Palmer Museum of Art opens vibrant abstract art exhibition
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The Palmer Museum of Art at Penn State presents “Mark Makers: The Language of Abstraction,” a special exhibition bringing together paintings, drawings and prints by notable 20th century artists who have engaged with the world natural through their art even as they moved into the abstract and moved away from the openly recognizable content.
The exhibit features several loans from the Philadelphia Museum of Art, including a large canvas by Alma Thomas, a black artist who worked for nearly four decades as an art teacher in public schools in Washington, DC. then launched a critically acclaimed career. as an abstract painter in 1960.
“This is an exceptional opportunity to see a major painting by one of the country’s great abstract artists,” said Erin M. Coe, director of the Palmer Museum of Art. “Alma Thomas’ painting and other exhibition loans are emblematic of our ongoing partnership with the Philadelphia Museum of Art made possible by the Art Bridges Terra Foundation Initiative, which benefits our academic audience and the local community in many ways.
Born in Columbus, Georgia, in 1891, Thomas was inspired by the cherry blossoms and azaleas of the nation’s capital as well as the leaves and flowers of her own backyard. Painted in 1976 – when she was 80 – “Hydrangeas Spring Song” captures the artist’s signature calligraphic style. Thomas’ paintings can be found in major museum collections across the country. In 2015, one of his colorful abstract works was added to the White House collection.
“All of these works – the Alma Thomas, the large canvases by Rohrer, the intimate works on paper – reward a close-up view,” said deputy museum director Joyce Robinson, who worked on both exhibitions. “I hope visitors take a moment to experience these magnificent shows that invite us to connect with the natural world and with each other through the intimate gestures of brand building.”
The presentation of “Mark Makers: The Language of Abstraction” is part of a series of exhibitions of American art created as part of a multi-year, multi-institutional partnership formed by the Philadelphia Museum of Art as part of the ‘Art Bridges + Terra Foundation Initiative. The exhibition is visible until June 6.
Free timed tickets can be booked through the Palmer Museum website to visit from Wednesday to Friday, 11 am to 5 pm; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., with the last ticket reservation timed at 4:30 p.m. for half an hour. The museum is closed on Mondays, Tuesdays and certain public holidays.
The public can enjoy the following archived virtual programs related to the Mark Makers exhibition.
Conference – “Impossible Interviews: Artists Alma Thomas and Warren Rohrer in Conversation”
Jonathan Frederick Walz, Director of Curatorial Affairs and Curator of American Art, The Columbus Museum
Inspired by Miguel Covarrubias’ “Impossible Interviews” for Vanity Fair in the 1930s, this conference brings together the lives of two contemporary artists who have never met in person. Walz highlights the similarities and differences between Alma Thomas and Warren Rohrer, including their common position on the fringes of the art world of the 1970s. Jonathan Frederick Walz, expert on American modernism, co-organizes a major traveling exhibition, “Alma W. Thomas: Everything is Beautiful”, which will open in 2021.
Conversation at the museum: “Mark Makers”
Joyce Robinson, Assistant Director, with special guest artists Jo Margolis and Mary Judge
Robinson will lead a lively conversation about the mid-20th century “brand makers” whose work is on display at the Palmer. Contemporary artists Jo Margolis and Mary Judge are also represented in “Mark Makers: The Language of Abstraction”.
About the Palmer
The Palmer Museum of Art on the campus of Penn State University Park is a free entry art resource for the University and surrounding communities in central Pennsylvania. With a collection of 10,000 objects representing a variety of cultures and spanning centuries of art, the Palmer is the largest art museum between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. Highlights include the museum’s collection of American art from the late 18th century to the present day, paintings, prints and photographs by old masters, ceramics and studio glass, as well as a growing collection of modern and contemporary art. The museum presents 9 exhibitions each year, and with 11 galleries, a print study hall, a 150-seat auditorium, and an outdoor sculpture garden, the Palmer Museum of Art is the region’s premier cultural resource. .
For more information on the Palmer Museum of Art or for the schedule of upcoming events, visit www.palmermuseum.psu.edu.
About the New Penn State University Art Museum
Penn State and the Palmer Museum of Art are planning to build a new college art museum located in the Penn State Arboretum. With nearly twice the Palmer’s exhibition space, new classroom spaces and a teaching gallery, flexible event spaces, and on-site parking, this building would dramatically improve the museum’s ability to provide educational opportunities and enrichment for visitors of all ages. It would be integrated into the Arboretum, inspiring collaboration and creating a unique link between art, architecture and natural beauty. Like the Palmer Museum of Art before it, it will depend on the visionary philanthropy of the Penn State community. Learn more about artmuseum.psu.edu.
Warren Rohrer, Regulation: Magenta, 1980, oil on canvas, 72-1 / 6 x 72-1 / 8 inches. Philadelphia Museum of Art, purchased with funds provided by Henry Strater and Marion Boulton Stroud, 1982-46-1