The Buffalo Fine Arts Academy—the governing body of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery—was founded on December 4, 1862. The BFAA is among the oldest public arts institutions in the United States. Please LIKE or REBLOG if you want to wish the Gallery a happy anniversary!
Albright-Knox offers mobile interactivity with tours to savor art and history - The Buffalo News -
Our NEW Historypin art and Buffalo architecture tours (and our very own Digital Media Manager Kelly Carpenter) are featured in the Buffalo News today! Click above to read the full article. You can find out more about our Historypin tours, and our other new resource, Tiki-Toki Timelines, by clicking here.
Artwork History: Charles Cary Rumsey, Pizarro, 1910 (cast in 1920s)
While perhaps one of the smallest works on the Albright-Knox Art Gallery’s campus, Charles Cary Rumsey’s sculpture Pizarro is both heroic and epic in its subject matter. This bronze statue depicts explorer Francisco Pizarro who, in the sixteenth century, conquered Peru by defeating the Incas. The statue is a model for the large-scale sculpture which was commissioned by the city of Lima for its main square on the occasion of the city’s four-hundredth anniversary.
The museum’s work was presented to the Albright-Knox by the artist’s estate in 1952. This work had special significance in that Rumsey was a Buffalo native. He was born in the city in 1879.
Years of inclement weather had taken their toll on this work, and in October 2012 the sculpture underwent conservation. It now sits in its refurbished state on the museum’s grounds where it can be seen as one drives down Elmwood Avenue.
New Updates on the Beyond Landscape Blog
Our Beyond Landscape blog is up and running! If you follow the Albright-Knox on Tumblr, be sure to add kieferbeyondlandscape to see written and drawn responses like the one featured above. We’ve already received over one hundred submitted responses to Anselm Kiefer: Beyond Landscape in our Response Room as part of the exhibition and we are accepting submissions online as well. Every Friday (including today), we will add selected submissions to the Beyond Landscape blog. Some are thoughts and feelings expressed in words, others pictures and impressions shown through color and shape. Which one is your favorite?
Book AK: The Impact of War
The effects of World War II were not only felt on the battlefields. The Albright-Knox Art Gallery is one of the many American institutions that felt the impact of the ongoing war. Austerity measures were in place for the museum including a reduced staff and significantly limited operating funds.
The Albright-Knox’s director at the time, Dr. Andrew C. Ritchie, who would eventually take a leave of absence to serve as a Monuments Man retrieving stolen treasures from Hitler’s forces, worked diligently to continue normal Gallery activities. He also organized a program around the war effort which included the offering of night classes in conjunction with local military production. Diversions for workers in military units and plants were provided through a series of concerts and dances held on the museum’s steps every Wednesday during the summer of 1942.
Ritchie wanted the community to be aware of the war effort and, in conjunction with Buffalo’s Bell Aircraft Corporation, he presented an exhibition of images of military planes. Opening in November 1942, this exhibition, titled “The Army P-39 Airacobra,” featured huge photo enlargements of the development of the Airacobra planes from drafting to flight. The popularity of this exhibition led to its eventual touring to venues across the country.
Learn more about this moment in history by becoming part of Book AK, a museum-hosted book club, and reading the next selection, The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History by Robert Edsel. The discussion will take place on Saturday, December 7, 2013, from 10:15 to 11:30 am. To learn more about this program, including details about registration, please visit the Book AK page on our website.
New Exploration Tools: Historypin Walking Tours
We are proud to announce the launch of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery channel on Historypin, a new education resource that features several walking tours focused on the museum’s outdoor sculptures and architecture throughout the City of Buffalo. The walking tour guides are available on the Historypin website and mobile application.
— The Outdoor Tour of Sculpture at the Albright-Knox is a perfect holiday activity for the whole family. Using the Historypin website or mobile app on your phone, you can explore photographs and related content while viewing each of the outdoor sculptures currently installed on the museum’s campus, including Jason Middlebrook’s spectacular Underlife, 2012–13, which was just completed in mid-October.
— The Buffalo Architecture, 1816–1940: Downtown Walking Tour offers a comprehensive tour of sixteen of Buffalo’s architectural treasures including City Hall, the Buffalo Public Library, and St. Paul’s Cathedral.
Follow along on your mobile phone as you reach each tour stop to learn more about the history, creation, and legacy of some of Buffalo’s most exciting buildings and artworks.
As we move closer to the holiday season, we will be adding additional tours highlighting the remarkable number and variety of architectural masterpieces found throughout the city of Buffalo. Learn more about Historypin and the Albright-Knox’s other new education resource, Tiki-Toki Timelines, here.
Outdoor Tour of Sculpture at the Albright-Knox
Buffalo Architecture, 1816–1940: Downtown Walking Tour
Now Open: Beyond Landscape Response Room
As part of the exhibition Anselm Kiefer: Beyond Landscape, we are inviting YOU to participate and share your thoughts and responses. Our Response Room, seen above, is a dedicated space (with comfortable chairs!) for you to write, draw, or record video or audio responses to the works in the exhibition. Every Friday, we will post selected submissions from the Response Room on our Beyond Landscape blog. (You can also submit responses via the blog itself using the submit link.) Every submission we receive will also be considered for inclusion in the printed exhibition catalogue alongside essays and interviews from curators, artists, and others.
