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Art Collection

The Governor’s Residence is home to a collection of historic art dating from the late 18th century. Visitors touring the State and Public Rooms will view paintings by great artists such as Thomas Sully, Rembrandt Peale, Charles Peale Polk, and Gilbert Stuart. Many of these remarkable pieces are on loan from world-class institutions, such as the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the State Museum of Pennsylvania, and the Carnegie Museum of Art.

The Governor's Residence offers tours on Tuesday and Thursday from 9:30 AM until 2:00 PM. Reservations are required and can be made by completing our online tour request form.


CURRENT EXHIBIT

The Collective Works of Polly Stetler

Artwork from the Polly Stetler CollectionFirst Lady Frances Wolf has unveiled The Collective Works of Polly Stetler, a new collection of non-representational, abstract quilts and fiber artworks on display at the Pennsylvania Governor's Residence in Harrisburg. 

"Throughout Tom's time in office, we have made it a priority to use the Governor's Residence to showcase the vision and creativity of our fellow Pennsylvanians," said First Lady Frances Wolf. "We are truly honored to display Polly's impressive body of work right here in the people's house for all to enjoy."

Stetler, a York resident, has a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from Drew University in Madison, New Jersey. She has studied with leaders in the arts including Nancy Crow, Jan Myers-Newbury, and Steven Aimone. Her work has been featured in various public and private collections, including the State Museum of Pennsylvania's Art of the State juried exhibition in 2007 and 2011. 

Stetler's work begins with the creation of the fabrics used. While she uses some commercial fabrics, she mostly hand-dyes her own solid colors. She is currently exploring surface design techniques such as shibori and other resist processes, as well as discharge. These techniques have opened her work to gesture and mark-making, which have been described as a cross between drawing and writing. In recent years, she has also begun incorporating embroidery into her work. 

"When I create a quilt, I focus on line, shape, color and balance – the same issues that every artist struggles with, regardless of medium," said Stetler in her artist's statement. "In my work, I freehand cut my fabrics and assemble them by machine. I prefer to hand-quilt my work because I enjoy the contrast between the crisp edges of the machine-piecing and the organic look of the hand-sewing. I choose to machine quilt some pieces when the edginess of the machine work either enhances the piece or has no impact at all."


One Lens: Sharing Our Common Views

One Lens: Sharing Our Common Views is a statewide collaborative visual and storytelling project organized by Pennsylvania’s First Lady Frances Wolf, in partnership with the PA Council on the Arts, PA Historical and Museum Commission, the PA Tourism Office, and the Library of Accessible Media for Pennsylvanians to document Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 pandemic experience. Throughout the month-long submission period in early 2021, approximately 900 Pennsylvanians from 58 of our 67 counties shared their COVID-19 experiences to be displayed in the exhibit and archived in Pennsylvania’s records. Across the exhibit’s three themes – our lives, our heroes and our communities – we see life in the commonwealth from March 2020 through March 2021: the hard realities and the hope for better days, the triumphs and the heartbreaks, the new beginnings and the loss. 

To view the full exhibit, please visit www.pa.gov/one-lens.