Palmer Museum of Art hosts exhibition of teacher and abstract artist Robert Reed

January 15, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — On Jan. 5, the Palmer Museum of Art at Penn State opened its first exhibition of the 2019 season, "Subjective Spaces: Drawings and Collages by Robert Reed." The intimate retrospective features 16 selections from Reed’s drawings and collages that are rich in the geometric nonobjectivity, born almost exclusively within the imagination, that marked his entire career.

Robert Reed Le Relais Du Postillon Florence Room 2012 Untitled 122

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.

IMAGE: Courtesy Robert Reed estate

Born in Charlottesville, Virginia, Robert Reed (1938–2014) served as a faculty member in Yale University’s School of Art teaching painting and drawing for nearly 50 years. He was best known throughout the art world for his dedication to abstraction built from geometric shapes of personalized and abstract symbols, stark contrasts in colors and textures, and graphic and layered compositions.

“Reed’s innovative curriculum and his unique studio culture have influenced the teaching and creative practices of generations, but there is no documentation of his pedagogy and little access to his art,” said Cathy Braasch, assistant professor in the Department of Architecture at Penn State and former student of Robert Reed, who served as guest curator.

The exhibition is offered in collaboration with Penn State’s Stuckeman School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, which is celebrating Reed’s influence as an educator with a series of drawing workshops and lectures to be held in February 2019.

“This exhibition and the Robert Reed Drawing Workshops are an opportunity to make his legacy more visible and engage a new generation of students,” added Braasch.

"Subjective Spaces" is organized by the Palmer Museum of Art. All works are on loan from the Robert Reed Estate.

For more information on the Robert Reed Drawing Workshops, visit

About the Palmer Museum of Art

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 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 4 p.m. on Sundays, and 6 to 9 p.m. on Third Thursdays. 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

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Last Updated January 16, 2019