The Palmer Museum of Art presents new and changing special exhibitions and related programming every year. See below to explore what’s on view, what’s coming up, or what past exhibitions have been at the museum.

Opening Exhibitions

Check out the special exhibitions that will be on view when the new Palmer Museum opens on June 1, 2024!
Edna Andrade (American, 1917–2008), Radiants, 1976, acrylic on canvas, 41 x 41 inches. Reading Public Museum, Gift of Luther W. Brady, M.D., 2012.15.1


June 1-December 1, 2024

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Charles Demuth (American, 1883–1935), Eggplant and Tomatoes, c. 1927, watercolor on paper, 13-7/8 x 19-7/8 inches. Palmer Museum of Art, Bequest of James R. and Barbara R. Palmer, 2019.55

MADE IN PA on Paper

June 1-September 8, 2024

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Unknown photographer, Hand, c. 1920s–1930s, X-ray, selenium-toned gelatin silver print, 7-1/2 x 6 inches. Palmer Museum of Art, Gift of Jon Randall Plummer, 2012.92

The Art of Teaching: Medical Education and the Integrated Curriculum

June 1-September 1, 2024

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Past Exhibitions

Missed a recent show? Check out our past special exhibitions.
Benjamin West (American, 1738–1820), Venus and Adonis (Bath of Venus), c. 1799, oil on canvas, 28 1/8 x 39 3/8 inches. Gift of John Driscoll, 2001.31 Violet Oakley (American, 1874–1961), Venus Rising from the Sea, 1940, oil on canvas, 40 ¼ x 30 ¼ inches. Gift of Bette and Arnold Hoffman, 2017.114

Conversations across the Collection

January 7-May 14, 2023

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The new Palmer Museum of Art at Penn State. View from the Overlook Pavilion in the Arboretum. Architect: Allied Works. Rendering: Courtesy of MIR.

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

October 15-May 14, 2023

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

Looking at Who We Are: The Palmer at Fifty

September 23-December 22, 2022

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Pancrace Bessa (French, 1772–1846), Hyacinthus Orientalis, 1810–1826, watercolor on white vellum, 7 3/8 x 4 9/16 inches. Presented in memory of James Rea Maxwell Jr., Class of 1921, 74.4

The Art of Remembering: A Selection of Gifts

August 26-December 22, 2022

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Home/Studio wordmark

HOME/STUDIO: 2022 Penn State School of Visual Arts Faculty Show

May 28-August 28, 2022

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Martin Lewis (American, 1881–1962), Little Penthouse, 1931

Staff Picks: A Selection of Palmer Favorites

June 3-September 18, 2022

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William P. Hanson (American, 1928–2017), Grasses, Branches, and Shore, Maine, 1963/1969, watercolor, pencil, and crayon, 14 x 10 inches. Gift of Professor Cortland Eyer, 88.7, AS B056

Those Who Taught: Selected Works by Former Faculty

May 20-August 14, 2022

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Thomas Hart Benton (American, 1889–1975), Shallow Creek, 1938–39, oil and Egg tempera on canvas mounted on board, 36 x 25 inches. Bequest of James R. and Barbara R. Palmer, 2019.31. © 2021 T.H. and R.P. Benton Trusts / Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

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

January 29-May 1, 2022

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Lee Krasner (American, 1908–1984), Composition, 1949, oil on canvas, 38-1/16 x 27-13/16 inches, Philadelphia Museum of Art: Gift of the Aaron E. Norman Fund, Inc., 1959, 1959-31-1 © Pollock-Krasner Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

A Way Through: Abstract Art of the 1940s

January 15-May 15, 2022

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Albrecht Dürer (German, 1471–1528), Melencolia I, 1514, engraving, 9-7/16 × 7-5/16 inches. Anonymous loan

Printmaking in the Age of Dürer

January 18-May 8, 2022

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Jun Kaneko (Japanese, b. 1942), Untitled, Tanuki, 2014

Global Asias: Contemporary Asian and Asian American Art from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation

August 28-December 12, 2021

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Colin Campbell Cooper (American, 1856–1937), The Grand Place, Antwerp, 1908

Place to Place: Recent Gifts of American Drawings and Watercolors, 1900-1950

September 14-December 12, 2021

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Utagawa Kuniyoshi (Japanese, 1798-1861), Kuwana: Legend of the Sailor Tokuzo, c. 1844-45, woodblock print, 14-5/8 x 10-1/4 inches, oban format. Gift of Dr. William E. Harkins, 75.84

