The Louis O. Palmer Gallery
The new Louis O. Palmer Gallery is the final
keystone of Muskingum’s Studio Arts Complex. It is located between
historic Paul Hall – home to the two-dimensional art program – and the
Ruth and John Neptune Center – home to the three-dimensional art
The Palmer Gallery is a teaching gallery designed
to showcase the work of Muskingum students, faculty, alumni, and guest
artists. It features a central gallery, auxiliary spaces to support
events, and environmentally-friendly solar panels to help support its
The Palmer Gallery was built through the
generosity of Muskingum alumni and named in honor and memory of Louis
Orton Palmer III (1915-1997), Muskingum Professor of Art from 1956-1981.
Louis O. Palmer earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Lake Forest
College, with a major in speech and a minor in romantic languages and
English. He earned his Master of Music degree from the University of
Chicago, and completed further studies in music at the American Academy
in Fontainebleau, France, where his teachers included the noted
composers Igor Stravinsky and Nadia Boulanger.
During World War II, he served with the U.S. Army
in North Africa and Italy as a band master and liaison to the French
Army. Prior to joining Muskingum, Professor Palmer taught at Lake
Forest College and in Italy, and served as music critic for the Chicago Sun Times, the Chicago broadcast station WFMT, and for the national music magazine Musical America.
A larger-than-life personality, he was known as Il Professore across campus and in town. In the words of Ann G. Wilmoth ’67: “the
Caribinieri cape and Borsalino hat, the ring and the dog, he would live
without not a one of them.” She noted that “in the years
between 1956 and 1981 more Muskingum students were taught by Louis
Palmer than by any other single professor, perhaps in all of Muskingum’s
His charge, as recalled by Ms. Wilmoth – “Look up, look at the world around you; There is beauty everywhere; all you need do is look for it” –became an inspiration for his students and an enduring legacy of his teaching.