Pennsylvania is home to several world-class art museums, but Happy Travelers know there is always more to uncover in the Keystone State. Take the road less traveled and spark your creativity at some of Pennsylvania’s lesser-known art spots.
Know before you go: We recommend contacting each location before your visit to confirm COVID-19 status and plan of action.
1. Nemacolin Woodlands Resort
Nemacolin Woodlands Resort offers not just pampered luxury, but a veritable feast for the eyes with spectacular artwork from the Hardy Family Art Collection on display throughout the resort. Open to guests and the general public alike, you can take a guided tour, wander through Nemacolin’s museums and gallery, or find your inner artist with classes offered in a variety of media and techniques throughout the year. Treat yourself at Lautrec, one of the finest dining experiences in the country with a name inspired by the six original Toulouse Lautrec lithographs on display.
2. The Maridon Museum
See some of the world’s finest Asian artwork at The Maridon Museum. In a beautiful example of “East meets West,” the Maridon’s focus on Chinese and Japanese art and culture — paired with its 300+ pieces of German Meissen porcelain — help to make this museum an art-lovers' dream.
3. Banana Factory
Art abounds at the Banana Factory in historic Bethlehem. Home to 30 resident artists, three galleries, and a variety of public art, including the Mr. Imagination Bus Shelter. You can also take a class or workshop and create your own masterpiece in drawing, ceramics, mosaics, glass, jewelry, fiber arts, painting, or other media.
4. Westmoreland Museum Of American Art
Immerse yourself in the works of Mary Cassatt, John Singer Sargent, Louis Comfort Tiffany, and artwork showcasing the beauty and history of southwestern Pennsylvania at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art. Then get in tune with your creative side at one of the many art programs offered by the museum for both children and adults in a variety of media and styles.
5. Touchstone Center for Arts
For a true hands-on art experience, the Touchstone Center for Arts is a must-visit destination. This unique craft school offers contemporary, experimental, and traditional techniques as varied as blacksmithing, ceramics, metals, textiles, glass, oil and watercolor painting, photography, printmaking, and sculpture.
6. James A. Michener Art Museum
The buildings and grounds of the old Bucks County jail play host to the James A. Michener Art Museum, featuring the rich artistic and cultural heritage of Bucks County and a world-class collection of Pennsylvania Impressionist paintings. Enjoy workshops, classes, programs, and events for all ages and experience levels at this must-see arts destination.
7. Allentown Art Museum
Discover more than 2,000 years of artwork – from Ancient Coptic textile fragments to an actual home library designed by renowned architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, and works by American, European, and Asian artists at the Allentown Art Museum.
8. Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art
Altoona, Bedford, Johnstown, Ligonier, and Loretto
Altoona’s Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art exhibits a collection of American art from across the country in addition to works by local artists. The permanent collection includes 19th and 20th century painting, sculpture, drawing, and prints with works by Mary Cassatt, Helen Frankenthaler, and Andy Warhol.
9. The Frick Pittsburgh
Be mesmerized by a portrait by Rubens and other European masterpieces from Helen Clay Frick’s personal collection of fine and decorative arts at The Frick Pittsburgh. Bonus: See even more when you tour the Henry Clay Frick family home, Clayton—one of the best-preserved Gilded Age mansions in America.
10. Erie Art Museum
As northwestern Pennsylvania’s premier museum, a trip to the Erie Art Museum does not disappoint! The museum’s permanent collection and changing exhibitions feature everything from antique duck decoys to the exquisite glasswork of Louis Comfort Tiffany, ensuring something for every palate. Visit on “Second Sundays” for a tour of a featured gallery and then make a cool creation of your own to take home.
11. Susquehanna Art Museum
Nestled within the Capital City’s emerging midtown neighborhood in a newly reclaimed building, the Susquehanna Art Museum serves as a catalyst in the Commonwealth to offer educationally superior programming and diversely extraordinary exhibitions. Enjoy works by local artists from south central Pennsylvania and a host of national and international artists featured in the museum’s special exhibitions.
12. Pajama Factory
“Dream It. See It. Do It.” at the Pajama Factory in Williamsport. Home to a community of artists and a myriad of dreamers, inventors, and visionaries, tour the gallery to see their one-of-a-kind visuals and artwork produced in the on-site artist studios, wood shop, clay studio, or darkroom.
13. Everhart Museum of Natural History, Science, & Art
With its eclectic collection of African, American, Asian, European, and contemporary art, rocks, minerals, birds, plants, and Dorflinger glass, a trip to the Everhart Museum of Natural History, Science, & Art in Scranton is always memorable! Be sure to stop by the museum’s Open Studio to create your own inspired piece of art.
14. Pennsylvania State Capitol
Visit Pennsylvania’s own Palace of Art – the Pennsylvania State Capitol. Proclaimed as one of the most beautiful in the nation, the State Capitol building is a priceless architectural and artistic treasure featuring paintings, stained glass, and furnishings by some of the best artisans of the day – from the Moravian tiles underfoot to awe-inspiring 272-foot, 52 million-pound dome inspired by Michelangelo's design for St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.
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