The Albright-Knox Art Gallery is located at 1285 Elmwood Avenue, less than a 10 minute drive from DYC. It is the most popular gallery in Buffalo, exhibiting a huge collection of modern and contemporary art. Thanks to a grant from Buffalo-born M&T Bank, admission is free for everyone on the first Friday of every month. I took advantage of this last Friday and checked out what’s new at the A-K.
If you’re not that into art, and “modern and contemporary” sounds like a bunch of unrecognizable nonsense on canvas, well, there is a little of that. However, it’s minor compared to pieces you will recognize, or maybe some you can’t put an obvious label on, but might make you stop and ponder for a minute.
What you may not realize about “modern” art is that, by definition it could actually extend back as far as the late 1800’s. That means big names you’ve probably heard of are included – Edgar Degas, Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh, Paul Gauguin, Georges Seurat and of course Pablo Picasso, just to name a few.
To me, viewing works that were painted by great artists who are known worldwide is inspiring. You get to stand within a couple of feet of a piece that a great artist stood in front of for many hours. It’s like putting your hands in the celebrity imprints outside Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. Someone famous was once there, and now you’re there too. If that’s not enough for you, just look at the detailed work that went into some of these pieces. Take Seurat for example – he painted intricate scenes using tiny dots of color that, from a distance, blend together to create the painting. When you think you don’t have the patience for microscope work in your next lab, think of our friend Georges Seurat painting millions of tiny dots!
Partway through touring the masterpieces, I stopped in to check out the gift shop. They have some really unique items including, my favorite, puppets made to look like artists such as Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol, and Vincent Van Gogh (complete with removable ear!)
If you’re hungry, the gallery has you covered. Stop in to the AK cafe for a sandwich or salad in a pretty setting just off the main hallway.
The Albright-Knox is a place where you can be literally surrounded by art. Don’t miss the attractions outside the museum too – like this gigantic piece by American artist, Nancy Rubins, made from stainless steal and aluminum boats!
Since it was such a nice day, after wandering around the outside of the gallery, I headed just across the driveway behind the gallery to Hoyt Lake and The Rose Garden. It made for a great afternoon without having spent a dime.
The next few first Fridays are May 4th, June 1st and July 6th. Be sure to take advantage of FREE admission to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery on these days!