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.

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

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

Financial Information

2014 Form 990 Tax Form


Exhibits, events, & extras

Notify Me!

Our People

Our Board



Dave Meas

1st Vice Chair

Charles Harenza, Esq.

2nd Vice Chair

Heidi Masano


Jill Martin, CPA


Bill Combs

Assistant Secretary

Seth E. Rosenzweig, M.D.

Immediate Past Chair

Kathleen Kleppinger

Director and CEO

John Graydon Smith

Board of Directors

Walter Banta

Kevin S. Barnhardt

Dr. Brian Buerke

Irvin Cohen

Frank Delewski

Anne M. Fink PhD, RN, CNE

Scott Gruber

Joanne M. Judge, Esq.

Lisa Lavender

C. Jack Lusch

Julio (Leo) C. Martinez

Regina (Ginger) Miller

Ronald Pook

Alan Shuman

Dr. Thomas B. Souders

Karin Wulkowicz

Our Staff


John Graydon Smith
Director and CEO

Collections & Curatorial

Ashley Hamilton Houston
Collections Manager & Registrar

Paul Pawlaczyk

Scott Schweigert
Curator of Art & Civilization

Alice Botvin
Curatorial Assistant


Wendy Koller
Manager of Education

Coleen Spease-Mikucki
STEM & Family Education
x227 Email

Colin Gallen
Education Assistant 
x255 Email

Megan Weld
Education Department

General inquiries of
educational programming

Employment & Volunteering

x257 Email

x239 Email


no header

Event & Exhibition Rentals

Stephanie Hafer Shaak
Vice President of Event &
Exhibition Rentals

Laura Oswald
Event Rental Coordinator

Kara Seawell
Customer Service &
Events Assistant

Kevin Pistiner
Customer Service & 
Education Associate Email

Internal Events

Lindsay Crist
Director of Community Development

Amanda Machik
Manager of Museum Events

Finance & Grants

Diane Ruth
Controller & HR Manager

Ashley Manwiller
Financial & Administrative

Amanda Spencer
Grant Writer
x254 Email


For Membership information
please phone x228

no header

Museum & Planetarium 

Jeffery Fick
Customer Service &
Gift Shop Coordinator

Mark Mazurkiewicz
Planetarium Director

Elan Lift
Planetarium Assistant

William Glasser
Museum Shop Cashier

Public Relations & Marketing

Emily Moore
Manager of Marketing &
Digital Media

x231 Email

Security & Facilities


Pete Poncheri
Director of Building & Grounds

Employment & Volunteering

Museum Gift Shop Volunteer

Volunteer openings are available on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., and Sundays between 12 p.m. – 3 p.m. This position requires friendly, outgoing individuals to assist patrons with merchandise sales and run a computerized cash register. Prior retail experience would be helpful. Volunteers should be at least 18 years old or a senior in high school.



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: Jacquelynn Danek, Manager of STEM Education, AND Wendy Koller, Manager of Humanities Education,

Gallery Docent Volunteer

Gallery Docents are enthusiastic volunteers who are specially trained to bring our collection to life for learners of all ages. Persons interested in becoming a Museum Docent must attend 4 consecutive Senior Series events which take place the 4th Friday of each month at 1:30p.m., be willing to make a 2 year commitment to The Museum, and must be a Museum Member.  Once invited into The Docent Program Docents are required to attend monthly training sessions, and volunteer for a minimum of 6 hours a month. If you are interested in joining The Docent Program or have any questions please contact Wendy Koller, at or (610)-371-5850 x223

Assistant Preparator

The Reading Public Museum is seeking an individual to assist in all aspects of exhibits, collection, construction, and building and grounds upkeep. 


Click here for job overview.


To apply, please send cover letter, resume, and three (3) references via email to and include Job Posting in the subject line. 

Maintenance Custodian

The Reading Public Museum has an available part-time position for an individual to perform minor maintenance and custodial tasks throughout The Museum campus. Requires a valid PA driver's license, experience with electrical, mechanical, plumbing, and carpentry. Work hours are variable and require a flexible schedule, some weekends required.


Email resume to Applications also available at the admissions desk at The Museum.

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