Visit us, see the works, then tell us what you think.
Art’scool Docent Stories: Mary Therrien
Expect the Unexpected
The Albright-Knox’s motto is “Expect the unexpected.” That certainly happened to me on a recent third grade tour.
Before starting the tour, I took my third grade group to the little alcove by the gift shop to talk about museum rules and the theme of their tour. I ended by saying, “If you see something you like, stop and ask me about it, and we’ll talk about it.”
A little boy raised his hand and said, “I like this a lot.” He was pointing at a green Dale Chihuly vase that was for sale in the case right in front of him! I asked the rest of the group if they liked any of the vases. All of them raised their hands. Each of them told me which of the four he or she liked best, and why. We spent ten minutes talking about glass blowing, Dale Chilhuly as an artist, what types of glass works he creates, and the Corning Glass Museum. Every single child wanted the piece he or she chose in their bedrooms.
Finally, the first boy raised his hand again and asked, “How much does it [the vase he chose] cost?” I said, “Several thousand dollars—somewhere around six thousand dollars.” I could see he was trying to process what that meant. So I said to the group, “Are you ready to go outside and meet a very big lady?” [Jaume Plensa’s Laura, located on the museum’s grounds.]
"Yes!" they all said. We started out for Laura.
Another boy said, “I really like the boats [Nancy Rubins’s Stainless Steel, Aluminum, Monochrome I, Built To Live Anywhere, At Home Here, also located on the museum’s grounds], could we see them?”
"Let’s go!" I said to the group. We never made it to Laura. Expect the unexpected (and the delightful)—indeed!
Anselm Kiefer: Beyond Landscape
Opens Sunday, November 17, 2013
The galleries are buzzing with excitement this week. Over the next few days, the staff is putting the finishing touches on the Albright-Knox’s latest exhibition. The art is hung! The wall texts have been installed. The Response Room is ready for company. Soon, the lighting will be adjusted. On Sunday, Anselm Kiefer: Beyond Landscape opens to the public. After months of preparation, the exhibition has come together and is nearly ready for visitors to flood into the Gallery.
Three major works by Anselm Kiefer (German, born 1945) form the core of the exhibition, two of which are part of the Albright-Knox’s Collection (including der Morgenthau Plan (The Morgenthau Plan), seen above). All three of these massive works reflect Kiefer’s European heritage while exploring themes such as nationalism, identity, and cultural responsibility. Kiefer also calls upon landscape for inspiration, using landscape-based imagery to explore the world around him. Surrounding Kiefer’s works are other paintings and works on paper from the Albright-Knox’s Collection that similarly use landscape-based imagery, encouraging us to explore broader themes in the modern landscape tradition, of which Kiefer is a part.
In a unique initiative, the Gallery is inviting visitors to participate in the creation of the exhibition catalogue. To facilitate the sharing of ideas and responses, a room inside the exhibition is equipped with books relating to Kiefer and the landscape tradition, computers and tablets, paper, and pencils. Visitors are invited to craft a response to Kiefer’s work and the other works in the exhibition and encouraged to use the resources in the room to learn more about Kiefer and landscape as a subject. Kiefer’s works are complicated, raising many questions and answering few. With this in mind, the Response Room provides an opportunity for visitors to think about Kiefer and his works, and to interpret the things that they have seen. The Response Room allows for written and drawn responses, which can subsequently be hung on the wall for others to view and ponder. Responses can also be created electronically on the provided computers or tablets and submitted to the Beyond Landscape blog, where they will be reviewed for possible posting. The blog entries can include text, image, audio, and video, providing a multitude of options for response and reflection. All submissions through February 14, 2014, will be considered for inclusion in the printed catalogue for Anselm Kiefer: Beyond Landscape, scheduled for publication in 2014.
Monuments Men at the Gallery: Recovering the Lost History of Edgar Degas’ Mlle. Fiocre dans le ballet de “La Source”
The forthcoming release of the film Monuments Men, based on the book of the same title that traces the activities of members of the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives section of the Allied Forces as they located, protected, and returned artworks confiscated by the Nazis during World War II, is especially timely given the recent revelation that in 2012, German officials discovered over 1400 artworks in the dingy Munich apartment of Cornelius Gurlitt, son of collaborationist art dealer Hildebrand Gurlitt.
The Albright-Knox recently had a discovery of its own regarding the fate of one our paintings during the war—albeit one with a much happier ending, in which the artwork was long ago restored to its rightful owner. While working on a project to make more information about the Gallery’s art works accessible through MIMSY, our collection database, the art collection cataloger needed to gather some biographical information about Alphonse Kann, a former owner of Edgar Degas’ Mlle. Fiocre dans le ballet de “La Source” in order to improve the record for him in the database.
She learned that though Kann, a French Jewish art dealer, was listed in the Gallery’s documentation as owning the painting until his death in 1948, he had in fact fled Paris in 1938 or 1940, leaving behind his art collection, which was seized by the Germans in 1940.