Allen Ingles Palmer Retrospective Opens in Hunt Gallery at Mary Baldwin

October 1, 2001

Mary Baldwin University’s Hunt Gallery is delighted to present Allen Ingles Palmer, Painter and Illustrator: A Small Retrospective, an exhibition that pays tribute to an important Virginia artist. His work will be on exhibit from October 8 to November 2, 2001. The opening reception will be held Monday, October 8 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. The public is welcome to attend.

Palmer was born in Roanoke, December 11, 1910. As a young man, Palmer attended the Augusta Military Academy, located north of Staunton. His desire for art, instead of the family business, led Palmer’s step-mother to send him to live with a friend in Washington D.C., where he studied at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. He then attended the Pennsylvania School of Industrial Art in Philadelphia, receiving his degree in 1934. Palmer began his professional career as a freelance illustrator. He and his wife, Josephine, moved to New Jersey in 1938 to become involved in the New York art world.

While in New York, Palmer was a member in the Salmagundi Club, the New York Watercolor Club, and the Audubon Artists. The use of hand-rendered illustrations in magazines began to be replaced by photographs, thus causing Palmer to shift to painting, particularly in the medium of watercolor. He exhibited at a number of galleries and museums through the 1940s, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Pennsylvania Academy of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the American Watercolor Society, and the Audubon Artists. He also had two solo shows at the Milch Galleries in New York City.

Palmer and his wife moved back to the Roanoke Valley in late 1941. He showed at Hollins University, at the American Associate of Virginia Watercolorists, and in Richmond at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. He was especially honored to show at the Roanoke Public Library after having served on the founding committee of the Roanoke Fine Arts Center.

Palmer, his wife and three children (Gale, Allen, and Charles) resided at “Woods End,” the estate he designed and built. Tragically, Palmer’s life ended on September 25, 1950, on his way to New York for preparations for his third solo show at the Milch Galleries. His small airplane crashed less than a mile from his home.

Gale Palmer Penn (Mary Baldwin class of 1963), native and current resident of Roanoke, introduced Mary Baldwin University to her father’s work, and has been crucial to the organization of this exhibition.

The Hunt Gallery, located on the ground floor of Lyda B. Hunt Hall on Mary Baldwin’s campus in Staunton, is dedicated to the exhibition of contemporary work in all media by regionally and nationally recognized artists. The gallery is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, please contact Paul Ryan, associate professor of art at (540) 887-7196.

Mary Baldwin University, with a main campus in Staunton, VA and five regional centers, excels in providing leadership training, character development and career preparation with a strong academic foundation. A multi-faceted liberal arts college, Mary Baldwin offers three residential programs for women – the Traditional Program for Women, the Program for the Exceptionally Gifted, and the Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership – as well as coeducational, non-residential bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. Mary Baldwin offers the B.A. and/or the B.S. in 32 majors, the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) with K-8 emphasis, the Master of Letters (M.Litt.) and Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature in Performance, and post-graduate teaching licensure (PGTL). The oldest women’s college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church U.S.A., Mary Baldwin was founded in 1842 and was the first women’s college to be granted a circle of the national leadership honor society Omicron Delta Kappa. It is one of only 262 colleges and universities to shelter a chapter of the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa honor society.