The La Salle University Art Museum opened its doors in 1976 as a place for La Salle students, especially those majoring in art history, as well as for the communities in the surrounding areas, to experience art in an intimate setting.
The beginnings of the museum were ten years earlier at one of the University’s fall honors convocations. John Walker, director of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, delivered the address, and well-known collector Lessing Rosenwald and American artist Andrew Wyeth received honorary degrees. The University announced that it was beginning a degree program in art history and had begun acquiring art. What began as a modest study collection has since blossomed into the La Salle Art Museum, now considered one of the city’s gems.
Currently, La Salle is the only university in the Philadelphia area to own a permanent display of paintings, drawings and sculptures from the Renaissance to the present. The collection is housed in a series of period rooms in the lower level of Olney Hall on the University’s main campus.