Center for the Study of the American Artist

The Center for the Study of the American Artist (CSAA) provides access to, and the study of, works of art in the permanent collection.

With the generous support of The National Endowment for the Humanities, the Center opened at PAFA in 2016 to support the museum’s mission to collect, conserve, exhibit, and interpret works of art.

In the glass-walled work-space, PAFA’s museum staff work on the preservation, documentation, and treatment of the collection.

Additionally, the Center provides a wide range of research services in support of students, scholars, faculty, staff, and the general public.

Visitors are welcome to schedule individual appointments or class visits. College-level instructors may schedule visits for their classes to view works on paper from PAFA’s holdings. Individual scholars may schedule visits to view works on paper related to their particular areas of interest.

Periodically public programs are scheduled in the CSAA.

Location and Hours of Operation

Monday-Friday10:00 AM — 4:00 PM

Appointments are dependent on staff availability. The Center is closed on all federal holidays.

The Center for the Study of the American Artist is located on the 5th Floor of the Samuel M.V. Hamilton Building. Please note that the research room is 68° F. We advise you to dress appropriately if you are not accustomed to working in cooler environments.

If the work you have requested is a painting or sculpture in the Museum collection, you will meet at a different location, which will be noted in your correspondence with PAFA.

Policies & Procedures

  • Appointments are limited to groups of 14 people or less, for a period of 1 hour.
  • Appointments must be made at least two (2) weeks in advance. If you need to reschedule or cancel, please provide at least 24 hours notice.
  • Works of art may be handled by museum staff only.
  • Only graphite pencils are allowed for notes.
  • No food or drink, including bottled water is allowed.
  • Coats and bags (except for laptops and small purses) must be checked in storage lockers.
  • Please note that works on paper are by nature delicate objects that can be irreparably damaged from cumulative exposure to light. As a result, the museum exhibits only a small portion of its vast collections of prints, drawings, and photographs at any given time.

Appointment Requests

Please use the form below to contact the Center and schedule an appointment.

In your request, please include a list of works you would like to see, formatted as follows:

  • Artist’s Last Name
  • Title of Work
  • Accession Number

This information can be accessed by visiting PAFA's online permanent collection database (limited to 12 works and dependent on size and storage location). Requests that do not include this information will be declined by PAFA.

Contact Us

PAFA provides a wide range of services in support of the research interests of students, scholars, faculty, staff, and the general public.