• Reading Public Museum
    Open 11a-5p Daily Admission
  • Neag Planetarium
    Show Schedule Admission
  • Arboretum
    Open everyday from sunrise to sunset
**No Star Shows on Sunday, Dec. 5** ***Click here to view our COVID policies***

More than 100 years of learning and culture

 

Learn by Doing! For more than a century, the Reading Public Museum has been at the forefront of hands-on learning. RPM’s enthusiasm for providing rich, tactile experiences sparks curiosity and learning for visitors of all ages in the areas of science, art, history, and more!

A Classroom Collection

Dr. Levi W. Mengel, founder and first director of the Reading Public Museum, wholeheartedly believed in the value of a “sensory education.” As a teacher at Boys' High School in the Reading School District, Dr. Mengel used his personal collection of antiquities in his teaching to help bring history alive for his students in the early 1900s. He recognized that young minds hunger for active participation and personal experience, and he continued collecting scientific and anthropological materials to use as teaching aids.

Thanks to donations from Dr. Mengel and nearly 2,000 pieces acquired at the St. Louis World’s Fair, Reading students could see, touch, and learn about objects from around the globe. In 1907, the third floor of the Reading School District administration building was converted into a museum to provide students with exciting hands-on learning experiences.

An Extraordinary Gift

Giving a child a chance to see and handle the things about which they study is not only the greatest timesaver, but the most effective way of giving an absolutely correct impression.

Dr. Levi W. Mengel
Reading Public Museum's founder and first director

With the addition of several paintings to the fledgling museum’s collection, Dr. Mengel’s creation was renamed the Reading Public Museum and Art Gallery in 1913 and opened to the public. As The Museum’s collection continued to expand, it became clear that it would eventually outgrow its home. The Museum’s present location, which welcomed its first visitors in 1929, was a generous donation to the Reading School District from local industrialists Ferdinand Thun and Irvin F. Impink.

A World of Curiosities

In the decades that followed, The Museum developed a world-class collection of more than 300,000 objects, including art, antiquities, and scientific and cultural artifacts from around the globe. Thanks to RPM’s sponsors and generous community support, the collection continues to grow and diversify.

Have you ever wanted to be face-to-face with an ancient Egyptian mummy or among dinosaur bones from millions of years ago? Maybe you’re more interested in original works by artists including Degas, Rodin, and Warhol. Perhaps you’d like to investigate mysterious Mayan treasures, American Indian artifacts, or one of the traveling exhibits The Museum hosts each year? There’s something for everyone to enjoy at RPM!

Echoes of the Past, Visions of the Future

Dr. Mengel’s dedication to sensory education was ahead of its time, and the work he began continues today. RPM’s cutting-edge interactive exhibits offer visitors inspiring, hands-on learning opportunities that are unique to The Museum, and there’s always something new to see and do.

Our Mission

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.

Appraisals and Certifications

The Museum cannot offer valuations, appraisals, or authentications of artwork. If you have an object you would like to have valued or authenticated, The Museum recommends the following resources:

American Society of Appraisers (800) 272-8258
Appraisers Association of America (212) 889-5404
Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America
Art-Collecting.com

For questions about object conservation, the American Institute for Conservation has available a national referral system. Please call (202) 452-9545.

Financial Information

2020 Form 990 Tax Form
Download

RPM HAPPENINGS

Exhibits, events, & extras

Notify Me!

Our People

Our Board

Officers


Chair

Chuck Harenza, Esq.

1st Vice Chair

Heidi Masano, Esq.

2nd Vice Chair

Scott Gruber

Treasurer

Laurie Peer

Secretary

C. Jack Lusch

Assistant Secretary

Jerry Marcus, M.D.

Director and CEO

John Graydon Smith

Board of Directors

Kevin Barnhardt

Anne M. Fink

Ashley Jones

Ted Lavender

Debbie Pook

Dr. Seth Rosenzweig

Bill Sands

Ann Sheehan

Alan Shuman

Dr. Anna Weitz

Helene Zintak

Our Staff

Administrative

John Graydon Smith
Director and CEO

Collections & Curatorial


Ashley Houston
Collections Manager & Registrar
x232 Email

Scott Schweigert
Curator of Art & Civilization
x229 Email

Education

Wendy Koller
Manager of Education
x223 Email

Coleen Spease-Mikucki
STEM & Family Education
Coordinator
x227 Email

Rebeka Birch
Education Programming Associate
x258 Email

General inquiries of
educational programming
x255

Volunteering


Museum
x230 Email

Arboretum
x239 Email

 

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Event & Exhibition Rentals


Stephanie Hafer Shaak
Vice President of Event &
Exhibition Rentals
x234 Email

Michaela Zaborowski
Event Rental &
Education Associate
x254 Email

Kara Seawell
Customer Service &
Events Assistant

Internal Events


Lindsay Crist
Director of Community Development
x230 Email

Finance & Grants


Diane Ruth
Controller & HR Manager
x233 Email

Ashley Manwiller
Financial & Administrative
Assistant
x248 Email

Membership

For Membership information
please phone x228
Email

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Museum & Planetarium 


Jeffery Fick
Customer Service &
Gift Shop Coordinator
x238 Email

Mark Mazurkiewicz
Planetarium Director
x244 Email

Public Relations & Marketing

Emily Moore Sweitzer
Manager of Marketing &
Digital Media
x231 Email

Security & Facilities


Security
x242

Daniel Runkel
Building & Grounds Manager
x225 Email

Employment & Volunteering

Part-Time Museum Educator

Job Summary

The purpose of this position is to facilitate the growing number of educational programs at The Museum. The Museum Educator will report to the Managers of Humanities and STEM Education and will be primarily responsible for implementation of educational programming. This includes but is not limited to student tours, scout workshops and sleepovers, summer camp programs, adult program, public programs, and birthday parties.

