For the most part of the century, it is known that the McIlhenny family held very special and important relationship with the museum. The head of the family, Henry P. McIhenny was the first curator from 1939 1964 and then he sat as the chairman of the board in 1976 until his deal in 1986. Upon his death, he left most of his real estate to the museum.
Each year the museum has plans of putting on close to 20 special exhibitions and is on a average visited by 800,000 people world wide. When I went there this past weekend to visit my boyfriend, the museum was exhibiting Tesoros/Treasures, the Arts in Lain America between 1492-1820. It is drawn from the public and private collections throughout the Americas and the Europe. Some of the other larger, yet more famous special exhibitions that have attracted hundreds of thousands of people from every state and around the world include shows featuring Paul Cezanne and Salvador Dali.
The Museum is particularly and world wide known for its well known collection of the Pennsylvania German art of the 18th century and the 19th century furniture and silver created by the Philadelphia craftsmen.