The Reading Public Museum, in West Reading, Pennsylvania, has displays featuring science and civilizations, a planetarium and a 25-acre (100,000 m2) arboretum. It also offers educational programs for families, adults and children. Galleries feature an eclectic variety from art, armor, and artifacts of world civilizations, to natural history and the cultures of Native Americans and Pennsylvania Germans.
With a heritage spanning over 100 years, the Reading Public Museum is one of Pennsylvania’s major cultural attractions and educational resources. Founded in 1904, with the purchase by naturalist Levi W. Mengel of some 2,000 cultural artifacts from China, Japan, India, and the Philippines, the Reading Public Museum in Reading, Pennsylvania, opened to the public in 1913. That same year, paintings and fine art were added to the collections of natural history and ethnographic specimens. The Museum began construction at its current location in 1925, where it is situated in a 25-acre Arboretum with a sculpture garden. A Planetarium was added to the campus in 1968. The Museum’s collection includes treasures from ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome. Cultural artifacts from North American Indians, the peoples of Pre-Columbian Latin America, and the Pennsylvania Germans create an engaging learning environment. Fine art galleries include works by Edgar Degas, Frederic Church, Jasper Francis Cropsey, John Singer Sargent, William Merritt Chase, George Bellows, and Milton Avery, among others.
The mission of the Reading Public Museum, a dynamic center of lifelong learning and discovery, is to educate, enlighten and engage current and future generations through the collection, preservation and interpretation of objects of art, science and civilization.