History

On February 8, 1983 the Arthur Ross Gallery opened its doors to the public with the exhibition Francisco Goya y Lucientes, The Disasters of War, La Tauromaquia, Spanish Entertainment and other prints from the Collection of the Arthur Ross Foundation.

Two years earlier, New York investor, philanthropist, and collector Arthur Ross had the inspired vision to establish an art gallery at the University of Pennsylvania. Under President Martin S. Meyerson, the Arthur Ross Gallery took shape. It continues to be housed in the Fisher Fine Arts Library building, a historic 1891 High Victorian Gothic library designed by Frank Furness.

  • Arthur Ross and President Amy Gutmann

Arthur Ross began his undergraduate education at the University of Pennsylvania. But the Great Depression interrupted his studies and he returned to New York to help support his family. Throughout his lifetime however, Arthur Ross remained loyal and grateful for his Penn education. The Gallery that bears his name reflects not only his generosity, but also his great passion for art, especially outstanding prints and drawings.

Over the past 31 years, the University and Gallery staff have nurtured this intimate and dynamic gallery that features art and artifacts from around the world. The Gallery presents four exhibitions each year, and remains a non-collecting institution. The Arthur Ross Gallery reaches across disciplines to engage faculty, students, artists, and the public in its multicultural exhibitions. Its outstanding programs and elementary outreach, Engaging Minds through Art, serve the University, Philadelphia and the region.