Visit the Palmer Museum of Art this holiday season!

– by Ellie Aungst

Prior to the 1993 Palmer expansion, the most popular event sponsored by the Friends of the Museum of Art was undoubtedly the Festival of Trees held annually from 1983 through 1989. Lavishly installed in the galleries, these holiday exhibitions featured decorated trees, handmade ornaments, centerpieces, dollhouses, and much more. The fundraising event, which featured performances by local musicians, workshops, and a Children’s Day, accounted for 20% of the museum’s overall annual attendance. “This family-oriented community outreach program,” said Friends president Elizabeth Mitchell in 1987, “is fast becoming a tradition.”

Although the Festival of Trees is no longer sponsored by the Palmer Museum of Art, its spirit lives on in similar events held throughout the region.

Display designed by Vaughn Shirk and Shirley Palermo from 1984 Festival of Trees, on view December 1–December 16, 1984.

Display designed by Vaughn Shirk and Shirley Palermo from 1984 Festival of Trees, on view December 1–December 16, 1984.

Palmer Stories

Don't miss the video compilation of "Palmer Stories" as we continue to close out the year of our 50th anniversary. Hear from former staff and graduate students, docents, and community members who were interviewed by videographer Jerry Sawyer to share their favorite Palmer memories. Funding for this project was provided by the Kay L. and Ernest F. Salvino Museum of Art Enrichment Endowment.

Museum Store Sale!

Shopping for holiday gifts? Come to the Palmer Museum store!

Holiday merchandise is now 50% off and increasing to 75% off on Tuesday, December 13!

ALL other items are 25% off through December 22, when the Museum Store closes with the for Winter Break.

You can also give the gift of art through a Palmer Museum membership! To give a gift membership, email jpm6023@psu.edu.

Palmer Museum gift shop

Closing December 18!
Looking at Who We Are: The Palmer at Fifty

Drawing on Penn State’s iconic cheer, “We Are,” the title of the exhibition signals an introspective reckoning as we mark this auspicious milestone and reflect on the museum’s past, present and future. Featuring a selection of paintings, drawings, prints, photographs and sculpture drawn from the permanent collection, Looking at Who We Are explores how history, place, community and even the future shape our conception of museums and ourselves.

Click here to read more about Looking at Who We Are.

Eleanor Antin (American, b. 1935), Going Home from Roman Allegories, 2004, chromogenic print, 48-1/2 x 102-3/4 inches. Purchased with funds provided by the Donald W. Hamer Endowment for Art Acquisitions and Exhibitions, 2006.29. © Eleanor Antin

Eleanor Antin (American, b. 1935), Going Home from Roman Allegories, 2004, chromogenic print, 48-1/2 x 102-3/4 inches. Purchased with funds provided by the Donald W. Hamer Endowment for Art Acquisitions and Exhibitions, 2006.29. © Eleanor Antin

Closing December 18!
The Art of Remembering: A Selection of Gifts

This intimate exhibition brings together a selection of gifts of works on paper by 19th- and 20th-century European and American artists, each one a testament to the enduring memory of an individual life and evidence of art’s power to foster the act of remembering. The label texts accompanying the selections offer thoughts on those being remembered, the donors who gifted or provided funds to acquire the works, and the artists who created them.

Click here to read more about the Art of Remembering exhibition.

Pancrace Bessa (French, 1772–1846), Hyacinthus Orientalis, c. 1816–22, watercolor on vellum with gold leaf border, 7-3/8 x 4-9/16 inches. Presented in memory of James Rea Maxwell Jr. (’21), 74.4

Pancrace Bessa (French, 1772–1846), Hyacinthus Orientalis, c. 1816–22, watercolor on vellum with gold leaf border, 7-3/8 x 4-9/16 inches. Presented in memory of James Rea Maxwell Jr. (’21), 74.4

Now on View
Designed for the Future: The New Palmer Museum of Art at the Arboretum

This exhibition focuses on the transformational new building for the Palmer Museum of Art at Penn State. It will present the architect’s model, drawings, plans, renderings, and a fly-through animation that will allow visitors to truly envision the dynamic and innovative design for the future home of the Palmer Museum of Art, which is anticipated to open in spring 2024.

Click here to read more about Designed for the Future.

Palmer Museum Rendering View from Overlook Pavilion Arboretum 1024x689

Palmer Museum Rendering View from Overlook Pavilion Arboretum 1024x689

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The Happy Valley Adventure Bureau publishes up-to-date event information at HappyValley.com/events