Archives News

The archives has resumed its operating hours as of November 17, 2021. The archives is now open 9am-5pm Monday to Friday. Please note that the archives is still operating in a hybrid work schedule which specifically means staff are working remotely Monday to Wednesday and onsite Thursday to Friday. The best way to contact the archives is via email:

If you wish to visit the archives for in-person research, please schedule your visits for Thursdays and Fridays. Don’t forget that PAFA’s Digital Archives has many digital resources online as well:

As the holidays quickly approach, we also want to take a moment to outline closures.

The archives will closed the follow days:

  • Thursday-Friday November 25 & 26, 2021
  • Thursday-Friday December 9 & 10, 2021 (private event)
  • December 24, 2021
  • December 27, 2021
  • December 31, 2021

Welcome back!

Two weeks ago, the Center for the Study of the American Artist welcomed its first class visit since its closure due to COVID-19. Professor Renee Foulks scheduled an appointment for her Low-Residency MFA class.

PAFA’s Low-Res MFA Class visit, August 2021.

The students selected a number of works from PAFA’s permanent collection for closer examination and discussion. Works included:

Thomas Anshutz – [Lady standing at window, with cat]

[Lady standing at window, with cat]
Gift of Mrs. Edward R. Anshutz

Bruce Samuelson – Untitled

Gift of Benjamin D. Bernstein and Robin J. Bernstein

Mickalene Thomas – Interior: Blue Couch and Green Owl

Interior: Blue Couch and Green Owl
© Mickalene Thomas / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

More information about the Center for the Study of the American Artist can be found here.

Archives Summer Hours

The archives will be closed from June 9th to 22nd.

For the rest of the summer (June 21, 2021 – August 3, 2021) , the archives will be operating on a limited schedule:

Monday-Wednesday: Closed

Thursday-Friday: 9am-5pm

Don’t forget to visit PAFA’s Digital Archives for digitized records and additional online resources.

COVID-19 Updates

Next week will mark one year that the archives will be closed due to the pandemic. A majority of PAFA staff have continued working remotely, including the archives. Fortunately, we managed to remain productive during this time.

  1. The project team completed the Rediscovering John Rhoden grant project.
    • Completed the digitization right before closure.
    • Completed cataloging over 3900 items.
    • Completed the collection finding aid.
    • Completed the John Rhoden digital portal. We are currently doing a round of edits before we publicly promote and launch the digital portal and finding aid.
  2. Updated and created a number of online resources on PAFA’s history.

COVID-19 Updates

PAFA is committed to the health and safety of our visitors and staff. The PAFA administration is closely monitoring the global and local situation with regard to the 2019 coronavirus disease, COVID-19, including advisories from the World Health Organization (WHO), Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and local authorities.

Follow PAFA on Facebook (PAFAcademy) and on Instagram (@pafacademy) for immediate updates. For additional resources and announcements, please visit PAFA’s website.

PAFA Archives staff will continue to serve the public remotely by responding to emailed requests ( While the Archives are closed, we invite the public to explore our online resources by visiting our digital archives (

NEH Grant Project Update

As PAFA remains closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic impacting America, it is with mixed emotions that we announce the suspension of all work on the NEH Grant Project – Rediscovering John Rhoden.

Project Archivist Kelin Baldridge with help from Assistant Archivist Jahna Auerbach have both been amazing colleagues. It has been a pleasure working alongside them for the past six months. Together, we sifted and explored the treasure trove of materials that help illuminate John Rhoden’s life as an artist, husband, educator, and community anchor.

We cannot provide additional details as to when the project will resume as things are changing daily here in Philadelphia and much of the United States during the pandemic. We want to thank everyone for following us all this time on our social media journey!

See you soon!

Hoang Tran
Project Director for the Rediscovering John Rhoden NEH Grant project.

PAFA will temporarily close to the public beginning Saturday, March 14, until further notice.

The health and safety of our community is, and must be, our highest priority. PAFA will continue to monitor the global and local situation with regard to COVID-19, including advisories from local and national health authorities, while the Museum is closed to the public.

As a result, all research requests have been suspended until further notice. We urge patrons to use our Digital Archives to access historical records and online resources to supplement your research needs for the time being.

Any relevant updates related to PAFA’s museum operations will be posted on our website’s dedicated COVID-19 page. We encourage you to check back often.