Palmer Museum of Art marks 50th anniversary with year-long celebration

– by Palmer Museum of Art

Current Exhibitions

An American Place: Selections from the James and Barbara Palmer Collection

Through April 24, 2022

The story of the coming of age of American art is filled with alliances and ruptures, expatriates and immigrants, transatlantic dialogues and the search for an authentic aesthetic rooted in America. An American Place examines the complexity of this national narrative, highlighting a century of American art from the post-Civil War decades through the Civil Rights era. The exhibition includes paintings, works on paper and sculptures drawn from the recent bequest of collectors and philanthropists James and Barbara Palmer.

An American Place is organized in four thematic sections: Breaking Ties, Embracing Modernity, America as Place and Diverse Voices. Artists represented include Thomas Anshutz, Romare Bearden, Thomas Hart Benton, Paul Cadmus, Mary Cassatt, Frederic Edwin Church, Charles Demuth, Marsden Hartley, Childe Hassam, Martin Johnson Heade, Robert Henri, Winslow Homer, Jacob Lawrence, Seymour Lipton, George Luks, John Marin, Alfred Maurer, Georgia O’Keeffe, Theodore Robinson, John Sloan and George Tooker.

Organized by the Palmer Museum of Art.

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Printmaking in the Age of Dürer
Through May 8, 2022
Albrecht Dürer was Germany’s most important artist of the Renaissance and the first to fully realize the possibilities of printmaking as an expressive vehicle equal to that of painting and sculpture. His engravings and woodcuts, created between 1495 and his death in 1528, were well known and widely collected throughout all of Europe and served as models that were emulated and copied by other artists well into the sixteenth century and beyond.

The showpiece of this exhibition is a rare lifetime example of Dürer’s most enigmatic engraving, Melencolia I, which is on long-term loan to the Palmer Museum of Art from a private collection. Other works in the show, selected from the museum’s permanent collection, include additional engravings and woodcuts by Dürer and his contemporaries, many of whom were influenced by the artist’s printmaking.

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Organized by the Palmer Museum of Art.

A Way Through: Abstract Art of the 1940s

Through May 15, 2022

This exhibition explores the decisive leap from figuration to abstraction that characterized much of the advanced art produced in America in the 1940s. A Way Through: Abstract Art of the 1940s, the third in a series sponsored by the Art Bridges Foundation, features eleven works from the Philadelphia Museum of Art, including major paintings by Arshile Gorky, Lee Krasner, Alice Trumbull Mason and George L. K. Morris. Many of the artists in the exhibition – such as Suzy Frelinghuysen, Irene Rice Pereira, Charles Green Shaw and Esphyr Slobodkina – were pivotal to the founding of the American Abstract Artists group in New York in 1936. Drawings and prints by Paul Keene, Hedda Sterne, Judith Rothschild and John von Wicht from the Palmer Museum of Art’s collection are also on view, shedding light on the evolution of abstract art in America during these tumultuous years.

Organized by the Palmer Museum of Art. This is one in a series of American art exhibitions created through a multi-year, multi-institutional partnership formed by the Philadelphia Museum of Art as part of the Art Bridges Initiative.

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Programs through Spring 2022

Dickson Lecture: Figures in a Landscape

Thursday, Feb. 10, 6 p.m.

Dr. Pepe Karmel, associate professor of art history at New York University

Join the author of Abstract Art: A Global History (2020) who will offer a lecture in conjunction with A Way Through: Abstract Art of the 1940s.

Co-sponsored with the department of art history.

Registration Link:\

Museum Conversation: Printmaking in the Age of Dürer

Wednesday, Feb. 16, 4 p.m.

Patrick McGrady, Charles V. Hallman senior curator

Join the Palmer’s prints specialist and discover intricate and expressive works by Germany’s most important artist of the Renaissance, Albrecht Dürer, and the artists influenced by him.

Registration Link:

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- Photo taken by the Palmer Museum Of Art

Gallery Conversation: Diverse Voices at the Palmer

Thursday, Feb. 24, 6 p.m.

Victoria Kenyon, graduate assistant

As part of Art After Hours, discover artists in the Palmer’s collection who found success while pushing through oppressive cultural structures.

Art After Hours: Black History at the Museum

Thursday, Feb. 24, 5-8 p.m.

Celebrate Black History Month and learn more about Black artists represented in the museum’s permanent collection. Enjoy a variety of gallery and artmaking activities inspired by these artists and designed to foster individual differences.

Museum Conversation: Winslow Homer and “An American Place”

Wednesday, March 2, 4 p.m.

Adam Thomas, curator of American art

Take a deep dive into the work of Winslow Homer, one of the foremost painters in nineteenth-century American art.

Registration Link:

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Art After Hours: Penn State Creates

Thursday, March 24, 5-8 p.m.

The Palmer Museum of Art celebrates creativity across the University with a second annual virtual student exhibition, Penn State Creates. Join us for an in-person reception for student participants and hear comments from creators.

Museum Conversation: The Enduring Legacy of “An American Place”

Wednesday, March 30, 4 p.m.

Erin Coe, director, and Joyce Robinson, assistant director

Trained art historians, curators and museum professionals share the exceptional impact of the works in An American Place on the Palmer Museum’s permanent collection.

Registration Link:

Family Day: Why Abstraction?

Saturday, April 2, 1-4 p.m.

Visitors will enjoy brief, family-friendly tours and hands-on artmaking inspired by abstract art in the special exhibition A Way Through: Abstract Art of the 1940s.

Sponsored in part by the Art Bridges Initiative.

Art After Hours: Party on the Plaza

Thursday, April 21, 5-8 p.m.

The Palmer is marking its 50th anniversary during 2022. Join us for a party on the plaza to celebrate with music, performances, art activities, refreshments and a festive atmosphere.

Sponsored in part by the Art Bridges Initiative

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The Palmer Museum of Art

The Palmer Museum of Art at Penn State is the largest art museum collection between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia and the most significant academic art museum in the state of Pennsylvania. A key element of Penn State’s land-grant mission of teaching, research and public service, the Museum is a vital and accessible cultural resource for Penn State’s students, faculty and scholars, as well as for all visitors to and from the entire central Pennsylvania region. Through its world-class objects, programs and outreach, the Museum is a welcoming, inclusive and vibrant forum for authentic arts experiences and cultivates meaningful dialogue about today’s most potent ideas and pressing concerns.

An expansive 21st-century teaching museum, the Palmer Museum of Art is a beacon for advancing the arts and humanities on Penn State’s University Park campus and throughout its diverse communities. The Museum is dedicated to catalyzing groundbreaking research, scholarship, and publications and providing impactful, object-based learning for Penn State and K-12 students. The Museum’s rewarding and thought-provoking exhibitions and programs promote visitor participation, belonging, and discovery. The new Museum building will allow the Palmer to foster academic collaborations and strengthen student engagement through hands-on learning in a purpose designed classroom space, and in spaces like the Teaching Gallery, designed for innovative cross-disciplinary programs.

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About the New Palmer Museum of Art

Penn State and the Palmer Museum of Art are constructing a new museum building located in The Arboretum at Penn State. With nearly twice the exhibition space, new classroom spaces and a teaching gallery, flexible event spaces and on-site parking, the new state-of-the-art facility will dramatically enhance the museum’s capacity to offer educational and enrichment opportunities for visitors of all ages. It will be integrated with the Arboretum, inspiring collaboration and creating a unique nexus of art, architecture and natural beauty. And like the Palmer Museum of Art before it, it will depend upon visionary philanthropy from the Penn State community and beyond. Learn more at

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