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When you first enter the chandelier-lit museum lobby, you can see the space remains a beautiful showcase of the precise architecture of The Brett Building, a building that has been a staple in Altoona since the 1920s. Retail clothier Jacob Brett chose a more "modern" design than the Neoclassical neighboring structures for his prestigious new department store and office building. In a downtown revitalization project, the building was reimagined as an art museum using the history of the building and its original use as inspiration for the gallery designs.

Otis Visual Media
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Permanent Collection


The incredibly distinctive George A. and Herbert T. Wolf Gallery was designed to invoke the feeling of rail travel with a similar shape and feel, where the artwork acts as the railcar windows. This important design element pays homage to the photography collection of William H. Rau, who was a commercial photographer for the Pennsylvania Railroad in the 1800s.

The Shirley and Fred A. Pechter Gallery and Paul I. Detwiler Education Center are unique in their ability to transform with each installation. The long ramp down to Detwiler allows artwork to be shown in the more traditional museum sense and the open-floor concept of the rest of the gallery is the multi-purpose area. This has been used for some of the favorite community-participation driven workshops for children and adults that take place year-round. 

Becoming accustomed with the floor plan in advance of your visit will help you find your way around the museum.  The museum is accessible to everybody! Download floor plan here.


Enjoy community outreach programs and fine art offerings with special receptions and workshops with exhibiting artists! Find more information on what's on display on the exhibitions tab and register for events below.


Recently established, this group serves to provide financial and volunteer support for the Museum. The committee is also charged with increasing public attention on the Museum and helping to broaden its membership.


  • Art Trivia Night
    Art Trivia Night
    Tue, Jun 18
    Jun 18, 2024, 7:00 PM
    Levity Brewing Co., 1411 11th Ave, Altoona, PA 16601
    at Levity Brewing Co.
  • Altoona Art Camp
    Altoona Art Camp
    Mon, Jun 24
    Jun 24, 2024, 9:00 AM – Jun 28, 2024, 4:00 PM
    Altoona, 118 E Spruce Ct, Altoona, PA 16601, USA
    5 days with teaching artist, Stan Snyder
  • Animal Interpretations Exhibition Celebration
    Animal Interpretations Exhibition Celebration
    Sat, Jul 27
    Jul 27, 2024, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
    Altoona, 1210 11th Ave, Altoona, PA 16601, USA
    with artists, Melissa Selcow and Helen Gorsuch


Dante DiAndrea

Danté DiAndrea

Site Director

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