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Benjaman Gallery features work by two artistic couples

Though it existed for only 25 years, the Art Institute of Buffalo made a series of remarkable, wide-ranging and lasting contributions to the culture of the region. The brief but productive life of the school, which operated from 1931 to 1956 in locations throughout the city, is the focus of an exhibition on view in the Benjaman Gallery.

It was, as a Benjaman Gallery release notes, “a school, a gallery and a meeting place for artists, art students and the public with no discrimination and no competition, encouraging maximum freedom of self-expression.”

The exhibition features work by two couples who met through the school: well-known watercolorist Robert Noel Blair and his wife Jeanette Blair, who died in January; and James and Catherine Koenig, who worked respectively in abstraction and trompe l’oeil still life paintings.

[Read a 2006 piece on another exhibition celebrating the Art Institute of Buffalo]

“In many of the pieces, it is often quite obvious, both in style and in subject matter, when the artists worked side by side,” Benjaman Gallery Director Emily Tucker said in a statement. “It is also interesting to track each couple’s converging and diverging styles throughout their careers.”

The show, which opened on March 11, runs through May 14.

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