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. In 1947 they sold the school.
Arthur Gmeiner now had time to pursue his interest in art. 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. We display his work every five years.
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, in August 1968, was accepted. Gmeiner would provide funds for construction and provide an endowment fund to maintain the building.
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…”
In 1975, a workroom and another storage area were added to the original building. Over the past 41 years, many arts and community organizations have met here to further the arts and to support community projects.