DisAbility Awareness at the AK

The Albright-Knox Art Gallery has a long-standing history serving as an advocate for equal accessibility. Starting with the Matter at Hand program in 1973, the Albright-Knox has focused on providing individuals with disabilities equal access to its Collection and a rewarding museum experience. Today, the Creative Connection program, part of Access AK, enables and encourages individuals to express themselves both verbally and nonverbally in the art museum environment.

Creative Connection uses the artmaking process as a powerful tool to further understanding of the modern and contemporary artworks within the Albright-Knox’s Collection. Through this understanding and hands-on experience, individuals are able to grow through art. Often, evidence of this growth is exhibited in final works of art, an enhanced sense of confidence, and an interest in expressing one’s thoughts.

Currently on display, the education exhibition Process to Discovery highlights some of the most recent Creative Connection program artists. Three participating artists, Gabrielle Brewer, Roderick Crockett, and Lisa Tribunella, came together on October 1, 2014, to create a collaborative painting. They developed the concept, layout, and execution of the work as a team.

These visual artists were joined by an equally passionate team from Out and About in WNY. Avery Gill and James Walk have created a video that will allow their process of artistic collaboration to be shared. (Watch the video, “Working Together at the AK,” on the Albright-Knox’s YouTube channel.) During this experience, a variety of talented individuals came together to share their enthusiasm for the arts at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery.

Process to Discovery is on view
Wednesday, October 1–Sunday, November 23, 2014, in the Education Exhibition Hallway.

Access AK is made possible through the generous support of the James H. Cummings Foundation, Inc. Endowment; The William M. Wood Foundation; and National Fuel.

AK Historypin of the Week
Buffalo State Hospital, Forest Avenue between Grant Street and Elmwood Avenue

The Albright Art Gallery (now the Albright-Knox Art Gallery) held an exhibition of photography in January 1940, which commemorated Buffalo’s vast architectural triumphs. Participants using the Historypin website and mobile app on supported devices can explore photographs and related content about numerous historic sites and buildings featured in the AAG’s 1940 exhibition. Every week, we feature a pinned location from the Albright-Knox’s Historypin channel and provide detailed information and archival photographs about the site. This week’s pin is the Buffalo State Hospital/Richardson Olmsted Complex, located on Forest Avenue between Elmwood Avenue and Grant Street.
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The Buffalo State Hospital has been known by several names throughout its history, including the Buffalo State Asylum for the Insane, the Buffalo Psychiatric Center, and more recently the Richardson Olmsted Complex. Construction originally began on the building in 1871 and was completed in 1895. It was designed by architect H. H. (Henry Hobson) Richardson (1838–1886).

The eleven-building complex, which was the largest commission of Richardson’s career, was an example of his personal revival of the Romanesque architectural style. The complex, following the design of the Kirkbride plan, consisted of a central administrative tower and five pavilions, or wards, connected by two-story corridors. The two-hundred-acre grounds surrounding the complex were designed by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted (1822–1903), with his partner Calvert Vaux (1824–1895).

The wards housed mentally ill patients until the mid-1970s. The central administration building was used for offices until 1994. Three pavilions on the east side were demolished in the 1970s to make way for newer psychiatric facilities and the grounds north of the building have been occupied by Buffalo State College since the 1960s.

The complex has been the subject of a long-term conservation campaign over the last few decades. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places and became a National Historic Landmark in 1986. In 2006, the Richard Center Corporation was formed with a mission to save the historic buildings and recently shared plans to transform the complex into a vibrant destination including a hotel, conference, and event center in the three main buildings.
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TOP: Images courtesy of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery Digital Assets Collection and Archives, Buffalo, New York. © 2014 Albright-Knox Art Gallery. Photographs by Jay W. Baxtresser.
BOTTOM: Screenshot of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery’s channel on Historypin.

Caught on Camera
September 1966: Contemporary Art Acquisitions, 19621965

On September 29, 1966, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery opened the major exhibition
Contemporary Art Acquisitions, 19621965. The exhibition, which was on view through October 30, 1966, presented 297 works by 184 artists that were added to the AK’s Fine Art Collection during the four year period between 1962 and 1965. Approximately one half of the artworks included in the exhibition were created in the 1960s, indicating the museum’s strong interest in acquiring contemporary art. The rapid rate of acquisition was further demonstrated by the fact that these 297 works of art constituted one-seventh of the AK’s entire collection at the time of this extremely important exhibition. Included in the exhibition were gifts of Seymour H. Knox, Jr., gifts to the museum, museum purchases of contemporary art, and additional acquisitions.

