The Philanthropy of George & Gladys Abell

Permian Basin Petroleum Museum


The Permian Basin Petroleum Museum was founded in 1975 by over 500 community leaders under the leadership of George T. Abell. The Museum tells the story of petroleum and the rugged lives of men and women who sought a better life. During the period of the founding of the Petroleum Museum, George T. Abell, through the Abell-Hanger Foundation, commissioned a series of works from noted artists Tom Lovell, Frank Gervasi and John C. Scott to give the Petroleum Museum a unique dimension to distinguish it from other similar petroleum institutions. Those works were copyrighted by the Foundation to protect the future use of their images and the Foundation gifted the paintings to the Petroleum Museum.

What started as a community dream has, over time, become the nation’s largest museum dedicated to the petroleum industry and its pioneers. The Petroleum Museum has welcomed over one million visitors worldwide. It shares the petroleum and energy story and its impact on our daily lives through educational programs, interactive exhibits, an archives center and its Petroleum Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame component of the Museum recognizes those whose contributions to the industry are worthy of permanent recognition. George T. Abell was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1972.

Over the entire history of the Petroleum Museum, AHF has continued to support their operating needs, special projects, permanent endowment and capital projects. In all respects, financial support has been structured to broaden and deepen the community and industry of the Petroleum Museum. This commitment to the financial needs of the Petroleum Museum may be the quintessential example of honoring the donor intent of the Abells.

In 2013, Abell-Hanger Foundation provided leadership giving to enable the Petroleum Museum to completely renovate, update, expand and refurbish itself. That endeavor was completed in March 2016 and opened to the public on April 2016.

A visit to the Petroleum Museum is an amazing journey through over 230 million years of history. Located in the heart of the Permian Basin, the Petroleum Museum offers over 40,000 square feet of interactive education and entertainment for adventurers of all ages. The mission of the museum is to share the petroleum and energy story and its impact on our lives.

Visit the Permian Basin Petroleum Museum website.