Final days to view acclaimed exhibition at the Palmer Museum of Art

December 03, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The Palmer Museum of Art at Penn State will close its major special exhibition of the fall, "Augusta Savage: Renaissance Woman," this Sunday, Dec. 8. The celebrated show, the first to reassess Harlem Renaissance artist Augusta Savage’s contributions to art and cultural history in light of her role as an artist-activist, features nearly 80 sculptures, paintings, works on paper, and archival materials by Savage and those she mentored.

A gifted sculptor, Savage (1892–1962) was born in Green Cove Springs, Florida, and later became a significant teacher, leader, and catalyst for change. She overcame poverty, racism, and sexual discrimination to became one of the most influential American artists of the 20th century.

A prodigious and highly acclaimed artist, Savage’s art elevated images of Black culture into mainstream America. She also played an instrumental role in mentoring many other prominent African American artists, some of whose works are also included in the exhibition. As a community organizer, teacher and artist who figured centrally in the Harlem Renaissance, she worked with peer leaders, writers, musicians and artists to proclaim the contributions of African American culture using its own voice.

"Augusta Savage: Renaissance Woman" was curated by Jeffreen M. Hayes, and organized by the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens, with support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Sotheby’s Prize. The presentation of the exhibition at the Palmer Museum of Art was supported by the Paul Robeson Cultural Center and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.

The traveling exhibition has received national media coverage. Before its presentation at the Palmer, it was hosted at the Cummer and the New-York Historical Society Museum & Library. It will be on view for the final leg of its nation-wide tour at the Dixon Gallery & Gardens in Memphis, Tennessee from Jan. 19 to March 22, 2020.

A fully illustrated companion catalogue, available at the Palmer Museum Store, reexamines Savage’s place in the history of American sculpture and positions her as a leading figure who broke down the barriers she and her students encountered while seeking to participate fully in the art world.

Be sure to catch this impactful exhibition before it closes. Three other special exhibitions, "The Web of Life: John Biggers and the Power of Pedagogy"; "Bauhaus Transfers: Albers / Rauschenberg"; and "Fantasy and Reality: The World According to Félix Buhot" all close on Sunday, Dec. 15.

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 9,600 objects representing a variety of cultures and spanning 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 ten 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, and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. 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, and from the Central Pennsylvania Convention and Visitors Bureau.

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

About the new University Art Museum at Penn State

Penn State and the Palmer Museum of Art are planning to construct a new University Art Museum located in The Arboretum at Penn State. With nearly twice the exhibition space of the Palmer, new classroom spaces and a teaching gallery, flexible event spaces, and on-site parking, this building will dramatically enhance the museum’s capacity to offer educational and enrichment opportunities for visitors of all ages. It will be integrated with the Arboretum, inspiring collaboration and creating a unique nexus of art, architecture and natural beauty. And like the Palmer Museum of Art before it, it will depend upon visionary philanthropy from the Penn State community. Learn more at

Last Updated December 03, 2019