Content taken from The Buffalo Fine Arts Academy, Albright-Knox Art Gallery Annual Report, 1966–1967. Images courtesy of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery Digital Assets Collection and Archives, Buffalo, New York. © 2014 Albright-Knox Art Gallery

AK Historypin of the Week
Kapoor and Milkowski Sculptures, Albright-Knox Art Gallery’s Grounds

The Albright Art Gallery (now the Albright-Knox Art Gallery) held an exhibition of photography in January 1940, which commemorated Buffalo’s vast architectural triumphs. Participants using the Historypin website and mobile app on supported devices can explore photographs and related content about numerous historic sites and buildings featured in the AAG’s 1940 exhibition. Every week, we will feature a pinned location from the Albright-Knox’s Historypin channel and provide detailed information and archival photographs about the site. This week’s pin is the Kapoor and Milkowski sculptures, formerly located on the Albright-Knox’s grounds.
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Like the interior of the museum, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery’s campus is constantly adding and sometimes removing sculptures from its grounds. Two sculptures that formerly resided on the Elmwood side of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery are Turning the World Upside Down, IV, 1998, by Anish Kapoor, and Diamond - #I of III, 1967, by Antoni Milkowski.

Kapoor’s Turning the World Upside Down, IV, 1998, was formerly located on the museum’s Elmwood lawn from July 2007 to September 2009. The artwork was here on loan and is not part of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery’s Fine Art Collection.

Antoni Milkowski’s Diamond - #I of III, 1967, was removed from this location on May 9, 2011. Milkowski, a minimalist sculptor, created this symmetrical outdoor sculpture using non-corrosive steel, which gives the work its unique brown hue. Its bulk and size made this towering structure feel very imposing as it loomed over the museum’s grounds. This sculpture was featured in the exhibition Extreme Abstraction, which was on view from July 15–October 2, 2005.
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TOP: Anish Kapoor (Indian, born 1954). Turning the World Upside Down, IV, 1998. Stainless steel. Private collection. © 1998 Anish Kapoor. Photograph by Tom Loonan. Image courtesy of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery Digital Assets Collection and Archives, Buffalo, New York. © 2014 Albright-Knox Art Gallery. Photograph by Tom Loonan. 
MIDDLE: Antoni Milkowski (American, 1935–2001). Diamond - #I of III, 1967. Cor-ten steel, 192 x 156 x 48 inches (487.7 x 396.2 x 121.9 cm). Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery. Gift of The Seymour H. Knox Foundation, Inc., 1968. Image courtesy of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery Digital Assets Collection and Archives, Buffalo, New York. © 2014 Albright-Knox Art Gallery. Photograph by Tom Loonan. 
BOTTOM: Screenshots of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery’s channel on Historypin.

Caught on Camera
April 1975: H. W. Janson

H. W. Janson (1913–1982) is a recognizable name to anyone who has ever taken an introductory course in Art History, but many people might not know that he visited Buffalo and lectured at the Albright-Knox on April 17, 1975. The Renaissance sculpture specialist and former chairman and professor of the Department of Art at New York University is best known for his survey of art history, History of Art, which was first published in 1962. Janson, whose first names are Horst Waldemar, lectured at the Albright-Knox on “The Myth of the Avant-Garde” to a full auditorium. 

Content taken and photos scanned from The Buffalo Fine Arts Academy, Albright-Knox Art Gallery Annual Report, 1973–1974. Images courtesy of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery Digital Assets Collection and Archives, Buffalo, New York. © 2014 Albright-Knox Art Gallery

Anselm Kiefer (German, born 1945)Untitled (Secret Life of Plants), 2004 Mixed media on lead 39 1/2 x 53 1/2 x 53 1/2 inches (100.3 x 135.9 x 135.9 cm) Courtesy James Cohan Gallery, photograph by Tom Loonan
This Sunday, October 5, 2014, Anselm Kiefer: Beyond Landscape will close. Having been on view for almost a year, this exhibition allowed for visitors to deeply engage with Kiefer’s works and immerse themselves in and respond to the artist and the themes he explores.
An avid reader, Kiefer often turned to the motif of the book in the creation of a variety of large-scale sculptural works, as with his 2004 work, Untitled (Secret Life of Plants). In these sculptures, the book becomes a vehicle in the hands of the artist to explore other themes, such as the power of words and one’s place in the universe. The book is both physically heavy (as it is made of lead) and metaphorically heavy with the weight of humanity’s knowledge. Books are the source of the world’s knowledge, but they also contain words written by humans and so can also be used as agents of propaganda and false truths. 
As in Kiefer’s other works included in this exhibition, the artist uses landscape as a vehicle to address a variety of different themes. Here, the landscape is a celestial one, as the artist has drawn stars on the book’s pages along with connecting lines and NASA identification numbers. While looking at the stars, the viewer can contemplate his own place in the universe while simultaneously being reminded that as humans we play just a small role in the ever-expanding and unstable universe—a fact made evident by the less-than-stable pages of this lead book on which the universe is depicted. 