 

Essential Duties & Responsibilities

  • The primary responsibility of a Museum Educator is to lead school tours of The Museum.  Day time availability during the week is a must.
  • Museum Educators also facilitate scout workshops and sleepovers, birthday parties, public programs, summer camp classes, and adult education programs.  These typically occur during weekend and evening hours.
  • Using excellent customer service skills, establish and maintain effective working relationships with other employees, volunteers, and all members of the general public.
  • Assist with keeping exhibits and public areas safe and presentable to the public.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Qualifications and Experience

  • Education: Bachelor's degree in art, education, science, history, museum studies or related field.
  • Required Experience: Working with children.
  • Preferred Experience: Facilitating and promoting informal educational programs for people of all ages in a museum, school or similar setting.  
  • Required Skills: Excellent public speaking skills and ability to lead and engage large groups of children and adults in a variety of subject areas, including art, science, and history. Ability to work well as part of a team, follow through with assigned tasks, and think on your feet.
  • Preferred Skills: Knowledge of museum practices and museum education standards.  Bilingual is a plus.

Physical Demands

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

 

  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to use manual dexterity.
  • Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, and color vision.
  • The employee frequently is required to sit and reach with hands and arms.
  • The employee is required to stand, walk, talk, and hear for long periods of time.

 

Work Environment

Work environment characteristics described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

 

  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is not normally exposed to weather conditions.
  • The noise level in the work environment is normally moderate.For a PDF file of this job listing, CLICK HERE.

To apply for this position please send your cover letter, resume, and three references (pdf files preferred) to: Wendy Koller, Manager of Education, wendy.koller@readingpublicmuseum.org.

Internships at The Museum

Join us at RPM for an exciting semester where you will get hands-on Museum experience!  The Museum offers numerous opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate students in a variety of disciplines. Previous intern majors have included Art Education, Arts Administration, Business Administration & Management, Communications & Marketing, Elementary Education, History, Hospitality Management, Recreation Services Management, Secondary Education, and Sports Management. Former interns have gone on to work at EnerSys, plan events at Vault 634, Bellangelo Winery, and the Abraham Lincoln; teach full time, and even return to The Museum for a part-time or full-time position.    

 

More information

RPM Ambassadors

Anbassadors are an essential part of the Reading Public Museum family and their valued efforts enhance the capabilities of RPM’s small, dedicated staff. Our Ambassadors make every visit to The Museum even friendlier. Art, history, science, the Arboretum … wherever your interests lie, RPM has a variety of Ambassador opportunities that offer unique, personally rewarding experiences. We will be glad to work with you to discover how your talents can support The Museum! 

 

RPM Ambassador Opportunities Include:

Gallery Ambassador

Program Ambassador

Event Ambassador

Visitor Experience Ambassador

Arboretum Assistant

 

Please see the RPM Ambassador Opportunities Packet for a complete and detailed list of options.

Arboretum Assistants Needed for 2021

2021 Arboretum Assistants!

 

We are seeking volunteers to join the Reading Public Museum Arboretum Assistant Program for 2021. Each year, the number of projects at the Arboretum increase as does the need for additional volunteers.  Gardening sessions are Wednesday mornings from 9am until 12noon from the first week in April through the end of October.  As in the past, we are asking volunteers to commit to the equivalent of 2 Wednesday mornings per month (or approximately 14 weeks). The Wednesdays will be of your choosing with advanced sign-ups requested.  We work in groups with a Penn State Master Gardener as a supervisor of each group. You will only be asked to accept tasks physically comfortable for you.

 

We ask all prospective Arboretum Assistants to attend a training/informational session in April.  The date/s will be determined.  To register for this exciting volunteer opportunity or request additional information, contact Karen Moyer, Volunteer Coordinator, by March 5, 2021.  Email karenmoyer4@gmail.com or telephone the Museum arboretum office at 610-371-5850, Extension 239 and leave a message.  Additional information will follow in late February.

Part Time Building & Maintenance Custodian

PART TIME BUILDING MAINTENANCE / CUSTODIAN

 

Reading Public Museum has a part-time position for an individual to perform maintenance and custodial tasks throughout the Museum campus. Experience with basic custodial tasks required, experience with electrical, mechanical, plumbing and carpentry work a plus. Must be available night and weekend hours. Hours are variable and require a flexible schedule, pay $10-12/hr. Email resume and 3 references to info@readingpublicmuseum.org and include “Maintenance” in the subject line. EOE

 

Job Description

Unlimited access to art, science, culture, education and more Join RPM