When the city of Buffalo was incorporated in the early nineteenth century, painting was perhaps the most powerful form of representation for the American landscape and its people. Lithography, engraving and the letter press were used to print multiple impressions of various images and text, but colored paint applied to linen canvas or board was the dominant visual paradigm of the time. The population of this growing community at the mouth of the Niagara River, on the shores of Lake Erie was only about 10,000 people in 1832, but the recently completed Erie Canal would bring many more people to the city and the surrounding area over the next hundred years.
Around the same time that the city of Buffalo was established, French inventors Joseph Nicéphore Niépce (1765-1833) and Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre (1787-1851) were pioneering photographic processes that would change the way humanity represented itself and the world forever. Over the next fifty years, various developments in the process would lead to the founding of the Eastman Kodak company in Rochester, New York. No longer the primary tool for representing humanity, artists were free to experiment, and transform the picture plane with paint.
The Burchfield Penney Art Center presents In the Fullness of Time, Painting in Buffalo, 1832-1972 in its featured East Gallery from November 8, 2019 until February 29, 2020. The exhibition draws from public and private collections and focuses on important works and painters whose work had a lasting impact on the art and artists of the region.
Important works from The Center are exhibited from early in the history of the city of Buffalo, including works by Hamilton Hamilton (1847-1928), William Graham (1832-1911) and Annie Crawford (1856-1942). Rarely seen works from private collections by artists like Grace Beals (1868-1929) and Florence Julia Bach (1887-1979) are included as well. The exhibition covers the history of the practice of painting in Buffalo and the surrounding region from the time of the founding of the city of Buffalo in 1832 until 1972.
Painting in Buffalo is accompanied by a 240 page hardcover catalogue designed by White Bicycle in Buffalo, which includes biographies of 86 artists and all of the 100 painting of included in the exhibiton. The catolog also includes an essay by Tullis Johnson, Albert Michaels and Scott Propeack who co-curated the exhibition. It is available in the Museum Store. Buy online by clicking here.
The exhibition is presented by M&T Bank and The Tower Family Fund, Inc. with support from Vogt Family Foundation at the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo,The Robert and Patricia Colby Foundation, Carol & John Kociela, Catherine & Dana Tillou, Joy & Jim Brandys, Jessica & David Brason, Nancy Brock & Scott Goldman, John Fatta, The Carlos and Elizabeth, Heath Foundation, Mulroy Family Foundation, Gina & Erik O’Neill, Eric Stenclik and Steven Dietz, Mr. & Mrs. George Strawbridge, Jr., and Janet M. & Richard H. Wetter
Additional support from Rita Argen Auerbach, Laurie Brosnahan, Judith & Jim Bunn, Shelley & Daniel Fogel, Marie & Frederic Houston, Mary Ann & Robert Kresse, Corinne & Victor Rice, Charles Wallens, and the Whitten Foundation.
Explore a self-guided virtual tour of this exhibition here.