The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) promotes the transformative power of art and art making.
Founded in 1805 by artist and scientist Charles Willson Peale, William Rush, and other civic-minded artists and business leaders, PAFA is the first museum and school of fine arts in the nation.
PAFA’s museum is internationally known for its collections of 19th- and 20th-century American paintings, sculptures, and works on paper, as well as contemporary works. Its archives house important materials for the study of American art history, museums, and art training. The permanent collection ranges from 18th and 19th century masters such as Benjamin West, Thomas Eakins, Winslow Homer and Mary Cassatt to modern and contemporary artists including Charles Demuth, Jacob Lawrence, Alice Neel, Vik Muniz, Mickalene Thomas, and Kehinde Wiley.
PAFA is a recognized leader in organizing exhibitions of historical and contemporary American artists. Recent and upcoming solo exhibitions include David Lynch, Henry Ossawa Tanner, Norman Lewis, and Barkley L. Hendricks. Linda Lee Alter’s gift of her extensive collection of art by 20th century women recognized PAFA’s commitment to educating, exhibiting, and employing women artists.
Public programming at PAFA includes gallery tours for museum visitors and school groups, weekend family workshops, lectures, symposia, panel discussions, teacher-oriented programs, summer camps, and hands-on art making workshops and classes.
PAFA’s school attracts some of the most committed and promising art students from across the country and around the globe to study painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, and illustration with a distinguished faculty of working artists, as well as private studios for students, a historic cast collection, and the opportunity for students to exhibit in a world-class museum.