Albright-Knox should explore having satellite gallery nearby
While visiting Buffalo, my wife and I took an Explore Buffalo tour of Lincoln Parkway mansions. Starting in front of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, our docent described how E.B. Green’s 1905 beautiful Greek revival main building and Gordon Bunshaft’s 1962 20th century modern wing complement each other, then noted the controversy over the museum’s desired expansion, with one design in the 9-figures eliminating the modern wing. This piqued my interest and sent me to the internet to refresh my recollection of this somewhat heated design debate.
I grew up in Buffalo, have lived in Maryland for decades, but visit frequently to see friends, family and Buffalo’s amazing architectural heritage. I take as a given that Albright-Knox needs and deserves more exhibition space for its renowned collection of modern art. But adding a MoMA-lite structure facing the crown jewel of Olmsted’s design, with the attendant cost and elimination of Bunshaft’s less but still valuable architectural treasure, seems counterproductive.
What about Albright-Knox talking to the Richardson Center Corp. to explore renovating the next block to the west of Hotel Henry as a satellite gallery, maybe a short walk past Burchfield Penney (or a quick shuttle bus ride)? This could be a win-win. And imagine art displayed with those high ceilings and abundant natural light (engineers and architectures could open many of the demising walls to make a curator’s paradise). This would help create an “art” district, further advancing the growing cachet of Elmwood.