Albright-Knox Celebrates 150 Years

December 4, 2012 Updated Oct 11, 2013 at 6:23 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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December 4, 2012 Updated Oct 11, 2013 at 6:23 PM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW-TV) - As it was originally called, the Buffalo Fine Arts Academy opened in 1862 and remains one of the oldest public art institutions in the nation.

"What you see in our collection today is over 75-hundred artworks," said Louis Grachos, Director of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery.

By 1905, the grand building opened in Delaware Park as the Albright Art Gallery named after Buffalo industrialist John Albright. That's when building a collection went full steam.

"We were able to bring some of the great modern masters to the community and to the museum," Grachos said.

Today the Albright-Knox Art Gallery is an international "must see" destination known for it's collection of modern and contemporary art.

"We get visitors from through Europe, all over the world actually, Asia," Grachos replied. "We've just recently had a visitor from Norway who came just to see the modernist collection."

To help celebrate their 150th anniversary some commissioned work is on display that has captured the community's attention. Yes we are talking about laura by Jaume Plensa, which is visible from the museum's north entrance.

"It's based on a portrait based on his daughter," said Grachos. The sculpture is built with 22 marble rings that are cut with a very thin layer of lead in between them. It resembles the technique of old roman columns.

"He has created a beautiful dialogue between the backdrop which is out beautiful 1905 building, greek revival architecture and the columns that stand so strong behind the sculpture," replied Grachos.

Also commissioned is "Niagara," a fluorescent light display by Robert Erwin. Some of the coloring and tubing represents movement and water. However, Grachos says Andrew Warhol's "100 cans" may be the museum's most significant acquisition.

A big celebration is planned for Thursday inside the art gallery where they will unveil their latest exhibit "Universals Albright-Knox 150," Artwork that was created based on the artists interaction with the public.

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