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Albright-Knox Art Gallery Library located in the 1905 Building (now the Gallery for Small Sculpture) in 1962

Albright-Knox Art Gallery Library located in the 1905 Building (now the Gallery for Small Sculpture) in 1962. Image courtesy of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery Digital Assets Collection and Archives, Buffalo, New York. Photograph by Sherwin Greenberg.

Throwback Thursday: The Hemicycle

May 17, 2018

The space we know as the Gallery for Small Sculpture today previously served as a lecture hall and then, from 1962 until 1992, as the museum’s Art Reference Library. In April 1992, the library was moved from the hemicycle to Clifton Hall so that the space could be transformed into its current state.

The Albright-Knox Art Gallery's Art Reference Library in the Hemicycle of the 1905 Building in 1983. Image courtesy of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery Digital Assets Collection and Archives, Buffalo, New York. 

Floor plan for the Albright-Knox Art Gallery's Art Reference Library in the Hemicycle of the 1905 Building. Image courtesy of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery Digital Assets Collection and Archives, Buffalo, New York.

Original floor plan of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery's 1905 Building showing the Hemicycle's use as a Lecture Room. Image courtesy of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery Digital Assets Collection and Archives, Buffalo, New York. 

Installation view of B. Ingrid Olson: Forehead and Brain in the Gallery for Small Sculpture. Photograph by Tom Loonan.

The special exhibition currently on view in the Gallery for Small Sculpture—B. Ingrid Olson: Forehead and Brain—is, in part, inspired by the architecture and history of this space. Olson conceived of the installation based on her initial impression of the rounded wall, which she equated to a mental, perceptual space. To her, it felt like the interior of a forehead, with the cases serving as cognitive recesses—segments of the brain.

Hear more about how Olson was inspired by this space tonight, May 17, 2018, at 6:30 pm, in Voices in Contemporary Art: B. Ingrid Olson in Conversation with Holly E. Hughes.

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