Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art (SAMA) is a community art museum founded in 1976. SAMA successfully operates the nation’s longest-running museum satellite system with five museum facilities in the southwestern Pennsylvania cities of Altoona, Bedford, Johnstown, Ligonier and Loretto. The Museum maintains a permanent collection of more than 7,500 works of local, regional, national and international artists. SAMA’s five museums offer award-winning education programs, special events, and approximately thirty to forty exhibitions annually.
The Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art exists to preserve, exhibit, and advance American art and is dedicated to making its programs and activities accessible to the people of the southwestern area of central Pennsylvania. By establishing and maintaining a museum of art and by providing programs and activities of a public, charitable, civic, cultural, literary, and educational nature, the Museum serves the people of the region. Charged with the development, maintenance, and perpetuation of a permanent collection, the Museum mounts exhibitions designed to evoke an interest in and an understanding and appreciation of American art. As well, it serves as a repository for distinctive collections.
FREE. There is no required fee to visit SAMA.
Please consider a $5 donation per visitor upon arrival. Donations allow us to continue providing free and low-cost educational services, cultural event programming, and regional artistic exhibitions. Thank you for your support!
Wednesday—Sunday: 12 pm—4:30 pm.
Closed Monday & Tuesday.
Please check each site's facebook page for up-to-date information: a museum may be closed for installation between exhibitions or for a national holiday, maintenance, private events, or other non-regular events. *Johnstown by appointment only.
Each SAMA museum has galleries on the main floor which are accessible to all visitors. Second floor accessibility varies by location. The Bedford and Loretto sites provide viewing of upper level exhibitions from monitors on the first floor.
Free parking is available at all locations.
Altoona has time limited parking and suggests the garage for an extended visit. For overnight lodging and other things to do in Altoona, please visit www.explorealtooona.com
"Unpacking and putting papers away after this journey reminds me of the high point of my visit. Your museum is one of them."
- Grier S., SAMA visitor feedback
June 1976 SAMA opened its doors with a permanent collection consisting of 47 paintings, drawings, and sculpture, and a collection of 20 etchings by John Sloan
Michael M. Strueber was appointed as SAMA’s first Director, with the Rev. Sean M. Sullivan, T.O.R., the first President of the Board of Trustees
1979 the Altoona museum opens *moves to Brett Building in 1994
1982 the Johnstown museum opens *moves to Pasquerilla Performing Arts Center on the campus of University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown in 1990s
1996 SAMA received accreditation from the American Association of Museums (AAM)
Sept 1997 the Ligonier Valley museum opens *Donald M. Robinson Sculpture Park is added in 2018
1998 SAMA became a partner of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts
May 2018 the Bedford museum opens
The Museum welcomes approximately 81,000 visitors annually
SAMA’s service region covers Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Fayette, Somerset, and Westmoreland counties
2018 Initiative Awards in Community Involvement, Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Awards
2011 Blair County Arts Hall of Fame inductee
2011 President’s Award of the Allegheny Mountains Convention & Visitors Bureau
2002 National Award for Museum Service, Institute of Museum and Library Services
2001 “Power of Creativity” Community Arts Education Award Initiative, Americans for the Arts and Binney & Smith
1997/98 Best Practice in Pennsylvania Arts Education Award, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and Pennsylvania Department of Education
Director of Operations
Director of Development and Curator, SAMA-Loretto & Johnstown
Director of Marketing and Engagement
Education Coordinator and
Michael M. Strueber
Board of Trustees
Hon. Timothy Creany
John K. Duggan, Jr.
Jeanne Gleason, Emerita
Joan McCreary, Emerita
Br. Shamus McGrenra, TOR
Aimee L. Willett
Gerald P. Wolf, Emeritus