Mission and Values
As the first art museum and school in the United States, PAFA celebrates the transformative power of art and art making. PAFA inspires the public by expanding the stories of American art through its collections, exhibitions, and programs; and educates artists from around the world to be innovative makers and critical thinkers with a deep understanding of traditions and the ability to challenge conventions. Through its world-class museum and school, PAFA nurtures and recognizes artists at every turn in their career.
PAFA will be an inclusive, creative community of artists and audiences seeking education, contemplation, inspiration, and dialogue.
About the School
PAFA educates artists from around the world to be innovative makers and critical thinkers with a deep understanding of traditions and the ability to challenge conventions.
Our specialized and unique art school attracts some of the most committed and promising art students from around the globe to study with a distinguished faculty of working artists. The school holds a position of national prestige, with cutting-edge studio and classroom facilities, private studios for students, a historic cast collection, and the opportunity for students to exhibit in a world-class museum.
PAFA is a non-profit college accredited through the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). PAFA is a member of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD) and The Common Application.
About the Museum
The PAFA museum inspires the public by expanding the stories of American art through its collections, exhibitions, and programs.
The museum regularly produces rich and rewarding exhibitions seeking to amplify a wide range of artistic voices. Its archives, conservation, educational programs, and publications contribute to scholarly knowledge and community dialogue.
Our permanent collection ranges from 18th- and 19th-century masters such as Benjamin West, Thomas Eakins, Winslow Homer, and Mary Cassatt, to twentieth and twenty-first century artists including Jacob Lawrence, Alice Neel, Vik Muniz, Mickalene Thomas, and Kehinde Wiley to name just a few. Taken as a whole, the museum aims to recognize artists at every turn in their career and thusly tell the sweeping story of American art.
Education in the fine arts is the center of all that we do. PAFA is committed to providing widely accessible art education and experiences to people of all ages and levels of expertise, from youth programs to training for professional artists.
PAFA’s unique community of scholars, curators, aspiring and established artists, faculty, critics, alumni and staff delivers intense, personal experiences with art and art making. PAFA is also committed to serving the full breadth of our community through relevant collections, exhibitions, programs, partnerships, and educational opportunities.
We believe that to achieve a distinctive voice, contemporary art and artists must have an active engagement and dialogue with historic fine arts traditions.
We responsibly steward our collections and campus through preservation and scholarship for the benefit of current and future generations.
We are deeply committed to ethnic, cultural, gender, and artistic diversity and inclusion in the student body, faculty, professional staff and volunteers, and actively seek to reflect the needs of diverse audiences in our programs and collections.