Situated between the North Atrium and the Retreat cafeteria, the James W. Palmer III Gallery is at the heart of the College Center. Constructed in 1996, the gallery was named and endowed by the Palmer family in 2000 in memory of their son James, a member of the class of 1990. Serving as an exhibition space for artwork created within and beyond the Vassar community, the gallery displays art of diverse mediums, themes, and origins.
Because of the Palmer Gallery's central location, casual ambiance, and frequent exhibition rotation, it has a large and loyal following and has become an important contributor to the art scene at Vassar. The gallery hosts approximately eight shows a year. Recent exhibitions ranged from Love Makes a Family: Portraits of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People and Their Families , a touring photo-text display created by the award-winning Family Diversity Projects of Amherst, Massachusetts, to Knowing Where To Stand , a collection of 44 stunning color landscape photographs from around the world by landscape architect and photographer Anne Whiston Spirn . Recurring annual exhibitions include the projects of Vassar's studio art majors, artwork created by children attending local elementary schools, and the portfolio work of participants in the Art Institute of Mill Street Loft.