Glencairn Museum

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Glencairn Museum.jpg
Glencairn Museum, February 2007
Glencairn Museum is located in Pennsylvania
Glencairn Museum
Glencairn Museum is located in the US
Glencairn Museum
Location 1001 Cathedral Rd., Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania, 19009
Coordinates 40°08′11.88″N 75°03′51.43″W / 40.1366333°N 75.0642861°W / 40.1366333; -75.0642861Coordinates: 40°08′11.88″N 75°03′51.43″W / 40.1366333°N 75.0642861°W / 40.1366333; -75.0642861
Area 6.2 acres (2.5 ha)
Built 1929
Built by Pitcairn, Raymond
Architectural style Late 19th And 20th Century Revivals, Other, Late Romanesque
NRHP Reference # 78002434[1]
Added to NRHP August 31, 1978

Glencairn Museum is an art museum located in Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania. It is affiliated with The New Church and is on the National Register of Historic Places.


It houses a collection of about 8,000 mostly religious artwork from many cultures as diverse as ancient Egyptian, ancient Greek, Roman, medieval Christian, Islamic, Asian, and Native American. The museum displays a replica of the Biblical tabernacle.


The castle-like building was the former house of billionaire businessman Raymond Pitcairn (1885–1966) and his wife, Mildred Glenn (died 1979). It consists of more than 90 rooms on 10 floors, adjacent to his first architectural success, the Gothic Revival Bryn Athyn Cathedral (1913–19) and his father's home Cairnwood. The Pitcairn fortune derived from control of Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company, of which his father John Pitcairn, Jr. (1841-1916), was director, 1896-1906. The Pitcairns were funders of the American Liberty League.[2] The name of the museum is a combined form of Raymond's last name and Mildred's maiden name. After Mildred's death in 1979 (Raymond had previously died in 1966) the house, with its collections and Pitcairn archives was given to the Academy of the New Church.[3]

Pitcairn, a member of the New Church himself, had no formal training in architecture and built it in the Romanesque style using 3-D models between 1928 and 1939. The granite and ruddy colored stone nine-story building has three main sections; a central rectangle with two large rectangular wings. It measures approximately 175 feet by 135 feet, and features a nine-story tower and carved doorways, pillars, and wall insets. The building also has elaborate interior mosaics, monel metalwork, and Early Medieval stained glass windows.[4]

The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978 and is a contributing property of the Bryn Athyn Historic District.[1]

Visiting the Museum[edit]

Guided tours of the building and collection are available year-round. Tours are offered Tuesday through Friday at 2:30pm or by appointment, and weekends at 1, 1:45, 2:30 and 3pm. The Museum's first floor, including the Great Hall, Upper Hall, Bird Room, and current temporary exhibition, is open free of charge for self-guided viewing on weekends from 1 to 4:30 pm.

Glencairn Museum also offers a variety of events and exhibitions throughout the year.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ Pitcairn Financial Group
  3. ^ Glencairn Museum
  4. ^ "National Historic Landmarks & National Register of Historic Places in Pennsylvania" (Searchable database). CRGIS: Cultural Resources Geographic Information System.  Note: This includes Rev. Martin Pryke; Dean E. Bruce Glenn; Susan M. Zacher (June 1977). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form: Glencairn" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24.