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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. 


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.


  • Altoona Exhibition Celebration
    Altoona Exhibition Celebration
    Sat, Apr 27
    Apr 27, 2024, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
    Altoona, 1210 11th Ave, Altoona, PA 16601, USA
    Passing Freight and Contours
  • Art for Your Heart
    Art for Your Heart
    Sat, May 25
    May 25, 2024, 9:00 AM
    Altoona, 1210 11th Ave, Altoona, PA 16601, USA
    5k run/walk
  • 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, Jane Holt



Danté DiAndrea

Site Director

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