Artist rendering of art museum lobby

Penn State’s Art Museum at the Arboretum


The Palmer Museum of Art is a jewel in Penn State’s crown. The largest art museum between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, it is a leading cultural resource for our region and one of the finest university art museums in the country. Its story has been one of success and growth—fueled by philanthropic support from a community of alumni and friends near and far. Today we are preparing for the next phase of its development: the construction of a brand-new museum located in The Arboretum at Penn State.

This new building will dramatically enhance the Palmer Museum’s capacity to offer educational and enrichment opportunities for visitors of all ages, and it will be integrated with the Arboretum, inspiring collaboration and creating a unique nexus of human-made and natural beauty. And to be successful, it will depend upon visionary philanthropy from the Penn State community.

The New Palmer Museum of Art

  • Nearly twice the exhibition space of the current building, allowing us to display far more of our world-class permanent collection and to accommodate a wider array of traveling exhibitions.
  • Flexible indoor event spaces and an outdoor event terrace that will allow the museum and the Arboretum to host various public events and will generate revenue as rentable event spaces.
  • Functional behind-the-scenes spaces to support an efficient operation and provide work areas for student interns and graduate students.
  • New educational spaces, including two classrooms, a discovery/exploration space for children, a teaching gallery, and an object study room for student and faculty engagement and research.

This new complex will become a cultural gateway to Penn State and a hub for students and visitors. And it is the first phase of a planned cultural destination intended to bring together many of Penn State’s collections and assets in the arts, humanities, and sciences from across campus: an interdisciplinary STEM museum, an education center, a planetarium, a conservatory, and performance spaces.

Design development rendering by Allied Works Architecture.

“Situating the Palmer Museum of Art within the Arboretum will create a cultural resource unlike any other in our region, connecting art, nature, and science in exciting new ways. The complex will further our strategic goals of advancing the arts and humanities and—because cultural opportunities also create economic opportunities—of driving economic development. In doing so, it will beautifully enhance Penn State’s positive impact on the communities we serve.”

—Penn State President Eric J. Barron

Stay Informed

The new Palmer Museum of Art presents an excellent philanthropic opportunity for alumni and friends who share our institution’s belief in the power of art, nature, and education to transform lives and communities. For more information, contact:

Robin Seymour (1998 M.A. Art History), Director of Major Gifts
College of Arts & Architecture
The Pennsylvania State University
107 Borland University Park, PA 16802
814-863-7751 (office) | 814-883-3108 (cell)

If you’d like to be added to a mailing list for updates on this project, please add submit your name and email address, and we’ll be sure to keep you in the loop on this exciting project.