These Pennsylvania Art Museums Will Fascinate You


A trip through the Keystone State will offer groups some of the best arts experiences in the country

Philadelphia is home to some of our nation’s most popular art museums, but the city of brotherly love only has some of the great art the Keystone State has to offer.

Pennsylvania offers several prominent and lesser-known galleries of worldly and local artwork where groups can immerse themselves for days. Here are seven of the best art museums in Pennsylvania.

The Brandywine River Museum of Art in Chadds Ford is home to a variety of artists who have influenced American landscape art. Photo courtesy of Ron Cogswell

Brandywine River Art Museum (Chadds Ford)

At the Brandywine River Museum of Art, you’ll meet artists who not only influenced American landscape art, but also diversified the galleries of major museums across the United States.

While here you can see Andrew Wyeth Chadds Ford’s studio. His personal workspace was donated to the museum by his wife and artist, Betsy James Wyeth. The setting of the studio has remained virtually unchanged since its habitation to give visitors the most immersive experience.

You will see the books and art collections that inspired him and have the opportunity to be inspired by them. Guided tours of Andrew Wyeth’s studio are offered by the museum.

Be sure to see the works of the painters you love, including Horace Pippin, Anna Mary Robertson “Grandma” Moses, John Kane and other great artists, including Josephine Joy, Morris Hirshfield, Lawrence Lebduska and Patrick Sullivan.

Reading Public Museum (Reading)

Visit the Reading Public Museum for its world-class collection of over 300,000 objects, including works of art, antiquities, and scientific and cultural artefacts from around the world.

The Fine arts galleries showcase the museum’s permanent collection of European, American, modern and contemporary artworks. The collection includes more than 1,000 paintings, 12,000 works on paper and 200 sculptures ranging from the 15th century to the present day.

Here are some names of influential European and American artists whose work you can expect to see: Edgar Degas, Frederic Church, Jasper Francis Cropsey, John Singer Sargent, NC Wyeth, Raphaelle Peale, William Merritt Chase, George Bellows, John Sloan, Milton Avery and more.

GoggleWorks Arts Center (reading)

This museum takes its name from its humble beginnings in 1871 as our nation’s first manufacturer of eyewear and optical safety glasses. In 2005, this space was redesigned and renovated to satisfy the community’s desire for a more immersive art experience. Today, the GoggleWorks Center for the Arts serves 250,000 visitors annually as one of the largest interactive arts centers in the United States.

Free guided tours are offered weekly. These tours include a unique Glassblowing Studio experience, as groups can learn from glass artists as they create a piece of glass art from start to finish.

This center also houses the Albert and Eunice Boscov Cinema, which presents new international art house films every week. The 125-seat theater is equipped with a Christie digital projector and Dolby Surround sound.

The Everhart Museum in Scranton was founded in 1908 by a Civil War veteran.  Photo by Jeffrey via Flickr

The Everhart Museum in Scranton was founded in 1908 by a Civil War veteran. Photo by Jeffrey via Flickr

Everhart Museum (Scranton)

Founded in 1908 by a Civil War veteran, the Everhart Museum is now one of the oldest museums in northeastern Pennsylvania. The three-story building houses natural history, science, and art galleries, but what makes this site so unique is its proud display of artists and landscape art from this region.

Pay attention to The Pyne Breaker1924, by John Willard Raught and others Impressionist paintings of the natural and industrial landscapes of northeastern Pennsylvania, including iconic depictions of the region’s coal landscapes. In addition, the museum houses one of the largest public collections of horn of hopethe artwork.

The Maridon Museum (Maître d’hôtel)

Featured in the Huffington Post 55 best art museums, artist studios and lesser-known art centers in the Northeastern United States, the Maridon Museum offers an extraordinary experience for those interested in Eastern culture.

One could say that the Maridon is unique in its kind because it is the only museum in the western Pennsylvania area with a special focus on Chinese and Japanese art and culture.

The front gallery welcomes visitors with large ornate Asian jade and ivory carvings and mid-17th century Chinese paintings on the walls. As you move through the side and rear galleries, you will see Asian objects preserved for their age, material and provenance. Meissen collectors will appreciate the museum’s exclusive collection. Free guided tours are available and provided by the Maridon Museum upon reservation.

James A. Michener Museum of Art (Doylestown)

The James A. Michener Museum of Art presents a special exhibit on one of the most notable pop artists of the 21st century. The Keith Haring: A Glowing Legacy The exhibition features more than 100 notable works of art from a private collection by the American artist whose pop art emerged from a New York graffiti subculture.

The museum also features a world-class collection of Pennsylvania Impressionist paintings, historic exhibits, and showcases of contemporary artwork that satisfies over 135,000 annual visitors from around the world.

Schmucker Art Gallery (Gettysburg)

The Schmucker Art Gallery, located on the campus of Gettysburg College, features exhibits featuring challenging and diverse art. This bustling art space presents eight to 10 exhibitions focusing on local, national and international contemporary artists.

Over the decade, its fine art collection grew to include notable works by artists such as Andy Warhol, Carrie Mae Weems, Jules Cheret and others. Groups can visit the Adams County Arts Council Juried Art Exhibit where they can view paintings, sculptures, photographs, prints, drawings and textiles produced by artists from across the county. Adams and the Mid-Atlantic region.

By Gabriela B. dos Santos


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