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The Martha Jackson Collection

Buffalo native Martha Jackson opened her New York gallery in the fall of 1953. The Martha Jackson Gallery represented mainly American artists during its inaugural year, but by its second, following a trip Jackson took to Europe, its roster became more international. Between 1953 and 1969, Jackson offered New York debuts to noteworthy artists such as Karel Appel, Billy Al Bengston, Paul Emile Borduas, Sam Francis, Barbara Hepworth, Paul Jenkins, Alfred Jensen, Lester Johnson, Morris Louis, Marino Marini, Louise Nevelson, William Scott, Antoni Tàpies, and Bob Thompson.

Richard Diebenkorn's Berkeley #54, 1955

Richard Diebenkorn (American, 1922–1993). Berkeley #54, 1955. Oil on canvas, 61 1/4 x 58 5/8 inches (155.6 x 148.9 cm). Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Gift of Mr. and Mrs. David K. Anderson to The Martha Jackson Collection, 1977 (1977:8). © The Estate of Richard Diebenkorn.

Installation view of The Martha Jackson Collection at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery

Installation view of The Martha Jackson Collection at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery (November 21, 1975–January 4, 1976) with works by Claes Oldenburg (on pedestal), Grace Hartigan (right), and others. Image courtesy of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery Digital Assets Collection and Archives, Buffalo, NY.

Beginning in 1944, when she accepted Director Andrew C. Ritchie’s invitation to join the Albright Art Gallery’s Advisory Council, Jackson maintained a fruitful relationship with the museum. Over the years, notable paintings and sculptures by Sam Francis, Adolph Gottlieb, Paul Jenkins, Alfred Jensen, Alfred Leslie, Louise Nevelson, Ben Nicholson, Larry Rivers, David Smith, and many others entered the collection, in no small measure due to her perseverance. Jackson tirelessly negotiated on the museum’s behalf by making sure that its primary patrons, as well as its directors, were given first dibs on the best works, and by offering them significant discounts whenever possible.

At the time of her death, Jackson’s own collection of postwar art had grown substantially. In 1974, David and Becky Anderson—Jackson’s son and daughter-in-law—donated 11 paintings, ten sculptures, and 23 works on paper (totaling 44 works by 40 artists) from Jackson’s collection to the Albright-Knox. Many of the chosen works of art were personal gifts from artists Jackson had known, represented, and befriended. 

Highlights from the Martha Jackson Collection All Works in the Martha Jackson Collection

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