Mr. Price at the Albright-Knox

Vincent Price’s relationship with the Albright-Knox Art Gallery dates back to the early 1960s. Many people might not know, but Vincent Price studied art history at Yale University and was an avid art lover and collector. Public access to fine art was important to Price, so it seems fitting that he helped promote the Collection and the benefits of membership at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery.

In honor of the posting of this 1979 video by the Gusto Blog at the Buffalo News (originally posted this morning by Retrontario) in which Price talks about the benefits of becoming a member of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, here are photos from Mr. Price’s visit to the Albright-Knox on October 18, 1963.

Photographs by S. Greenberg. Images courtesy Albright-Knox Art Gallery Media Collection.

Recent Acquisition Highlights
Philippe Decrauzat’s Vertical Wave 02, 2012

Philippe Decrauzat is influenced by a broad range of abstraction, from Russian Constructivism and Op art to Minimalism, all of which he explores through various mediums, including wall painting, film, sculpture, painting, and installation. Vertical Wave 02, 2012, evokes the early shaped, minimally painted canvases of Frank Stella (American, born 1936), which emphasize the painting as an object. Learn More

Philippe Decrauzat (Swiss, born 1974). Vertical Wave 02, 2012. Acrylic on canvas, 83 1/4 x 48 3/16 inches (211.5 x 122.4 cm). Charles W. Goodyear Fund, by exchange, 2012. © 2011 Philippe Decrauzat.

Docent Stories: Mary Therrien
Fifth Graders Respond to Mark Rothko’s Orange and Yellow

In honor of our first Art’scool tour of the season today, here’s a favorite story from our docent Mary Therrien:

I led a group of fifth graders to Mark Rothko’s Orange and Yellow, 1956, and asked, “Would anyone want this painting in their bedroom?”

A boy’s hand shot up, and he said, “Yes!”

“Why?” I asked.

“Because I see a pillow (yellow) and a blanket (orange).”

Then, a second boy’s hand went up, and he said, “Me too!”

“Why?” I asked.

“I want it directly across from my bed. When I wake up in the morning, I’ll see a sunrise (yellow), and when I go to bed at night, I’ll see a sunset (orange).”

Image: © 1998 Kate Rothko Prizel & Christopher Rothko / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

A Thanksgiving Mini-series: Gluttony

Finally—because we all overeat on Thanksgiving—here’s Jacques Callot’s aptly named Gluttony. See you at the gym tomorrow.

IMAGE: Jacques Callot (French, 1592–1635). Gluttony from the series “The Seven Deadly Sins,” 1612–21. Etching, 3 x 2 1/2 inches (7.6 x 6.4 cm). Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery. Bequest of Miss Maria L. Wilkeson, 1905. 

DECADE Theme Preview: The Wayward Line
Day Four: Nancy Rubins’s Drawing, 2007

From a distance, Nancy Rubins’s Drawing appears to be a metal sculpture, but as one moves closer, it becomes clear that it is, in fact, a work on paper. To create this work, Rubins heavily applied graphite onto large sheets of paper which she then tore and attached to the wall with pushpins. Evoking images of splayed skin and crumpled metal, this piece is an example of how contemporary artists are pushing the spatial and dimensional limits of drawing.

Image: Nancy Rubins (American, born 1952). Drawing, 2007. Graphite on paper, 139 x 121 inches (353.1 x 307.3 cm). Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery. Pending Acquisition Funds, 2011. © 2007 Nancy Rubins.


DECADE Duo: Linda Besemer and Jim Lambie

In their works featured in DECADE: Contemporary Collecting 2002–2012, Linda Besemer and Jim Lambie expand traditional notions of painting through their use of vivid lines of color. In Linda Besemer’s Fold #88, painting is pushed into the realm of three-dimensionality as acrylic paint is transformed into a solid, rubber-like material that is draped from an aluminum rod in long, brightly colored vertical lines. Jim Lambie’s Zobop (Stairs) transforms stairs in the museum’s 1962 Knox Building into a work of art by the deceptively simple means of colorful vinyl tape installed in a dazzling linear pattern (see photos from the installation here).


Artwork History: Jason Middlebrook, Underlife, 2013

The most recent addition to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery’s campus is Jason Middlebrook’s Underlife. Inspired by an actual uprooted tree found by the artist, this large-scale sculptural work resembles a tree stump that has been yanked from the ground, complete with gnarled, mangled roots. 

Creating this work was an involved process which began with the creation of a scale model. Middlebrook then made multiple study drawings of the potential sculpture.  One of these study drawings was gifted to the Gallery by the artist and is now part of the Albright-Knox’s Collection. 

The final work was constructed using steel, foam, and fiberglass.  Glass tiles were then broken into pieces and applied to the structural form, creating a surface that reflects the various forms of both the day’s and evening’s natural light. The roots and tree stump were created in the studio. While on the museum’s grounds, over the course of many weeks, Middlebrook joined the roots to the trunk and finished applying tiles at the newly connected joints.

