features an easy and relaxing weaving activity, complete with tips on how to use supplies from around the house to create a loom and even make your own materials. The activity was inspired by the Palmer's spring exhibition African Brilliance that includes beautiful woven raffia textiles made by the Kuba people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Created by Palmer Museum education intern Jules Edelmann. For a step-by-step PDF lesson plan of how to create your weaving, click to view or download here.
  • Gallery Talks and Lectures
    • African Brilliance: A Diplomat's Sixty Years of Collecting - Monday, April 20 - 11:00 a.m. - William Dewey, Associate Professor of Art History
    • From Nomoli to Export Ivories: 16th Century Sierra Leonean Artists and Their Local and European Patrons - Lecture by Kathy Curnow, Associate Professor of Art History, Cleveland State University - Sixteenth-century coastal Sierra Leone included a multitude of Temne and Bullom artists who made small soapstone figures (called 'nomoli' today), as well as wooden figures and masks and ivory trumpets. After Portuguese contact in 1462, they expanded their repertoire to make ivory saltcellars, horns, cutlery, and ecclesiastical items for these foreigners. They retained their figurative style and some motifs, but adapted their works for foreign tastes, creating a cottage industry that lasted for less than a century. Co-sponsored by the Palmer Museum of Art, African Studies Program, and the Department of Art History.
    • Grounded: Environments in Flux - Wednesday, April 22, Earth Day - 1:00 p.m. - Melissa Leaym-Fernandez, Ph.D. Candidate in Art Education and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
    • The Missionary as Collector: Dr. George W. Harley in Liberia, 1925–1960 - Christopher B. Steiner, Lucy C. McDannel '22 Professor of Art History and Anthropology and Director of the Museum Studies Program, Connecticut College - Here Dr. Steiner explroe the history of African art collecting in Liberia by examining the work of American medical-missionary Dr. George W. Harley. By tracing his career in Lieberia between 1925 and 1960, the lecture reveals how Dr. Harley shifted from ethnographic collecting in the 1930s and 1940s to marketing objects for a burgeoning African art market in America beginning in the 1950s. Steiner considers such issues as the ethics of field collecting, the cultural construction of authenticity, and the role of provenance in the contemporary market for "high end" African art. Co-sponsored by the Palmer Museum of Art, African Studies Program, and Department of Art History.
  • Digital Collections
  • Online Exhibitions and Virtual Tours
    • African Brilliance: A Diplomat’s Sixty Years of Collecting Online Catalogue - Explore through the extensive online catalogue with text entries, high resolution images, and contextual videos.
    • African Brilliance: Virtual Tour - Explore an interactive tour of celebrated exhibition African Brilliance even though you can't take a field trip! Though this tour was created with teachers, students, and families in mind, everyone can enjoy installation images, pictures of selected works, videos for guided viewing, and related art-making activity suggestions. Use your mouse or touch screen to click the navigational buttons included throughout the presentation to move through the tour. (Note: using the Chrome browser may optimize your experience).
    • Drawing on a Legacy: Highlights from the John Driscoll American Drawings Collection - View the exhibition online through high resolution images, text selections, and a photo gallery.
    • Illuminating Illusions - Is it real or an illusion? A natrual phenomenon or clever design? This collaborative exhibition presented by members of the Penn State Museum Consortium explores various facets of illusions in science, art, literature, and nature. The exhibition showcases a selection of objects and examples of illusion that illustrate relevance to current day culture, scientific discovery, or both.
    • Photography=Abstraction - The Palmer's virtual Pop Up exhibition, Photography=Abstraction, is an interactive gallery with images, text, and informational videos for selected works. Explore by using your mouse or touch screen to click the navigational buttons included throughout the presentation as you tour the virtual gallery. Curated by Keri Mongelluzo, Ph.D. candidate in Art History. (Available until June 30, 2020. Note: using the Chrome browser may optimize your experience).
    • Snowiss Gallery of American Art - Tour through the Palmer's first floor Snowiss Gallery. Once the video begins, use your mouse, trackpad, or touchscreen to pan and adjust your view to move around within the virtual gallery - look up, down, or even turn side to side to see different works of art. 


Virtual Museum Visits


For those who are looking to explore art all over the world, there are many museums that offer online exhibitions, virtual tours, artist talks, and other resources through their websites.


Below is a brief list with clickable links to get you started. Check back often as we update more resources, and enjoy traveling virtually for now.