Ukiyo-e: Images from the Floating World, Japanese Woodblock Prints from the Permanent Collection

August 28-December 5, 2021

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George Loftus Noyes (American, 1865-1954), Sunlit Road, c. 1910

Summer Light: American Impressionist Paintings from the Thomas Clark Collection

May 8-August 29, 2021

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Warren Rohrer, Fields: Amish I, 1974, oil on linen, 60 x 60 inches, Allentown Art Museum of the Lehigh Valley. Gift of Dr. Charles McCrae, 1977 (1977.37)

Field Language: The Painting and Poetry of Warren and Jane Rohrer

February 10-April 25, 2021

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Archibald Dick after Charles Cousen after William Henry Bartlett, View on the Susquehanna (Above Owego), 1846, engraving and etching on steel, with hand coloring, 6 1/2 x 10 1/4 inches. From the January 1846 issue of The Ladies’ Repository. Partial gift and purchase from John C. O’Connor and Ralph M. Yeager, 86.631

Pennsylvania Scenery: Early Landscape Prints from the Tavern Collection

January 31-May 1, 2021

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Alma Thomas, Hydrangeas Spring Song, 1976, acrylic on canvas, 78 x 48 inches. Philadelphia Museum of Art, 125th Anniversary Acquisition. Purchased with funds contributed by Mr. and Mrs. Julius Rosenwald II in honor of René and Sarah Carr d’Harnoncourt, The Judith Rothschild Foundation, and with other funds being raised in honor of the 125th Anniversary of the Museum and in celebration of African American art, 2002-20-1.

Mark Makers: The Language of Abstraction

January 31-May 9, 2021

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Lucille Corcos, Everybody’s Downtown, 1948, tempera on board, 14 ½ x 11 1/8 inches. Collection of David and Susan Werner

The Wit and Whimsy of Lucille Corcos

February 8-May 9, 2021

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Makonde Mask from Mozambique

African Brilliance: A Diplomat’s Sixty Years of Collecting

February 8-May 24, 2020

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John William Hill, Under the Falls, Niagara, c. 1870, watercolor on paper, 29 x 21½ inches. Palmer Museum of Art, The John Driscoll American Drawings Collection, 2018.153

Drawing on a Legacy: Highlights from the John Driscoll American Drawings Collection

January 21-June 7, 2020

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Jerry Uelsmann, Apocalypse II, 1967, gelatin silver print, 10½ x 13 5/16 inches. Palmer Museum of Art, Museum purchase, 2011.98. © Jerry Uelsmann

Grounded: Environments in Flux

January 21-May 31, 2020

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Félix Buhot, Convoi Funèbre au Boulevard de Clichy (Funeral Procession on the Boulevard de Clichy), 1887, etching, drypoint, aquatint, roulette, soft ground, and lift ground over heliogravure, second state of three, 14 1/8 x 19 inches. Private collection

Fantasy and Reality: The World According to Félix Buhot

September 29-December 15, 2019

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Installation shot of Bauhaus Transfers: Albers / Rauschenberg

Bauhaus Transfers: Albers / Rauschenberg

September 3-December 15, 2019

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Augusta Savage, Gamin, c. 1930, painted plaster, 9¼ x 6 x 4 inches. The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens, Jacksonville, Florida. Purchased with funds from the Morton R. Hirschberg Bequest, AP.2013.1.1

Augusta Savage: Renaissance Woman

August 24-December 8, 2019

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John Biggers, Dancers of the Ghana Harvest Festival, 1957, conté crayon, 39¼ x 29 5/8 inches. Palmer Museum of Art, Purchased in memory of Charles V. Hallman (Class of 1928) with funds provided by a bequest from Mabel P. Hansen, 99.44. © John T. Biggers Estate / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY, Estate Represented by Michael Rosenfeld Gallery

The Web of Life: John Biggers and the Power of Pedagogy

August 20-December 15, 2019

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Ellison Hoover, George C. Miller, Lithographer, lithograph, 15 5/8 x 11½ inches. Palmer Museum of Art, Museum purchase, 2018.11

George Miller and American Lithography

June 18-September 15, 2019

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Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Carrizo y tele (Reed and Television), c. 1976, printed 1977, gelatin silver print, 6 13/16 x 9 3/16 inches. Palmer Museum of Art, Gift of Mr. H. S. Arukian, 80.62.1

