Palmer Museum announces Sept. 27 interdisciplinary lecture by Anna Marley

September 25, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Anna Marley, curator of historical American art and director for the Center of the Study of American Art at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) in Philadelphia, will present a lecture at the Palmer Museum of Art at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 27.

Marley is a specialist in American art and material culture from the colonial era to 1945. In her presentation, titled “‘Fresh, Energetic, and Fierce’: William Merritt Chase, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Still Life by Women Artists of the Progressive Era,” Marley will speak about the importance of still-life in one artist’s teaching and the role it played in his female students’ practice. Marley will explore how art-making was entwined with popular interest in parks, gardens and horticultural matters in America around 1900 and with social movements of the Progressive Era. 

Anna Marley

Anna Marley

IMAGE: Provided

The lecture is part of a regular series devoted to American art at the Palmer and relates to the exhibition "Object Lessons: American Still-Life Painting in the Nineteenth Century," which opened on Sept. 4 and is on view through Dec. 16.

“We’re pleased to host Anna Marley, an accomplished scholar and curator, and to hear her insights on the multifaceted nature of turn-of-the-century American art,” said Adam Thomas, curator of American art at the Palmer.

Visitors to "Object Lessons" will encounter 22 works ranging from the austere to the extravagant and depicting a variety of subjects — flowers, fruit, simple household items and more. William Merritt Chase, Charles Caryl Coleman and William Michael Harnett are among the many notable 19th-century artists whose paintings are featured. The exhibition will include several short digital presentations, comprising comparative images and interview clips by experts in the fields of botany, horticulture and entomology.

Marley has been at PAFA since 2009, and has curated numerous exhibitions, including "The Artist’s Garden: American Impressionism and the Garden Movement, 1887–1920" in 2015; and "Graphic Women" in 2017. She is organizing forthcoming exhibitions on history painting, landscape, and women artists.

Support for this lecture comes from Art Bridges, which recently funded a grant to the Palmer in support of the "Object Lessons" exhibition.

About the Palmer

The Palmer Museum of Art on the Penn State University Park campus is a free-admission arts resource for the University and surrounding communities in central Pennsylvania. With a collection of 9,000 objects representing and spanning a variety of cultures and centuries of art, the Palmer is the largest art museum between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. Areas of strength include the museum’s collection of American art from the late 18th century to the present; Old Master paintings; prints and photography; ceramics and studio glass; and a growing collection of modern and contemporary art. The museum presents 10 exhibitions each year and, with 11 galleries, a print-study room, a 150-seat auditorium, and an outdoor sculpture garden, the Palmer Museum of Art is the leading cultural resource for the region.

Museum hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 4 p.m.; and third Thursdays from 6 to 9 p.m. The museum is closed Mondays and some holidays.

The Palmer receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. For more information on the Palmer Museum of Art or for the calendar of upcoming events, visit


  • Anna Marley lecture poster

    Anna Marley, curator of historical American art and director for the Center of the Study of American Art at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia, will present a lecture on Sept. 27.

    IMAGE: Penn State

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated October 04, 2018