Anselm Kiefer (German, born 1945)
Untitled (Secret Life of Plants), 2004
Mixed media on lead
39 1/2 x 53 1/2 x 53 1/2 inches (100.3 x 135.9 x 135.9 cm)
Courtesy James Cohan Gallery, photograph by Tom Loonan

This Sunday, October 5, 2014, Anselm Kiefer: Beyond Landscape will close. Having been on view for almost a year, this exhibition allowed for visitors to deeply engage with Kiefer’s works and immerse themselves in and respond to the artist and the themes he explores.

An avid reader, Kiefer often turned to the motif of the book in the creation of a variety of large-scale sculptural works, as with his 2004 work, Untitled (Secret Life of Plants). In these sculptures, the book becomes a vehicle in the hands of the artist to explore other themes, such as the power of words and one’s place in the universe. The book is both physically heavy (as it is made of lead) and metaphorically heavy with the weight of humanity’s knowledge. Books are the source of the world’s knowledge, but they also contain words written by humans and so can also be used as agents of propaganda and false truths. 

As in Kiefer’s other works included in this exhibition, the artist uses landscape as a vehicle to address a variety of different themes. Here, the landscape is a celestial one, as the artist has drawn stars on the book’s pages along with connecting lines and NASA identification numbers. While looking at the stars, the viewer can contemplate his own place in the universe while simultaneously being reminded that as humans we play just a small role in the ever-expanding and unstable universe—a fact made evident by the less-than-stable pages of this lead book on which the universe is depicted. 

David Batchelor (Scottish, born 1955) Idiot Stick 16, 2005Issues of color are a recurring theme in the work of Scottish artist David Batchelor. His works, such as Idiot Stick 16, 2005, in the Collection of the Albright-Knox, often use color as their primary theme and incorporate found objects. This sculpture uses plastic bottles to contain a variety of colorful neon. Objects that were once discarded as debris are repurposed in the hands of the artist as containers for an abundance of vibrant light. 
An author as well as an artist, Batchelor examines color and its theories through an art historical lens rather than a scientific one, exploring what color means from an artistic perspective. Batchelor will give a talk discussing his vast body of work with a focus on its relation to the theme of color this Friday, October 3, 2014, during M&T FIRST FRIDAYS @ THE GALLERY and in partnership with the University at Buffalo’s Institute for Research and Education on Women and Gender’s “Color and Gender” Fall Symposium. Learn MoreDavid Batchelor (Scottish, born 1955). Idiot Stick 16, 2005. Plastic bottles and fluorescent lamp, 70 x 4 x 3 inches (177.8 x 10.2 x 7.6 cm). Gift of Howard and Leslie Zemsky, 2007. © 2005 David Batchelor

David Batchelor (Scottish, born 1955)
Idiot Stick 16, 2005

Issues of color are a recurring theme in the work of Scottish artist David Batchelor. His works, such as Idiot Stick 16, 2005, in the Collection of the Albright-Knox, often use color as their primary theme and incorporate found objects. This sculpture uses plastic bottles to contain a variety of colorful neon. Objects that were once discarded as debris are repurposed in the hands of the artist as containers for an abundance of vibrant light. 

An author as well as an artist, Batchelor examines color and its theories through an art historical lens rather than a scientific one, exploring what color means from an artistic perspective. Batchelor will give a talk discussing his vast body of work with a focus on its relation to the theme of color this Friday, October 3, 2014, during M&T FIRST FRIDAYS @ THE GALLERY and in partnership with the University at Buffalo’s Institute for Research and Education on Women and Gender’s “Color and Gender” Fall Symposium. Learn More

David Batchelor (Scottish, born 1955). Idiot Stick 16, 2005. Plastic bottles and fluorescent lamp, 70 x 4 x 3 inches (177.8 x 10.2 x 7.6 cm). Gift of Howard and Leslie Zemsky, 2007. © 2005 David Batchelor

AK Historypin of the Week
Philander Bennett House, Bennett Park

The Albright Art Gallery (now the Albright-Knox Art Gallery) held an exhibition of photography in January 1940, which commemorated Buffalo’s vast architectural triumphs. Participants using the Historypin website and mobile app on supported devices can explore photographs and related content about numerous historic sites and buildings featured in the AAG’s 1940 exhibition. Every week, we will feature a pinned location from the Albright-Knox’s Historypin channel and provide detailed information and archival photographs about the site. This week’s pin is the Philander Bennett House, formerly located at the current site of Bennett Place.