The glass tiles on the roots, while incorporating many colors, do not display any particular pattern. The top of the tree stump, however, only uses brown and gold tiles and is positioned to display a ring pattern similar to that which would be visible on a real tree stump’s base.


Historypin of the Week
New York Central Station (also known as the Buffalo Central Terminal)

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 Central Terminal, located at Lovejoy Street and Lindbergh Drive.

In 1925, the New York Central Railroad, the City and Grade Crossing, and the Terminal Station Commission signed an agreement for the Buffalo Central Terminal to be built at its current location. Two years later, architects Alfred T. Fellheimer (1875–1959) and Steward Wagner (1886–1958) were elected to design the railroad terminal. Construction began in 1927 on the seventeen-story Art Deco office tower and terminal. It served as an important railroad station for many years.

Due to the loss of revenue and decline in train travel by the general public, the terminal was put on the market in 1956 and no buyer was found. For the next decade, the site was not used and four of the original buildings were demolished to reduce taxes and maintenance fees. These included the Pullman Service Building, Coach Shop, Ice House, and Power House. The terminal was not used again for train travel until 1971, when it was partially utilized by Amtrak. Unfortunately, Amtrak usage would only last until October 1979. The terminal was then sold to Anthony Fedele & Galesi Realty. At that time, the future of the East Side landmark was uncertain; commercial redevelopment had been proposed but ultimately failed to come to fruition.

In 1984, the Buffalo Central Terminal was placed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places. In 1986, Anthony Fedele was forced to sell the building due to foreclosure, and the terminal was put up for auction. Thomas Telesco won the bid. In 1997, the property was transferred to the Central Terminal Restoration Corporation and efforts began to preserve the landmark. Since then, great strides in the preservation of this landmark have been made and plans for its reuse in the future are currently being established. Learn more at

TOP: Images courtesy of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery Digital Assets Collection and Archives, Buffalo, New York. © 2014 Albright-Knox Art Gallery. Photograph by Jay W. Baxtresser.
BOTTOM: Screenshots of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery’s channel on Historypin.


Seven Days…a Halloween Mini-series!

Gillian Wearing is a consummate costume professional. In order to transform herself into various family members for the larger-than-life works in her “Album” series, Wearing worked with with a talented team (including former employees of Madame Tussauds) to create the masks, silicon prostheses, wigs (complete with human hair), and bodysuits the artist wears in these eerie photographs. All six works are currently on view at the Gallery as part of DECADE: Contemporary Collecting 2002–2012 if you are up for some in-person creepiness.

DECADE Theme Preview: Psychology of Space
Day 2: Catherine Opie’s “Surfers” Series

Catherine Opie’s work often reflects her fascination with people who are living outside the mainstream. In the fourteen untitled photographs in her “Surfers” series, members of the surfing community in Malibu, California, appear as barely visible dots in the vast expanse of the ocean. The horizon line serves as a metaphor for the margins of society these surfers are a part of.

IMAGE: Catherine Opie (American, born 1961). Untitled #9 fromthe series “Surfers,” 2002–03. Color print, edition 5/5, 50 x 40 inches (127 x 101.6 cm). Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery. George B. and Jenny R. Mathews Fund, 2004. Courtesy Regen Projects, Los Angeles. © Catherine Opie.


DECADE Duo: Tracey Emin and Jason Rhoades

Text, neon, and sexuality are the commonalities shared by the two works in this DECADE duo. British artist Tracey Emin is perhaps best known for the witty and highly sexual text that appears in her work. The white neon words that spell out the title of Only God Knows I’m Good suggest that Emin’s bad-girl image has become so ubiquitous that only a higher power could be aware of her more angelic side. Sexual references are more overt in Jason Rhoades sculpture Highway to Heaven. In this work, various words describing female genitalia are depicted in colorful neon lights. These, combined with plexiglass, ceramic donkeys, cable, and extension cord, are piled onto a chrome shelving rack, practically beckoning the viewer in for a closer look.


Caught on Camera
March 1968: Allen Ginsberg

The second Festival of the Arts Today, held in Buffalo in March 1968, presented a “broad survey of the latest trends in art, music, drama, dance, films, literature, and architecture.” The Festival, which followed the success of the first Festival of the Arts Today in 1965, featured the art exhibition Plus X Minus: Today’s 1/2 Century and hosted the world premiere of two plays by Edward Albee during its two-week run, among many other cultural events. The poet Allen Ginsberg, above, gave a reading in Upton Hall Auditorium at Buffalo State University College on Tuesday, March 5, 1968. He was one of many literary figures who participated in a discussion or reading, with others including Albee, John Barth, Charles Olsen, and Louis Zukofsky. The Festival combined national and international cultural trends with local impact: sponsors included The Buffalo Fine Arts Academy, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Studio Arena Theater, SUNY Buffalo, State University College at Buffalo, and the New York State Council on the Arts, and the chairman was Albright-Knox Art Gallery Director Gordon M. Smith. 

Content and images courtesy the Albright-Knox Art Gallery Archives, Buffalo, New York. © 2014 Albright-Knox Art Gallery.