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Celebrating Buffalo’s rich artistic history at Burchfield Penney

Buffalonians have had much to be proud of since the city’s founding in 1832, including a long line of prominent and influential artists. The Burchfield Penney Art Center presents “In the Fullness of Time: Painting in Buffalo, 1832-1972,” on view in the East Gallery through March 1, celebrating 140 years of important works and the painters who had a lasting impact on the region’s art scene.

“For new arrivals to Buffalo or visitors to our city the exhibition will give you a true sense of local flavor for the architecture, people, natural wonders, scenes and places that make Buffalo such a unique place. And for Buffalonians, it’s a wonderful time machine—a chance to see your own city with fresh eyes as you traverse 140 years of the community you love,” said Burchfield Penney Executive Director Dennis Kois.

Comprised of nearly 100 works from native Buffalonians, transplants and expats, the exhibition features works from private and public collections, including pieces from Burchfield Penney, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, The Buffalo History Museum and the Smithsonian Institution.

“These are works that aren’t always available to the public or at local institutions,” added Kathleen Heyworth, director of marketing and communications at the Burchfield Penney.

Spanning a number of historical eras, including when Buffalo was in its heyday, the exhibition follows the history of art as it moves through early landscape paintings to portraits of Buffalo high society and through the abstract expressionism of the mid-20th century. The installation follows the history of our city, from Buffalo’s rise as a boomtown following the completion of the Erie Canal, to its post-industrial days through to the current resurgence. The great painters of this region are clearly among the most interesting and unique American artists of the last century and are recognized as such.

“The work done in Western New York is of the same or better quality than the celebrated historical art

of other American cities.” said Tullis Johnson, lead curator of the exhibition. “The great painters of this region are clearly among the most interesting and unique American artists of the last century and should be recognized as such in the fullness of time.”

The exhibition will include works by Hamilton Hamilton (1847-1928), William Graham (1832- 1911) and Annie Crawford (1856-1942). Rarely seen works from private collections by artists such Martha Visser't Hooft (1906-1994) and Virginia Cuthbert (1908-2001) will be included as well. In the Fullness of Time has a significant representation of women artists considering the male-dominated art world during that period.

“It’s a very accessible exhibition,” added Heyworth. “There are entry points for visitors with a variety of interests, whether it’s as an art lover or a history buff.”

A landmark 250-page encyclopedic record of the artists will also be published in conjunction with the museum. The book will be available opening night (Nov. 8), as well as at The Museum Store.

“In the Fullness of Time: Painting in Buffalo, 1832-1972” is free with gallery admission, which is $5 for students, $8 for seniors 62+, $10 for adults, and free for Burchfield Penny members, Buffalo State students, faculty and staff, veterans and active military, and children 10 and under. Visitors can also check out the exhibition during M&T Second Fridays from 5:30-7:30 on November 8, when it’s free and open to the public.