Myth Meets Modernism: The Manuel Álvarez Bravo Portfolio

June 11-August 4, 2019

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Edward Weston, Rosa Covarrubias, 1926, gelatin silver print, 9 x 63/4 inches. Collection of Michael Mattis and Judith Hochberg. © 1981 Center for Creative Photography, Arizona Board of Regents

Under the Mexican Sky: A Revolution in Modern Photography

June 1-July 28, 2019

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John Sloan, Red Kimono on the Roof, 1912, oil on canvas, 24 x 20 inches. Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields, James E. Roberts Fund, 54.55

From the Rooftops: John Sloan and the Art of a New Urban Space

February 3-May 12, 2019

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Roger Shimomura, Kansas Samurai, 2004, lithograph, 44¾ x 31 inches. Palmer Museum of Art, Purchased with funds provided by the Sidney and Helen S. Friedman Endowment, 2018.12, © Roger Shimomura

Amazing Stories: Recent Acquisitions

January 12-May 26, 2019

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Robert Reed, Le Relais Du Postillon, Florence Room 2012—Untitled #122, 2012, collage with ink, acrylic, and metal fasteners, 6 3/8 x 4 7/8 inches. Courtesy of the artist’s estate

Subjective Spaces: Drawings and Collages by Robert Reed

January 5-May 19, 2019

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G. Daniel Massad, Six Wooden Blocks, 2007, pastel on paper, 24 x 23½ inches. Private collection. © G. Daniel Massad

A Small Radius of Light: G. Daniel Massad, A Retrospective

September 25-December 9, 2018

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Still-life painting was popular with many nineteenth-century American artists and viewers. Pennsylvania, in particular, has a rich tradition of specialists in still life. This exhibition featured works by skilled still-life painters identified with the Commonwealth, notably William Michael Harnett, Albert F. King, Rubens Peale, John Frederick Peto, and Severin Roesen. Object Lessons also included a varied roster of important artists who gravitated to depicting inanimate objects amid the rising commodity culture and cosmopolitan networks of the Gilded Age, among them William Mason Brown, William Merritt Chase, Charles Caryl Coleman, Martin Johnson Heade, and Elihu Vedder.    Surveying the early chapter of still life in America through twenty-two paintings, this exhibition reflected on the close scrutiny and meaning of commonplace things. Rarely seen loans from private collectors complement the holdings of the Palmer to explore how flowers, fruit, and simple household objects have transfixed and beguiled viewers from the nineteenth century to the present day.    Organized by the Palmer Museum of Art. Generous support for this project is provided by Art Bridges. 

Object Lessons: American Still-Life Painting in the Nineteenth Century

September 4-December 16, 2018

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Jan Baltzell, Untitled, 2006, oil on Mylar, 24 x 32 ½ inches. Palmer Museum of Art, Gift of The Fishman-MacElderry Collection, 2016.121. © Jan Baltzell

Instinctive Gestures: Recent Gifts from The Fishman-MacElderry Collection

August 28-December 16, 2018

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Julie Heffernan, Self-Portrait as Standing My Ground, 2016, oil on canvas, 68 x 66 inches. Courtesy of Catharine Clark Gallery. © Julie Heffernan

When the Water Rises: Recent Paintings by Julie Heffernan

July 10-September 12, 2018

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Lewis Hine, Mona Lisa Madonna Ellis Island, from the Ellis Island series, 1905, printed later, gelatin silver print. Palmer Museum of Art, Gift of Mayzette Stover, 2000.16.

Framing the City: Photographs from the Permanent Collection

June 5-August 19, 2018

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Edward Penfield, Harper’s February, 1897, color lithograph, 18 1/2 x 13 7/16 inches. Palmer Museum of Art, Gift of Jack R. Bershad, 95.107.

American Art Posters of the 1890s

May 22-August 19, 2018

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Aurora Robson, Isla, 2014, plastic debris (PET + HDPE), aluminum rivets, tinted polycrylic, and mica powder. © Aurora Robson

Plastic Entanglements: Ecology, Aesthetics, Materials

February 13-June 17, 2018

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Dox Thrash, Saturday Night, c. 1944–45, etching. Courtesy of Dolan/Maxwell, Philadelphia

Dox Thrash, Black Life, and the Carborundum Mezzotint

January 16-May 20, 2018

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Roy Lichtenstein, Still Life, from the Geldzahler Portfolio, 1997, screenprint, 30 x 22¼ inches. Palmer Museum of Art, Museum purchase, 98.102.7. © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein.

