Welcome to the Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College. The Berman is space where we celebrate time-honored values and pursue innovative ideas—an active learning environment committed to exploring ways that objects, exhibitions, and community artmaking can deepen our understanding of the world. For a teaching museum on a liberal arts campus, this means facilitating multiple, interdisciplinary points of access for our diverse academic community and providing opportunities for engagement, learning, and collaboration for an ever-widening public audience.
Curiosity and exploration are at the core of our mission. As a laboratory for learning through art, we work to equip students with the analytic and emotional skills they need to be actively engaged global citizens. As invested members of our broader local community, we cultivate dialogue and understanding through dynamic exhibitions and programs that are always free for all.
In 2022, we will explore issues related to collective memory, histories of place and displacement, and the visualization of recovery and reclamation. We look forward to seeing you in the galleries.
Our best wishes,
Lauren McCardel, Executive Director
Deborah Barkun, Ph.D., Creative Director
Ursinus College, founded in 1869, did not have a formal program or facility for the collection and display of works of art until the creation of The Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art was announced in August 1987. The Berman Museum is housed in the former Alumni Memorial Library, which was built in 1923 to commemorate the brave Ursinus students and alumni who gave their lives in World War I. To accommodate its rapidly growing collection, a new library building was constructed and the Alumni Memorial Library was converted to the College’s Student Union in 1973.
Philip and Muriel Berman worked together throughout their marriage of 55 years—raising a family, managing their businesses, collecting art and working together on philanthropic projects and causes. Together they devoted their energy and fortune to public service and civic affairs in their home city of Allentown, Pennsylvania, in Israel, and throughout the world. The Bermans humanized the process of collecting in the way they lived with their art: paintings and sculptures were an everyday presence throughout their home. They shared their collections with numerous institutions and believed that by exposing students to art they would make clear the importance of art to a fully lived life.
The Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. Approximately 3-4% of museums nationwide have earned this distinguished recognition, which certifies that the Berman Museum of Art operates according to professional standards, manages its collections responsibly and provides quality service to the public. https://www.aam-us.org/