Earlier this year, Penn State’s Palmer Museum of Art celebrated its 50th anniversary. As the largest collection of art exhibitions between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, the Palmer serves as a beacon of creativity, innovation and community in the Penn State community and beyond. The Palmer lends itself to the ideals of Penn State as a land-grant university, promoting the values of accessible learning, research and civic engagement.
The Palmer’s current location in the center of University Park is the home of permanent exhibits such as the Tonkin Gallery of Studio Glass and Ceramics, Snowiss Galleries of American Art, Pincus Gallery of Contemporary Art and Harris Gallery of Baroque Art. To supplement their permanent collection, the Palmer also hosts a rotating array of special exhibits that changes each semester. The spring 2022 special exhibits include “An American Place: Selections from the James and Barbara Palmer Collection,” “A Way Through: Abstract Art of the 1940’s” and “Printmaking in the Age of Dürer.” These showcases will be on display in the Special Exhibition galleries on the first and second floor of the Palmer until May 2022. The museum offers free admission, allowing for unlimited access to over 10,000 works of art.
The Palmer Museum of Art has continually fostered accessible, introspective insight into the value of ingenuity and expression within the Penn State community and the world at large. As a result of the institutions tremendous contributions to the State College local and surrounding populace, approximately $20.2 million has been allocated to the construction of a new home for the Palmer at the Penn State Arboretum, in accordance with Penn State’s current fundraising campaign, “A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence.” In July 2021, the project broke ground at the Penn State Arboretum as Penn State established their collaboration with Allied Works to construct a new site for the Palmer. The Palmer’s new location will allow for substantial expansion of the institution’s presence and growth as an integral part of the local community. The new building will have the capacity to house almost double the current exhibition space, paving the way for the Palmer to display at least 19 different galleries.
In addition to the increased exhibition capacity, the new site will be a high-performing building with a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, which will advance Penn State’s commitments to implementing sustainable practices into their architecture and design. Ultimately, the new site for the Palmer Museum of Art will aim to combine art, architecture and nature in a framework inspired by the Palmer’s world-renowned collections that will promote the continued evolution and innovation of Penn State at large.
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