Feature Staircase

The museum’s monumental staircase connecting the lower and upper levels of the Exhibition Wing features a site-specific art installation by internationally acclaimed glass artist Dale Chihuly. Commissioned in honor of Penn State President Emeritus Eric Barron and former First Lady Molly Barron, Lupine Blue Persian Wall spans over 13 feet tall and 35 feet wide and comprises 22 glass forms in Penn State’s classic blue and white, accented with golden yellows and vibrant reds.


The Arboretum at Penn State served as inspiration for Chihuly. Lupine Blue Persian Wall features the artist’s wild, swirling Persian forms, with their undulating walls and colorful rims evoking flower petals in full bloom. The sweeping composition seemingly floats and flutters around the walls of the grand staircase.


Commissioned in honor of Penn State President Emeritus Eric J. Barron and former First Lady Molly Barron. Funding for the commission was made possible through the generosity of Peter and Ann Tombros, Ed and Helen Hintz, Art and Paige Nagle, Rick and Susan Sokolov, Richard and Pamela Bard, Jim and Suzy Broadhurst, Roger and Grace Moyer, Lee and Bill Beard, Rich Bundy, Bryon and Cynthia Deysher, Rob and Marcy Fenza, Naren and Judy Gursahaney, Jim and Barbara Ingram, Greg and Marilena Lucier, Martha Jordan and David Lee, Bob and Sandy Poole, Ric and Sharon Struthers, and the Arnold and Bette Hoffman Studio Glass Collection Endowment.