Instinctive Gestures: Recent Gifts from The Fishman-MacElderry Collection

August 28 - December 16, 2018

In late 2016, Marilyn Fishman and James MacElderry donated a large group of paintings, works on paper, and prints by contemporary artists to the Palmer. This intimate, yet exuberant exhibition highlighted thirteen works from that important gift. Though distinctly individualistic, all of the works shared a visual language indebted to the painterly freedom and spontaneity of gestural abstraction. 


Marilyn and Jim began collecting prints and other works on paper soon after they married in early 1977, and they have dedicated the last forty years to acquiring works “with a real visceral impact.” Instinctive Gestures attested to the couple’s predilection for works that are colorful, seemingly improvisational, and lyrically calligraphic in nature. The exhibition also celebrated their decades-long support of emerging and mid-career artists as well as their remarkable generosity in sharing their collection with the public.  


Artists represented in the exhibition included Jan Baltzell, Mary Frank, Neysa Grassi, Willy Heeks, David Kelso, Elizabeth Meyer, Melissa Meyer, Elizabeth Osborne, Linda Plotkin, Ron Rumford, Shelley Thorstensen, and Cheryl Warrick. 


Organized by the Palmer Museum of Art.