Archives FAQs


Note: For questions pertaining to the following, please email the Archives directly, at
  • exhibitors or exhibition prizes
  • former staff or faculty members
  • a painting that may have been exhibited at PAFA
  • if (and when) an artist was affiliated with PAFA.

How do I find out about past student records?

For someone attending before 1950, email the Archives; attending after 1950, contact the School Registrar's Office at 215.972.2017.

What if I have a historical question?

See the History of PAFA page or the Archived Exhibitions section. Or contact the Archives.

How do I get information about the Historic Landmark building by Furness and Hewitt?

See the Buildings page, or contact the Archives.

How do I obtain a general biography on an artist?

Visit the Library webpage, or contact

The Archives has no published biographical reference works, but can document connections between an artist and PAFA through student records, exhibition records, etc.

How do I reproduce a PAFA work of art in a publication, or get a copy photograph for study?

Visit the Image Use page. 

How do I determine if PAFA owns a specific work, or a work by a given artist?

Search the Collection that is currently available online. If the item is not found on the website, please contact the Museum Registrar for information on the many works in the collection that are not online, by emailing the Museum Registrar, Jennifer Johns:

How do I find out about attribution of a painting?

Send the question with a photograph of the painting to:
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
Attn: Curator
128 N. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

How can I determine the monetary value of a work of art?

Museums will not (and cannot) do this, so you should instead consult galleries or dealers. The American Society of Appraisers, P.O. Box 17265, Washington D.C. 20041 (1-800-272-8258) has a list of appraisers in a specific geographical area.