UNIVERSITY PARK, PA.- The Palmer Museum of Art presents An Intimate Eye: Selections from the Collection of James and Barbara Palmer, through May 15, 2005. This private collection, garnered over many years by James and Barbara Palmer, boasts particular strengths in American painting and drawing from the mid-nineteenth through the late-twentieth centuries. From Frederic Edwin Church's magisterial Vermont Scenery (1852) to Georgia O'Keeffe's panoramic Lake George (1924), to Richard Estes' hyper-realistic Third Avenue (1998), the works on display explore the history of American art in all its richness and complexity.
Among the treasures of nineteenth-century art on display is Mary Cassatt's Lydia in a Loge, a sensitively rendered, psychologically expressive drawing related to her many oil paintings and prints on the subject. Rounding out the earlier works are gem-like still-life paintings by Severin Roesen and Martin Johnson Heade. The collection contains monuments by each of the urban realist painters who exhibited together in the landmark 1908 exhibition, "The Eight." The latter, in turn, will be exhibited alongside works by Charles Demuth, Marsden Hartley, John Marin, and others in the "Stieglitz Circle," providing a comparison of the two dominant strains of early twentieth-century American modernism. Additional pieces by Charles Sheeler and Morton Livingston Schamberg demonstrate the profound modernist interest in industrial subject matter.
The exhibition will also feature paintings by a number of mid- to late-twentieth-century realist painters. Key works from this group are Jacob Lawrence's famous homage to the civil rights movement, Confrontation at the Bridge, and Robert Gwathmey's charming tribute to motherhood titled Lullaby. Other selections include two stunning photorealist canvases by Chilean artist Claudio Bravo and a 1983 portrait of the Palmers by Jerome Witkin.
The Palmers have been keen collectors of contemporary ceramics, and so accompanying the drawings and paintings in the exhibition will be a large selection of bowls, vases, and other pots by some of today's leading ceramists. Denmark's most important artists in this medium are well represented, including vessels by Bodil and Richard Manz, Malene Müllertz, Gutte Erikson, Inger Thing, and Turkish-born Alev Siesbye. Also on view are several excellent pieces by the dean of twentieth-century American utilitarian ware, Warren MacKenzie.
On home page and on right, top:
Lake George, 1924, oil on canvas, 18 x 35 inches, by Georgia O'Keeffe (American, 18871986). Collection of James and Barbara Palmer.
On right, second from top:
Eggplant and Tomatoes, c. 1927, watercolor on paper, 13 7/8 x 19 7/8 inches, by Charles Demuth (American, 18831935). Collection of James and Barbara Palmer.