Buffalo AKG Art Museum to open May 25, 2023

The Buffalo AKG Art Museum, formerly the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, announced today that its new three-story translucent building under construction will open on May 25, 2023, with major exhibits in revised in 1905 and 1962.

Today’s announcement marks the completion of a major $230 million expansion campaign, the largest for a cultural institution in the history of Western New York. It received $35 million for the museum’s operating budget.

“Words cannot describe how excited my team and I are to welcome Western New Yorkers back to their museum in May 2023,” said Janne Siren, director of the museum, in Monday at Burchfield Penney Art Center. “Our new campus allows us to create world-class museum experiences for visitors of all ages, backgrounds and experiences.”

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The museum closed in November 2019, with work on an expansion beginning in January 2020. In its absence, the Albright-Knox Northland opened temporarily on the East Side’s Northland Corridor from January 2020 to June 2022.

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Doubling the showroom with the new building will allow more than 400 works from the collection to be displayed in the first 12 months, more than ever before, Siren said.

“Visitors will be able to see properties they have known and loved for years – including Lucas Samaras’ ‘Mirrored Room,’ Jackson Pollock’s ‘Convergence’ and Giacomo Balla’s ‘Dynamism of a Dog on a Leash, ‘ “said Siren, “as well as many new works that we have had in recent years, including important works by Simone Leigh, Nick Cave, Ragna Bley, Jeffrey Gibson and Stanley Whitney. “

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“Clyfford Still: A Total Vision,” featuring 33 of the Abstract Expressionist works, only two in the collection of the Clyfford Still Museum in Denver, is one of the exhibits on the floor. .

Take a tour of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, which is undergoing a major new campus expansion that will double the size of the world-renowned collection that can be displayed. The gallery will reopen in 2022 as the Buffalo AKG Art Gallery.

Siren said he was grateful for his “excellent staff” and the support of “thousands of people” while singling out two contributors for special praise.

“Jeffery Gundlach’s generosity and vision made it impossible for us to dream big and was the jet fuel that drove this campaign forward,” Siren said. “The incredible support of Gov. Hochul and New York State got us across the finish line.”

Gundlach’s $65 million private gift is the largest in Western New York history. The state of New York, starting with the government of Andrew Cuomo, contributed $ 46.6 million.

Gov. Kathy Hochul raised $20 million on April 25 when the project was completed when the fundraiser ended. That is why construction costs increased from $168 million to $195 million, mostly due to the inability to protect supply chains related to Covid-19 and the increase in The estimated cost to return to the completion date of the project is more than six months.

Gundlach and the state of New York jointly provided about 57% of the cost of construction.

“As one of the oldest public institutions in the country, the expansion of the Buffalo AKG Museum is a transformational project that will provide a major boost to Buffalo’s future,” said and Hochul in a statement. “This project will bring new life and energy to this historic and important business, and is a continuation of the renaissance of Western New York.”

The museum decided to start using its new name now instead of waiting until the museum reopens, as previously announced. The “AKG” part of the name stands for the museum’s major contributors: John J. Albright, Seymour H. Knox Jr. and Jeffrey E. Gundlach.

The investment of grant money doubles the guaranteed amount. The money can be used for operation and maintenance, presenting programs and organizing exhibitions and expanding the museum’s staff of 150 full-time employees.

Buffalo AKG has a restricted endowment for image acquisitions of about $80 million, with Siren noting that both endowments are subject to market fluctuations.

The new Jeffrey E. Gundlach building, designed by Shohei Shigematsu of the Office for Metropolitan Architecture, in collaboration with the Cooper Robertson architecture firm, will bring an additional 30,000 square feet of space. report. Spaces on the three floors range from a black box gallery on the ground floor to the Sculpture Terrace on the second and a 7,530-square-foot gallery on the third. There will be entrances from ground level and underground parking.

The John J. Albright Bridge with a glass wall connects the Gundlach Building to the 1905 building designed by EB Green and now known as the Robert and Elisabeth Wilmers Building. The neoclassical building is undergoing many renovations, including a new roof, a thorough cleaning of the marble facade, red oak flooring and the reconstruction of the historic staircase.

The 1962 building, designed by Gordon Bunshaft and now known as the Seymour H. Knox Building, is a concrete work space over an open space in a spacious courtyard. “Common Sky,” a glass and mirror sculpture by Olafur Eliasson and Sebastian Behmann of Studio Other Spaces, is a communal space, with doors on one side leading to Delaware Park and the other to Elmwood Avenue. The Knox Building, with free admission, will also have a 2,000-square-foot gallery, five classrooms, 350 seats and a new restaurant.

The mural was installed at the end of the summer, allowing the interior work, including the installation of a terrazzo floor and an integrated lighting system to move forward.

On Saturday, as Siren stood alone under “Common Sky,” he said the setting sun lit up the sky with “yellow sunbeams and the depth of the sun in seen from snow, ice and hundreds of glass crystals.

“It’s like standing in a frozen world and a kaleidoscope at the same time,” Siren said. “The art is just beautiful — magical — and I can’t wait for everyone in Western New York and visitors from around the world to experience it for themselves.”

Mark Sommer covers conservation, development, the beach, culture and more. He is a former arts editor at The News.


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