A bright blue angular roughly trapezoidal shape with a white cut out in the shape of 3 curving bands topped by a short dome

The State Museum of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg, the official museum of the commonwealth, is a great place for exploration, fun, and discovery.

Since its creation in 1905, The State Museum of Pennsylvania has collected, preserved, researched, and interpreted the cultural and natural history of the state. Over the years, the museum has greatly expanded its collections and modernized its public offerings to serve the needs of succeeding generations of Pennsylvanians. 

It’s All About Pennsylvania!

An exterior view of the entrance of a round, cement building with a dome, with the dome of the state capital building in the background and a tree and US flag in the foreground.


We are a proud co-host of the Welcome Reception on Thursday, October 21, 2021

Enjoy drinks, some great Harrisburg-style soul food, and mixing and mingling as you browse some of our collections, including special exhibits on key women in PA history, an exhibit on the Suffrage Movement in PA, and “Witness to History: Colonel Paul Evanko’s 9/11 Field Notes,” and “Art of the State.”

Special Exhibit: Witness to History

This special exhibit features the actual handwritten field notes that Col. Paul Evanko, head of the PA State Police, took at the site of the crash of United Airlines Flight 93 on the morning of 9/11. These documents, on public display for the very first time, detail the rapid unfolding of events and offer a minute-by-minute accounting of decisions made to secure the Shanksville, PA crash site and protect Pennsylvanians. This exhibit will be open September 9, 2021 – January 2, 2022.

Special Exhibit: The Art of the State 

This annual juried exhibition has been showcasing the work of Pennsylvania’s artists at The State Museum of Pennsylvania since 1968. The body of art that has been exhibited reflects over a half-century of creative endeavor in the Keystone State. Through the years, artists have shared their ideas and engaged viewers in the categories of painting, photography, craft, sculpture, and work on paper. The exhibit includes 104 works of art from 104 artists from 31 counties. Finalists were selected from 2,217 entries from 626 artists. The exhibition will open to the public on Sunday, September 26 and run through January 2, 2022.  Find out morestatemuseumpa.org/ArtoftheState

A technician in a mask appears to be vacuuming a deer in a diorama

Special Exhibit: Restoring Mammal Hall — A 50th Anniversary Profile

The Museum included Mammal Hall in the architectural plans in 1965. It took a team of curators, artists, and preparators, 3 years to complete, which opened in June 1968. As the 50th anniversary of Mammal Hall approached, it was clear that the dioramas needed—and deserved—more than a cleaning. This exhibit explores the science and art behind the 3 year restoration project.

AFS attendees enjoy free admission!

You can view several of our changing exhibits during the Welcome Reception, Thursday, October 21, but come back later to explore Pennsylvania history, science, and art, including,:

  • The Anthropology and Archaeology Gallery
  • Objects of Valor: Commemorating the Civil War in Pennsylvania
  • Game Changers: Pennsylvania Women Who Made History
  • Why Not in Pennsylvania? Campaigning for Women’s Suffrage in the Keystone State

Show your AFS name tag when entering the building to see any and all of the Museum’s exhibits, October 21-23, 2021.

The State Museum of Pennsylvania 

300 North Street
Harrisburg, PA 17120