Palmer Museum of Art will reopen its doors on Feb. 10

January 20, 2021

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — After an extended closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Palmer Museum of Art at Penn State will reopen its doors on Wednesday, Feb. 10. The free-admission museum has instituted a new timed-ticketing system and updated health protocols for the safety of all visitors. 

“We are thrilled to finally reopen our doors to the public and to do so by placing the welfare and safety of our visitors as our top priority,” said Erin M. Coe, director of the Palmer Museum of Art. “Even with the COVID-19 restrictions in place, we are confident visitors will enjoy a self-guided tour of our permanent collection and special exhibitions.” 

Starting on Feb. 10, visitors to the Palmer Museum must reserve a free timed-entry ticket online via the museum’s website prior to arriving at the museum. Once inside, museumgoers will be assisted by new visitor services associates who will answer questions and help guests make the most of their visit to the Palmer. Capacity in the building will be limited to 30 people. To reduce gathering and lines, there will be two reservation slots available for up to 15 visitors each hour for an hourlong stay in the galleries. No public tours will be offered until further notice. 

The timed-ticketing entry will be contactless. Upon entering, visitors will check in by tapping their phone on the pedestal at the Visitor Services desk before proceeding through the museum to the galleries or the museum store. Visitors without advance reservations must check in at the front desk to request a timed-entry ticket. 

All visitors will be asked to comply with Penn State and the Pennsylvania Department of Health guidelines intended to keep everyone safe and limit risk during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Visitors must wear masks or face coverings, maintain a six-foot distance between other patrons, and are encouraged to sanitize their hands at stations that will be located throughout the museum. Staff will be sanitizing high-touch common areas throughout the day.  

The Palmer also has modified its public hours for the duration of the pandemic. Starting Feb. 10, the museum will be open to the public from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays; from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays; and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays. The last timed ticket will be processed at 4:15 p.m. The museum will be closed to the public on Mondays and Tuesdays.  

There are many reasons to return to the Palmer, including the outstanding and ever-expanding permanent collection and new exhibitions for 2021. For those not yet ready to visit the museum in person, the museum will continue offering its full slate of engaging virtual programs and events for the duration of the spring semester. Plans for the spring include an array of educational content and online offerings for the Penn State community and K-12 teachers and students, as well as for families, children and adults from the greater community.  

For information and updates on all reopening procedures or programs, check the museum website at or follow the museum’s social media channels. Frequent updates are posted on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube for all programming announcements and links to digital content.   

About the Palmer Museum of Art

The Palmer Museum of Art on Penn State's University Park campus is a free-admission arts resource for the University and surrounding communities in central Pennsylvania. With a collection of 9,850 objects representing a variety of cultures and spanning centuries of art, the Palmer is the largest art museum between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. Areas of strength include the museum’s collection of American art from the late 18th century to the present, Old Master paintings, prints and photography, ceramics and studio glass, and a growing collection of modern and contemporary art. The museum presents 10 exhibitions each year and, with 11 galleries, a print-study room, a 150-seat auditorium, and an outdoor sculpture garden, the Palmer Museum of Art is the leading cultural resource for the region.   

Museum hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays, and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. The last timed ticket will be processed at 4:15 p.m. 

The Palmer receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and from the Happy Valley Adventure Bureau.  

For more information on the Palmer Museum of Art or for the calendar of upcoming events, visit

About the new University Art Museum at Penn State

Penn State and the Palmer Museum of Art are planning to construct a new University Art Museum located in The Arboretum at Penn State. With nearly twice the exhibition space of the Palmer, new classroom spaces and a teaching gallery, flexible event spaces, and on-site parking, this building would dramatically enhance the museum’s capacity to offer educational and enrichment opportunities for visitors of all ages. It would be integrated with the Arboretum, inspiring collaboration and creating a unique nexus of art, architecture and natural beauty. And like the Palmer Museum of Art before it, it will depend upon visionary philanthropy from the Penn State community. Learn more at


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Last Updated January 20, 2021