Changing Exhibits

Bannered Heroes: Celebrating Pennsylvania’s African American Veterans

Ground floor

Over the past two centuries, many African Americans have served Pennsylvania and the nation with distinction in the U.S. Armed Forces. This exhibit highlights twelve such individuals with ties to Pennsylvania, but it is intended as a tribute to all of the Commonwealth’s African American veterans. This display is presented by Beta Pi Boulé, the Harrisburg chapter of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity (the Boulé). On display starting Thursday, September 21, 2023.

Art of the State 2023

1st floor

Art of the State, open to Pennsylvania artists and craftspeople, is an annual juried exhibition held at The State Museum of Pennsylvania.

The 56th  Art of the State 2023 exhibition includes 86 works of art by 86 artists from 29 counties of Pennsylvania. Finalists were selected from 1,915 entries from 559 artists. Works were submitted in the categories of Painting, Work on Paper, Photography & Digital Media, Sculpture and Craft. On exhibit September 10, 2023 – January 7, 2024.

Game Changers:
Pennsylvania Women Who Made History

1st floor

This display celebrates women from across the state representing diverse fields including education, science, business, human rights advocacy, and the arts –and details the contributions they made as well as the challenges they faced in their lifetimes.

Benjamin Franklin & Pennsylvania:
300 Years

1st floor

Benjamin Franklin was born in Boston, but he called Pennsylvania home from the time of his arrival in 1723 at age 17 to his death in 1790 at 84. To help mark this anniversary, this display showcases a sampling of artifacts inspired by Franklin’s many innovations. On display through April 2024.

A Transportation Revolution

1st floor

Automobiles began appearing on Pennsylvania’s roads in the late 1800s, but the transition away from horses – the then-dominant mode of personal transport — did not happen quickly, or evenly. For more than a quarter century, cars shared the road with horse-drawn vehicles.

This display explores the transition from horse to automobile through the history of three vehicles from Pennsylvania’s last transportation revolution.

From the Collections: Pennsylvania Gubernatorial Campaign Material

2nd floor

Every four years, campaign items promoting candidates for governor appear across Pennsylvania. From tokens and silk ribbons in the early elections, to buttons, t-shirts and novelties in the 20th century, these materials offer a glimpse into the personalities and issues that energized the campaigns for our Commonwealth’s highest office. This exhibit, on display through 2023, offers visitors a sampling of this material from the State Museum’s political history collections.