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Bennett House was constructed in 1831 and demolished in 1888. The house was owned by Philander Bennett (1795–1863), who was a lawyer for the Buffalo firm Marvin & Bennett and eventually became a judge for the Erie County Court. He represented the Fourth Ward on the City Common Council in 1840 and was instrumental in building the Buffalo & Attica Railroad System. 

The lot where the mansion stood is now site of a park designed by Frederick Law Olmsted (1822–1903). Olmsted’s park design called for entrances from each corner of the property, with flagstone walks encircling a horseshoe-shaped lawn at its center, a shelter house facing Eagle Street, and a graveled playground adjacent to Clinton Street. Thick foliage screened the park from the streets, and helped conceal the fact that the site was relatively small. The park, now called Bennett Place, is located on the east side of Pine Street between Clinton and Eagle Streets.
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TOP: Image courtesy of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery Digital Assets Collection and Archives, Buffalo, New York. © 2014 Albright-Knox Art Gallery
BOTTOM: Screenshots of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery’s channel on Historypin.

Caught on Camera
September 29, 2006: Youth Hockey Night at the Albright-Knox

On September 29, 2006, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, in collaboration with Buffalo Youth Hockey Leagues, Great Skate Hockey Supply Company, and Reid Sports, hosted Youth Hockey Night. The free, all-day event was part of GUSTO at the Gallery, presented by The Buffalo News. The family-friendly day was filled with various activities ranging from an exhibition of hockey memorabilia from the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, which included the Calder, Masterton, Vezina, Jennings, Pearson, and Hart Trophies; a film screening of D2: The Mighty Ducks (1994); an art activity where kids made prints using hockey pucks; and a tour around the museum making connections between hockey and the AK’s Fine Art Collection. Several current and former Buffalo Sabres players, including Rob Ray and Larry Playfair, were on hand to sign autographs for fans. The Buffalo Sabres’s mascot, Sabretooth, also participated in the fun!

Images courtesy of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery Digital Assets Collection, Buffalo, New York. © Albright-Knox Art Gallery. Photographs by Tom Loonan. 

Recent Acquisition HighlightsTheaster Gates’s Civil Tapestry 5, 2012Using the history of civil rights in America as one of his predominant themes, Theaster Gates has garnered renown as a maker of political and poetic objects and performances and has earned an international reputation as a skilled activist and a visionary catalyst for social change. Since 2013, he has directly approached this subject in a series of objects and paintings fashioned from decommissioned fire hoses, like Civil Tapestry 5, that communicate in the familiar language of a Minimalist painting. His practice of incorporating disused segments of fire hose references the long tradition of artists from Kurt Schwitters (German, 1887–1948) to Robert Rauschenberg (American, 1925–2008), who reclaimed trash to steep their own assemblages in historical references. Learn More 
Theaster Gates (American, born 1973). Civil Tapestry 5, 2012. Decommissioned fire hoses on oil cloth mounted on wood panel, 58 x 208 x 4 inches (147.3 x 528.3 x 10.2 cm). Bequest of Arthur B. Michael, by exchange, 2014. © 2012 Theaster Gates. Photograph by Ben Westoby, courtesy White Cube.

Recent Acquisition Highlights
Theaster Gates’s Civil Tapestry 5, 2012

Using the history of civil rights in America as one of his predominant themes, Theaster Gates has garnered renown as a maker of political and poetic objects and performances and has earned an international reputation as a skilled activist and a visionary catalyst for social change. Since 2013, he has directly approached this subject in a series of objects and paintings fashioned from decommissioned fire hoses, like Civil Tapestry 5, that communicate in the familiar language of a Minimalist painting. His practice of incorporating disused segments of fire hose references the long tradition of artists from Kurt Schwitters (German, 1887–1948) to Robert Rauschenberg (American, 1925–2008), who reclaimed trash to steep their own assemblages in historical references. Learn More 

Theaster Gates (American, born 1973). Civil Tapestry 5, 2012. Decommissioned fire hoses on oil cloth mounted on wood panel, 58 x 208 x 4 inches (147.3 x 528.3 x 10.2 cm). Bequest of Arthur B. Michael, by exchange, 2014. © 2012 Theaster Gates. Photograph by Ben Westoby, courtesy White Cube.