The Albright-Knox Art Gallery is a major showplace for modern art and contemporary art located in Buffalo, New York. It is located at 1285 Elmwood Avenue, which is directly across the street from Buffalo State College.
The parent organization of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery is The Buffalo Fine Arts Academy
, founded in 1862. It is one of the oldest public arts institutions in the United States. In 1890, Buffalo entrepreneur and philanthropist, John J. Albright
, a wealthy Buffalo
industrialist, began the construction of the Albright Art Gallery for the Academy. The building was designed by prominent local architect Edward Brodhead Green
. It was originally intended to be used as the Fine Arts Pavilion for the Pan-American Exposition
in 1901, but delays in its construction caused it to remain uncompleted until 1905.
In 1962 a significant new addition was made to the gallery through the contributions of Seymour H. Knox, Jr. and his family, and many other donors. At this time the museum was renamed the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. The new building was designed by famed Skidmore, Owings and Merrill architect Gordon Bunshaft, who is noted for the Lever House in New York City.
The Albright-Knox Art Gallery is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
The gallery's collection includes several pieces spanning art throughout the centuries. Impressionistic and Post-Impressionistic styles can be found in works by popular French artists of the nineteenth century such as Gauguin and van Gogh. Revolutionary styles from the early twentieth century such as cubism, surrealism, constructivism are represented in works by artists like Picasso, Braque, Matisse, Derain, Miró, Piet Mondrian, and Rodchenko. More modern pieces showing styles of abstract expressionism, pop art, and art of the 1970s through the end of the century can also be found represented by artists such as Arshile Gorky, Jackson Pollock, and Warhol. Additionally, the gallery is also very rich in various pieces of post-war American and European art.
De-accessioning and the Albright-Knox's mission
On June 7, 2007, a Roman era bronze sculpture of “Artemis and the Stag” sold at Sotheby’s
auction house in New York by the Albright-Knox Art Gallery
brought $28.6 million, the highest price ever paid at auction for an antiquity or a sculpture of any period, according to Sotheby's. It was purchased by the London dealer Giuseppe Eskenazi on behalf of a private European collector. The event brought national attention to what had been a local question, the mission of the Albright-Knox, which was defined by the Albright-Knox director Louis Grachos in February 2007, at the time the list of works of art to be de-accessioned
, as falling outside the institution's historical "core mission" of "acquiring and exhibiting art of the present". The definition made public critics wonder whether the position at the Gallery of "Hogarth
's Lady's Last Stake
or Sir Joshua Reynolds
' Cupid as a Link Boy
were secure; works by Courbet
] and Delacroix
were purchased by the museum in earlier decades,