Arts and Entertainment

Palmer Museum of Art presents exhibition in connection with Bauhaus centenary

Josef Albers, "Homage to the Square (It Seems)," 1963, oil on panel, 39 7/8 x 40 inches. Philadelphia Museum of Art: Gift of the Friends of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1968. Credit: © 2019 The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New YorkAll Rights Reserved.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Palmer Museum of Art at Penn State will open an exhibition on Sept. 3 in celebration of the centenary of the Bauhaus, the influential school founded in Weimar, Germany, that unified fine arts, design and architecture in its curriculum. The Palmer joins organizations worldwide in marking the 100-year anniversary with its opening of the exhibition "Bauhaus Transfers: Albers/Rauschenberg" and a variety of related programming throughout the fall season.

Robert Rauschenberg, "Booster," 1967, color lithograph and screenprint, sheet: 6 feet x 35¾ inches. Philadelphia Museum of Art: Gift of the International Graphic Arts Society, Inc., in honor of Carl Zigrosser, 1967.  Credit: © Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), New YorkAll Rights Reserved.

Artist Josef Albers (1888–1976), a student and then instructor at the Bauhaus, fled Nazi Germany for the United States after the school was forced to close in 1933. Albers took a post as head of Black Mountain College, a new art school in North Carolina, and became a formative educator for many artists. Robert Rauschenberg (1925–2008) first attended the school in 1948-49 and considered Albers “the most important teacher” he ever had. This exhibition pairs Albers’ painting "Homage to the Square (It Seems)," from 1963, and Rauschenberg’s print "Booster," from 1967, to explore their relationship, the dissemination of Bauhaus ideas and pedagogy, and its legacy in America. Both works are on loan to the Palmer Museum of Art from the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

“We are delighted to present the works of Albers and Rauschenberg as part of a collections-sharing program formed by the Philadelphia Museum of Art and supported by Art Bridges and the Terra Foundation for American Art,” said Palmer Museum Director Erin M. Coe. “The Palmer is one of eight museums in the commonwealth to participate in this new initiative that is part of a nationwide effort to expand access to American art. It is an unprecedented new partnership model, unlike anything we’ve seen in the museum field.”  

The dialogue between the two works in the show also will be presented in conjunction with the interdisciplinary symposium "Bauhaus Transfers," organized by the Penn State Department of Architecture and Department of German Studies and scheduled for Sept. 19 to 21. An international roster of more than a dozen scholars — hailing from Austria, China, England, Germany, Mexico, Poland and the United States — will examine the lasting importance of the histories, theories and practices of the Bauhaus in a global context.

The centenary commemoration exhibition continues in the Palmer’s Hull Gallery print study drawers with a display of works by Bauhaus faculty and students, including Anni Albers, Max Bill and Wassily Kandinsky.

"Bauhaus Transfers" will be on view at the Palmer until Dec. 15. It is one in a series of American art exhibitions created through a multi-year, multi-institutional partnership formed by the Philadelphia Museum of Art as part of the Art Bridges + Terra Foundation Initiative.

Related programming:

Thursday, Sept. 12 

Art history lecture: "Bauhaus 2019: Celebrating the Centennial"

Ute Poerschke, professor and interim head of the Penn State Department of Architecture

5:30 p.m.

Palmer Lipcon Auditorium

In 2019, the Bauhaus centennial is being celebrated worldwide. Beginning in September, the University will participate in the celebration with a series of events, including a symposium (Sept. 19–21) and this inaugural lecture. Poerschke will provide an introduction to the Bauhaus, its formative figures and foundational history, and will discuss the dissemination of its ideals around the world to the present.

Friday, Sept. 20

Gallery Talk: "Josef Albers and Robert Rauschenberg in the Context of the Bauhaus Centennial"

Vanessa S. Troiano, doctoral candidate in art history, CUNY

12:10 p.m.

Troiano is a doctoral candidate of art history at the Graduate Center, CUNY, specializing in modern and contemporary art. She also is an adjunct faculty at Queensborough Community College and Sotheby's Institute of Art. She earned her master of arts degree at the Courtauld Institute of Art and her bachelor of arts at Wellesley College. 

Join the Palmer on Friday afternoons at 12:10 p.m. for interesting, enlightening gallery talks on current exhibitions and selected works from the permanent collection.

Saturday, Oct. 12

Community Day: "Bridging Art and Culture"

11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Join the Palmer for a variety of programs that inspire creativity and reflect on the active role of art in shaping culture and change. Explore work by diverse artists active in the Harlem Renaissance to the Bauhaus movement and consider the varied ways that art influences culture. Enjoy gallery talks, tours and music by community performers, then get creative with art activities inspired by exhibitions on view. Generous support for this program is provided by Art Bridges + Terra + Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Friends of the Palmer Museum of Art.

Friday, Nov. 1 

Pop-up exhibition and Gallery Talk: "Bauhaus and Beyond: Abstraction in the Twentieth Century"

 Cathy Braasch, assistant professor of architecture 

10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Gallery Talk at 12:10 p.m.

Fascinating exhibitions. Great conversations. One day only! Drop by the Print Study Room on the second floor of the Palmer Museum of Art for these exciting pop-up exhibitions organized by museum staff, students and guest curators from across the campus and beyond. Gallery talks for pop-up exhibitions are held in the Print Study Room.

Saturday, Nov. 9

Family Day: "Interactions with Color"

Noon to 3 p.m.

Enjoy a deep dive into color, inspired by the color theory principles of influential Bauhaus artist and educator Josef Albers. Experiment with color mixing and combinations to create your own art. Test your eye and knowledge for color with interactive gallery games, led by Assistant Professor of Architecture Cathy Braasch. Generous support for this program is provided by Art Bridges + Terra + Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Friends of the Palmer Museum of Art.

About the Palmer Museum of Art

The Palmer Museum of Art on Penn State's 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 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 and noon to 4 p.m. Sundays. 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 brand-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 would dramatically enhance the museum’s capacity to offer educational and enrichment opportunities for visitors of all ages. It would 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 August 27, 2019