Palmer Museum highlights recently acquired contemporary works in new exhibition

January 28, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Palmer Museum of Art at Penn State opened its second exhibition for the season, "Amazing Stories: Recent Acquisitions," on Jan. 12. The show features a diverse range of contemporary works recently acquired by the museum, and runs through May 26.

Roger Shimomura, "Kansas Samurai"

Roger Shimomura, Kansas Samurai, 2004, lithograph, 44 ¾ x 31 inches. Purchased with funds provided by the Sidney and Helen S. Friedman Endowment, 2018.12.

IMAGE: Provided / Roger Shimomura / Palmer Museum of Art

"Amazing Stories" highlights 18 prints by late 20th- and 21st-century artists whose work relies heavily on representation and visual storytelling. The complex prints are by an array of artists eager to share intensely personal tales or to communicate ideas about mixed identities and ethnic stereotypes, as well as multicultural and shared histories. The narrative modes vary widely, from penetrating political caricature, starkly conveyed in graphic black and white, to vibrant Pop-inflected allegories that draw in equal part on appropriation and invention.

“The impulse to tell stories can be witnessed throughout history and across cultures,” said Palmer assistant director Joyce Robinson, who curated the exhibition. “Despite the rejection of narrative content in much of the avant-garde art of the last century, the last 40 years have seen a resurgence of interest in figurative art and storytelling.”

Many of the narratives in the exhibition speak to current day socio-political realities even as they acknowledge distant family lore and historical truths. Past and present tense merge in these visual chronicles by an impressive roster of contemporary artists seeking, above all else, to tell us their remarkable stories.

Artists featured in the show include Claudia Bernardi, Squeak Carnwath, Enrique Chagoya, Francesco Clemente, Sue Coe, Claudio Dicochea, Leonor Fini, Anthony Peter Gorny, Hung Liu, Jacob Meders, Jenny Morgan, Mimmo Paladino, Ramiro Rodriguez, Roger Shimomura, Rufino Tamayo, Maria Tomasula, Vincent Valdez and Matika Wilbur.

Related programming

In addition, Robinson will present a Gallery Talk, "Amazing Stories: Recent Acquisitions," at 12:10 p.m., Friday, March 15.

About the Palmer

The Palmer Museum of Art on the University Park campus is a free-admission arts resource for Penn State 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.

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

For more information on the Palmer Museum of Art or for the calendar of upcoming events, visit

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Last Updated January 30, 2019