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The Most Iconic Photos In History: Penn State Style

Four score ago (okay, maybe a little longer ago than that) the distinguished Pennsylvania State University was founded. The year was 1855: a time that would mark the beginning of fierce prestige, exceptional academics, and the damn awesomeness of Happy Valley.

Penn State is filled with its own unique history; stories and memories of Dear Old State are infinite. But believe it or not, there is a world outside of Happy Valley. It may be hard to believe, but it is indeed true. Yes, big momentous occasions did happen outside Centre County. And some of these historic events have been captured in paintings, photographs, and sculptures. Some photographs and paintings are so iconic, we Penn Staters can’t help but appreciate them, even if they don’t exactly scream “We Are!”

But who says they can’t? We compiled some of the world’s most infamous photographs and gave them just a bit of a Penn State edge. Here are some of history’s most iconic scenes: Penn State style.

The Scream

Artist: Edvard Munch

Year: 1893

Location: A mysterious bridge

Penn State Location: Between downtown and Old Main



TFW you realize you forgot your chem homework at home.

The Last Supper

Artist: Leonardo da Vinci

Year:  1494–1499

Location: Santa Maria delle Grazie, Milan

Penn State Location: Canyon Pizza

Last Supper

Last Supper-9117

Who wouldn’t want their last meal to be served with a side of ranch?

The Birth of Venus 

Artist: Sandro Botticelli

Year: 1484

Location: A half clam shell

Penn State Location: The Duck Pond

birth of venus


Cover up, Venus! For the ducks’ sake!

Betsy Ross 1777

Artist: Jean Leon Gerome Ferris

Year: 1920 depiction

Location: Betsy Ross’s Cottage

Penn State Location: Old Main

Betsy Ross


The star-spangled banner doesn’t have anything on that beautiful flag.

Napoleon Crossing The Alps

Artist: Jacques-Louis David

Year: 1793

Location: The Alps

Penn State Location: The Nittany Lion Shrine



Onward!… State.

The Singing Butler

Artist: Jack Vettriano

Year: 1992

Location: A beach on the coast of Fife

Penn State Location: Old Main

sining butler

Umbrella Dancing-9089

Who needs Frat Formal Friday? The campus is our ballroom.


Artist: Henri Matisse

Year: 1910

Location: A simplified green landscape

Penn State Location: Old Main lawn



Sometimes you’re so amped to be attending Penn State, you simply have to frolic.

The Yellow Brick Road

Movie: The Wizard of Oz

Director: Victor Fleming

Year: 1939

Location: The Yellow Brick Road

Penn State Location: Calder Alley

wizard of oz


Yellow Brick Road-9115

The Yellow Brick Road, a sketchy alley way, same thing!

The Titanic- Jack and Rose’s Embrace

Movie: The Titanic

Director: James Cameron

Year: 1997

Location: The front of The Titanic

Penn State Location: Overseeing the new HUB



I’m flying Jack! Jack, I’m flying!

The Friends Cover

Show: Friends

Director: David Crane

Year: 1994 – 2004

Location: Some Hollywood set

Penn State Location: Baby’s Diner


We Friends-9137

Who needs to study when you’ve got milkshakes and your friends?

About the Author

Carolyn Popescu

Current senior studying Advertising and Visual Arts, Carolyn has a passion for entertainment and music. She also loves photography, film, graphic design, social media, and all things in between. She's the current Sony Music Marketing Representative for State College, so be sure to reach out to her with any local music scene questions, ideas, proposals, or if you just need someone to geek out about music with.

(Contact her through [email protected] or [email protected])


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