Burchfield-Penney Art Center
Rockwell Hall, Buffalo State College
About the Burchfield-Penney Art Center:
Update by Burchfield-Penney Art Center in 2015:
Founded in 1966 on the campus of SUNY Buffalo State, the
Burchfield Penney Art Center is dedicated to the art and vision of renowned
American watercolorist Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967) and the distinguished
artists of Western New York state. In 2008, the Burchfield Penney expanded
from its location in Rockwell Hall to a new $36 million freestanding facility
in the heart of Buffalo's Museum District. Designed by Gwathmey Siegel and
Associates Architects, the museum includes more than 84,000 square feet
dedicated primarily to galleries, as well as education and program space.
It is home to the world's largest collection of artwork and ephemera by
Burchfield and a collection of more than 8,000 works by over 850 artists.
The Burchfield Penney was the first LEED certified art museum in New York
State and was featured by travel editors of the New York Times as one of
the "44 Places to Go in 2009."
Provided by Burchfield-Penney Art Center in 2006:
The Burchfield-Penney Art Center is a regional and dedicated art museum located on the Buffalo State College campus. The Center's mission is to collect, conserve, exhibit, and interpret the achievements of distinguished artists who live or have lived in Western New York, notably including the American watercolorist Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), who spent most of his life in Western New York and to whom the Center is dedicated. The Center has more than 5,400 works by Western New York artists, covering 1875 to the present, and the world's largest Burchfield collection, comprised of 681 works of art.
Friends of Charles Burchfield were inspired by the artist to create the Charles Burchfield Center at Buffalo State College in 1966. Since that time, the Center has expanded from a small study space with exhibition capability to a 24,282 square foot museum with exhibition space, archives, collection storage, and administrative offices. The Center gained accreditation from the American Association of Museums in 1994, after completing a series of challenging strategic plans. In 1991 through 1994, the Center received a series of gifts from collector Charles Rand Penney of more than l,300 works by Western New York artists. On April 9, 1994, the museum was changed from the Burchfield Art Center to the Burchfield-Penney Art Center.
Center exhibitions are selected and organized to be innovative and educational in order to provide various audiences with a broad experience of unique regional artistic achievements and cultural history. Exhibitions and programs are designed to serve the culturally diverse population of Western New York. The Center is a multifaceted cultural forum for the arts and regularly hosts readings of poetry and prose, concerts, performances, workshops, and lectures and panel discussions related to exhibitions.
Visitors to the Center enjoy galleries dedicated to varying exhibitions of Burchfield's art, changing exhibitions that include craft and decorative arts, major Burchfield exhibitions, annual architecture and design exhibitions, annual exhibitions for emerging and under-represented artists, biannual site-specific installations, quarterly hands-on exhibitions in the USEUM galleries, biennial craft art exhibitions with purchase awards, and programs focusing on issues of leadership, quality in Western New York art, and on regionalism. A study storage display of the Roycroft Collection and a recreation of Burchfield's studio will be completed by the end of 1998. The Center recently opened a video viewing room to showcase videos by or about Western New York artists and art.
The Center's hands-on gallery, USEUM, was created in 1996 as a learning space for children, families, and visitors with all levels of ability. In 1995, the Center initiated the Elizabeth and Peter Tower Program in Special Needs Art Education, the nation's first program to train professionals to implement museum education for the mentally, physically, and emotionally disabled. Outreach programs created by the education department and facilitated by Buffalo State College students serve audiences who are physically or financially unable to get to the museums. (image courtesy of Burchfield-Penney Art Center)
Please see the Burchfield-Penney Art Center's website for hours and admission fees.
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