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Walter L. Palmer


Centurion, 1895–1932

Full Name Walter Launt Palmer

Born 1 August 1854 in Albany, New York

Died 15 April 1932 in Albany, New York

Buried Albany Rural Cemetery, Menands, New York

Proposed by Frederick Dielman and R. Swain Gifford

Elected 2 February 1895 at age forty

Century Memorial

Himself son of an accomplished sculptor whose work inspired his own, Walter Launt Palmer’s paintings will probably be remembered chiefly for their snow scenes. Perhaps not many artists or critics would today remember the protest occasioned by Palmer’s picturing of snow shadows by use of intense blue. It began when his “January” was exhibited at the Academy of Design in 1887 and it was unsparing; nevertheless, the picture won the Hallgarten prize and was purchased by that infallible connoisseur, Thomas B. Clarke. In a way, it may be said to have founded a school, though Palmer painted other landscapes and interiors which now hang on the walls of great collections. What is not so well remembered is that Palmer also had the gift of writing. One of our fellow-Centurions recalls an excellent short story contributed by him to Scribner’s many years ago, “a fantastic but extremely clever piece of fiction, accounting for the titanic exploits of the Egyptians in handling immense monoliths by a mythical substance greatly abating the operation of gravity.” Another, published locally at Albany, was entitled “The Last Page of History.” He was “full of clever plots, but didn’t write them.”

Alexander Dana Noyes
1933 Century Association Yearbook