Gift Shop at the Palmer Museum

It's one of the best-kept secrets on the Penn State University Park campus: the little gift shop at the Palmer Museum. When I was a student in the 1980s, I lived in North Halls, and I had very easy access to the museum and also to the Creamery nearby. Yes, I often had ice cream for breakfast. :-)

Then I lived in a room of a square white house with black shutters on East Park Ave. for a year. After that, I worked in Mitchell Building, at the corner of East Park and Shortlidge, for many, many years. The Arboretum is also on that end of campus, and I am there frequently.

Oddly enough, I somehow sort of gravitate to that same end of campus, near the museum and the Creamery, though the Creamery has since moved nearer to East Halls and the museum has been expanded at least once since then.

Every December, I make a point to visit the Palmer museum's gift shop to see what splendid things they have. And I am never disappointed! Early December is a good time to visit because I'm usually a little bit flush with birthday and Christmas money. . . . (Look out, world!) And that's also when they put some of the very best stuff on display.

The first thing you'll notice about this space is the gorgeous light, of course. As I walked into the museum, I felt like I was in a cathedral. The wonderful afternoon light came in, making everything sparkle and shine. I wanted to live there forever, in that glorious light. It made me feel joyful, like dancing.

The museum shop has colorful, unusual, and unique items, some local, many from all over the world. The docent on hand on this afternoon drew my attention to the main display on the glass counter, which featured about a dozen mice dressed in festive garb and holding holiday items such as Christmas lights and shiny packages.

I strolled around, enchanted, taking pictures of this and that. And of course, I was drawn back to the little tree of mice. One (or more!) of those festive mice just had to come along home with me. There is a shot in the extras showing the little tree of festive mice in closer detail. You may be happy to learn that the mouse in the little pink tutu is now mine, all mine! :-)

I think I've only featured the Palmer Museum here twice before. A few years back, it served as the background to the shot of people waiting in line to pay their respects to Joe. And last year, there was a wonderful blown glass exhibit, and I shared a photo from that.

This place is a gem, in so many ways, and I feel grateful to have easy access to visit it whenever I want; I should also mention that entrance is free. So that you may explore more if you would like to, I'm including a link to the Palmer Museum's website.

This space seemed to me to be a house of light, or maybe a cathedral for art. I have used this song once before, but I would like to feature it here again: Martin Page, In the House of Stone and Light.

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