This exhibition was divided into three sections. The largest section included 40 contemporary works of art presented to the Albright Art Gallery as gifts by Seymour H. Knox, Jr., beginning in 1954. While the majority of these works were created by modern American painters, there were also examples of contemporary work by British, French, German, Italian, Mexican, and Spanish artists. The second section of the exhibition featured six contemporary sculptures by American, Italian, and British artists that were purchased by the Albright Art Gallery between 1954 and 1957. Supplementing these two groups were 30 works of international contemporary art lent by Mr. and Mrs. Seymour H. Knox. With only a few exceptions, all of the works included in the exhibition were created during the 1950s.
The new works added to the collection included major paintings and sculptures by such key figures in American and European midcentury modernism as Afro (Italian, 1912–1976), Karel Appel (Dutch, 1921–2006), Renato Birolli (Italian, 1905–1959), Lynn Chadwick (British, 1914–2003), Alan Davie (Scottish, 1920–2014), Willem de Kooning (1904–1997), Jean Dubuffet (French, 1901–1985), Herbert Ferber (American, 1906–1991), Arshile Gorky (American, born Armenia (now Turkey), 1904–1948), Philip Guston (American, born Canada, 1913–1980), Raoul Hague (American, 1905–1993), David Hare (American, 1917–1992), Hans Hofmann (American, born Germany, 1880–1966), Franz Kline (American, 1910–1962), Seymour Lipton (American, 1903–1986), Henry Moore (British, 1898–1986), Robert Motherwell (American, 1915–1991), Jackson Pollock (American, 1912–1956), Jean-Paul Riopelle (Canadian, 1923–2002), Mark Rothko (American, born Russia (now Lativa), 1903–1970), Pierre Soulages (French, born 1919), and Antoni Tàpies (Catalan, 1923–2012).