Arts and Entertainment

Palmer Museum of Art receives $100,000 foundation grant from Luce Foundation

Grant will support catalogue to illustrate and detail museum's American art collection

Richard Diebenkorn, "Man and Woman, Seated," 1958, oil on canvas, 70-3/4 x 83-1/2 inches. 76.6. [nid:524231] Credit: Palmer Museum of Art / Richard DiebenkornAll Rights Reserved.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — This spring, the Palmer Museum of Art at Penn State received a major grant of $100,000 from the Henry Luce Foundation to produce a catalogue that will illustrate and detail its impressive American art collection. The four-year grant will provide funding for the research and production of the catalogue, which will highlight around 100 of the most aesthetically and historically significant examples of the Palmer’s 4,500-some works of American art.

“The Henry Luce Foundation only awards grants to art museums with exceptional holdings in American art,” said Palmer director Erin Coe. “A grant from this prestigious foundation recognizes both the national significance of the Palmer’s collection of American art and the need to support scholarly research so the collection is more accessible and visible.”

The Luce-funded catalogue will be the first of the museum’s permanent collection ever to be published and will significantly raise the Palmer’s profile as a major repository of American art. It represents an outstanding opportunity for students, scholars, visitors and residents of the local community to become more engaged with the art of the United States at the Palmer and Penn State.

Coe said the project will put the Palmer’s collection on the national stage and have a lasting impact on studies of American art. The launch of the catalogue is planned to coincide with the museum’s 50th anniversary in 2022. 

Adam Thomas, the Palmer’s curator of American Art, will lead the research and serve as editor of the publication.

“The catalogue will be a multi-author print publication containing short scholarly essays on approximately one hundred of the museum’s most important objects,” said Thomas. “It will feature high-quality color images, showcase new research and interpretations, and foreground the centrality of American art to the history of the museum and to Penn State.”

This is the first grant that the Luce Foundation has ever awarded to the Palmer, and it is also the largest grant from a private foundation ever received by the museum.

The Henry Luce Foundation was established in 1936 by Henry R. Luce, the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Time Inc., to honor his parents. The foundation seeks to bring important ideas to the center of American life, strengthen international understanding, and foster innovation and leadership in academic, policy, religious, and art communities. 

A leader in arts funding in the United States, the American Art Program, which is the grant area from which the Palmer grant comes, was established in 1982 to support universities, museums and arts organizations in their efforts to advance the understanding and experience of American and Native American visual arts through research, exhibitions, publications, and collection projects.

“The Luce Foundation is pleased to support institutions that value their American art collections and that seek to share them with audiences in fresh and meaningful ways,” said Teresa A. Carbone, program director of American art at the Henry Luce Foundation. “The collection catalogue now planned by the Palmer will celebrate its impressive holdings.”

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 8,850 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 eighteenth 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 eleven galleries, a print-study room, 150-seat auditorium, and 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.

On view at the Palmer this summer are "American Art Posters of the 1890s," May 22–Aug. 19; "Framing the City: Photographs from the Permanent Collection," June 5–Aug. 19; and "When the Water Rises: Recent Paintings by Julie Heffernan," July 10–Sept. 2.

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 a calendar of upcoming events, visit

Last Updated June 05, 2018