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Shout it from the Rooftops! Palmer Museum's dynamic annual Gala planned for Saturday, May 18
Guests to the Gala will enjoy a lively evening complete with dinner, dancing, and silent and live auctions hosted by entertaining master of ceremonies and veteran Gala emcee, Jeff Brown.

UNIVERSITY PARK, PA.- Tickets are still on sale for the 2019 Friends of the Palmer Museum of Art annual Gala and auction on Saturday, May 18, from 6:00 to 11:00 p.m. The fundraising event will be held at the Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center for the first time in nearly two decades. This year’s theme, “Shout it from the Rooftops!” is borrowed from the major spring exhibition organized by the Palmer, From the Rooftops: John Sloan and the Art of a New Urban Space, a vibrant exploration of the urban rooftop by notable American artists, on view at the museum through May 12.

Guests to the Gala will enjoy a lively evening complete with dinner, dancing, and silent and live auctions hosted by entertaining master of ceremonies and veteran Gala emcee, Jeff Brown. Later in the evening, revelers will take to the dance floor when Tommy Wareham & the Intrigues take to the stage.

“Every year, we look forward to the Gala as the community comes together to celebrate the Palmer Museum of Art and everyone who supports it,” said Friends of the Palmer Board President Elizabeth Laurenzana. “With this year’s Gala theme, we want to use the opportunity to ‘shout from the rooftops’ how lucky we are to have a world-class art museum in our community and encourage support of the museum.”

This year’s Gala also includes special honoree Dr. John Driscoll. An alumnus of Penn State, Driscoll will be recognized as the inaugural recipient of the James and Barbara Palmer Service Award for his distinguished service and generosity to the Palmer Museum. The award, which was announced at last year’s Gala, honors an individual who represents the spirit of philanthropy and service to the museum as exemplified by James and Barbara Palmer.

“We are looking forward to honoring John Driscoll with this inaugural award for his extensive philanthropy and personal engagement with the Palmer over the past four decades,” said Erin M. Coe, Director of the museum.

Driscoll has been a longtime supporter and friend of the Palmer, and his philanthropy has taken many forms. Since 1994 he has donated thirty-six works of art to the museum, including major paintings that are on display in its galleries of American art. In December 2018, he gifted an additional 140 works on paper to the Palmer that span more than 150 years of American art history, from 1795 to 1950. This expansive and transformational gift is one of the most important in the forty-seven-year history of the museum.

Driscoll earned his master’s degree and Ph.D. in art history from Penn State. His relationship with the Palmer began in the summer of 1972, when he first worked at the museum as a graduate assistant and later its registrar. In 1978, Driscoll became the curator of the William H. Lane Foundation in Massachusetts, followed by a guest curatorial post at the Worcester Art Museum before establishing an art gallery in Boston and subsequently acquiring Babcock Galleries, New York, in 1987. In 2012, he renamed the business Driscoll Babcock. This year marks the gallery’s 167th year, making it New York’s oldest art gallery. He also serves on the Advisory Board of the Palmer Museum and has twice been its chair.

Sponsors of this year’s Gala include Platinum Sponsor Shute Battaglia Wealth Advisors, Gold Sponsor Driscoll Automotive Group, and Bronze Sponsor Mary Lou Bennett. For the Gala’s elaborate menu, the Friends have selected a metropolitan mix of hors d’oeuvres and mouthwatering entrees. As a nod to the urban theme, dessert will be a decadent New Yorkstyle cheesecake, served with a luxurious chocolate mousse cream.

Auction items for 2019 include original works of art by nationally recognized artists as well as entertainment and sport packages featuring rounds of golf, hockey tickets, passes to art museums and the Metropolitan Opera, and hotel stays in New York, Pittsburgh, and New Orleans - plus much, much more.

All are invited to attend the benefit event. Tickets are $215 per person; preregistration and payment are required. All proceeds benefit the Palmer Museum of Art to provide funding for the free-admission museum’s complimentary public lectures, gallery talks, musical performances, poetry readings, workshops, films, and docent-led tours for school and community groups, as well as to sustain the vital arts resource for the community and all those who visit.

Dress for the event is “urban” chic – cocktail and black-tie attire with a cosmopolitan twist.

For more information about this year’s Gala, contact Amber Krieg, Associate Director of Membership and Donor Development, at (814) 863-9191.

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