The Gmeiner Art and Cultural Center was a gift to the Wellsboro community by businessman, artist, and philanthropist, Arthur J. Gmeiner.
Born on a farm near Liberty, Pennsylvania, in Tioga County, on April 9, 1884, Arthur Gmeiner was the oldest of four children. After graduating from Mansfield Normal School (now Mansfield University) with a degree in education, he helped his three younger siblings acquire post secondary education. In 1919, Arthur moved to Denver, Colorado, and purchased the Parks School of Business. His younger brother, Mathew, became his partner. Together they trained thousands of young people in business professions.
Arthur Gmeiner began to pursue his interest in art after retiring in 1947. Prior to retirement, he had very little time to draw and paint. There are hundreds of paintings by Mr. Gmeiner currently in storage at the Art & Cultural Center.
Mr. and Mrs. Harold Deane, Mr. Gmeiner’s cousins in Wellsboro, helped enormously in making this center a reality. An offer made to the Wellsboro Council to endow and build the cultural center was accepted in August 1968. Construction was started in the spring of 1969; and, on October 1, 1969, the building was dedicated. At the dedication, Arthur Gmeiner told the audience, “…I present it to you in sacred memory of my father, mother, a sister, and two brothers, all of them now departed. It is all yours. From here on, the benefits to be derived from it will be in your hands…”
The STUDIO was added to the Gmeiner Art & Cultural Center in 1975. The STUDIO is not the domain of any individual artist, rather, it is available to the community to pursue their artistic goals.
The architecture of the Gmeiner Art & Cultural Center was inspired by the Mid Century Modern Movement of the Mid 20th Century. The structure stands out from 19th Century architecture of Main Street Wellsboro. Efforts to preserve and enhance the Mid Century design of the building are ongoing at the Art Center.