Pop at the Palmer

January 9-May 13, 2018

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Philip Pearlstein, Male and Female Models on Victorian Sofa with Indian Blanket, 1973, oil on canvas, 60 x 72 inches. Palmer Museum of Art, Museum purchase, 74.11. © Philip Pearlstein

BIG Deal: Sizeable Paintings from the Permanent Collection

September 5-December 17, 2017

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Minna Citron, Squid under Pier, 1948, engraving, soft-ground, and gauffrage with stencil, 19-15/16 x 21-15/16 inches. Palmer Museum of Art, Gift of Thomas Citron, 2002.101

New Acquisitions: Minna Citron after Atelier 17

September 5-December 10, 2017

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Asher B. Durand, Boonton Falls, New Jersey, 1833, oil on canvas, 25-1/4 x 30-1/8 inches. Palmer Museum of Art, Purchased with funds from the Terra Art Enrichment Fund, 2015.143

Asher B. Durand: To Begin Again

September 5-December 10, 2017

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Oiva Toikka, Life of Singles, 2006, pipe-worked and mold-formed glass, each brick: 8 x 5 x 4 inches. Palmer Museum of Art, Gift of Bette and Arnold Hoffman, 2016.114.1-16. © Oiva Toikka

A Kaleidoscope of Color: Studio Glass at the Palmer

January 31-April 30, 2017

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Morris Blackburn, Study for Emergence, 1948, ink on Japanese paper, 14 x 11 ½ inches. Morris Blackburn estate, PAFA, courtesy of Dolan/Maxwell

Morris Blackburn: Prints and Paintings in Process

January 17-April 30, 2017

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Eva Watson-Schütze, William Butler Yeats, c. 1904, gold-toned platinum print, 7-15/16 x 6-1/4 inches. Palmer Museum of Art, Museum purchase, 2014.7

Eva Watson-Schütze: Pictorialist Portraits

January 10-April 30, 2017

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Matthew J. Olson, America’s Pastime: Campers, Trucks and Strippers, 2014–15, maple, mahogany, ash, cherry, walnut, and poplar (detail). © Matthew J. Olson. Photo credit: Antonella Crescimbeni

Expanded Practice

October 18-December 11, 2016

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Adolf Dehn, Sisters, from Paris Lithographs, 1928, lithograph, 15-1/8 x 22-1/8 inches. Palmer Museum of Art, Transfer from The Pennsylvania State University Libraries Print Collection, 2009.59.2

The Gentle Satire of Adolf Dehn

August 30-December 18, 2016

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Gifford Beal, Hauling Nets, 1930, etching, 8-3/4 x 11-3/4 inches. Palmer Museum of Art, Gift of the Estate of Gifford Beal, Courtesy of Kraushaar Galleries, New York, 2014.98

Recent Acquisitions: Gifford Beal in Rockport

August 23-December 18, 2016

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Steve McCurry, Boy in Mid Flight, Jodhpur, India, 2007, pigment print, 40 x 60 inches. © Steve McCurry

Still Moving: Photographs by Steve McCurry

June 14-September 18, 2016

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Jules Heller, Dancing Lady, 1993, lithograph, 22 ¼ x 15 inches. Image courtesy of the Jules Heller family.

The Prints of Jules Heller

June 7-August 14, 2016

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James Montgomery Flagg, I Want You, 1917, color lithograph poster, 39 3/4 x 29 9/16 inches. Palmer Museum of Art, Gift of Jack R. Bershad, 95.65

American Art in the Shadow of World War I

May 17-August 7, 2016

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Albrecht Dürer, Adam and Eve, 1504, engraving, 9 7/8 × 7 9/16 inches. Bequest of Charles J. Rosenbloom, Carnegie Museum of Art, 74.7.81. Image courtesy of Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh

Small Prints, Big Artists: Renaissance and Baroque Masterpieces from Carnegie Museum of Art

February 2-May 15, 2016

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Kurt Seligmann, 1899 I, c. 1931, etching and roulette, 19-11/16 x 14-1/8 inches. Palmer Museum of Art, Gift of Hester Diamond, 2000.18.43

From Dada to Dalí: Surrealist Works on Paper

January 12-May 8, 2016

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Bernard Siegel, Solargram Portrait of Arthur Siegel, c. 1948, gelatin silver print, 13-7/8 x 10-7/8 inches. Palmer Museum of Art, Museum purchase, 2007.11

Consciously Surreal: Photography, the Uncanny, and the Body

January 12-May 8, 2016

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