Welcome to the Matson Museum!

The Matson Museum of Anthropology asks the question: WHO ARE WE? The Museum’s galleries seek to address this question by sharing the global human experience with the broader Penn State community. Our biological history, ancestral creativity, and contemporary diversity are all on display.

The Matson Museum acknowledges that colonialism is built into anthropological collections. We work with Native American Tribes and Nations as well as other Indigenous groups and governments to document and repatriate cultural items when appropriate.

Our home is the Department of Anthropology in the College of the Liberal Arts.


From classes visiting to explore particular themes to aspiring Penn Staters on a campus tour, the museum had an active slate of educational and outreach activities in spring 2022.
Read Matson Museum’s Spring 2022 Newsletter

Student Spotlight

"Behind the scenes, I have cataloged DeForest Collection ceramics to explore the empowerment of women through boundaries of contemporary art and history through folk pottery created by everyday women from around the world. I wish to take this experience into my future as my goal is to work in museums on the west coast.”

Alyssa Hammon
Anthropology Major