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Living Art:
A. Conger Goodyear and Sculpture

Friday, November 4, 2011–Sunday, March 4, 2012

Aristide Maillol (French, 1861–1944). Reverie, ca. 1900. Terra cotta, 6 1/8 x 6 1/8 x 3 inches (15.6 x 15.6 x 7.6 cm). Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery. Bequest of A. Conger Goodyear, 1966.

On View in the Gallery for Small Sculpture in the 1905 Albright Building

Anson Conger Goodyear was born June 20, 1877, to a socially prominent family in Buffalo, New York. After achieving his undergraduate degree from Yale University in 1899, he went on to establish a successful career in the lumber and railroad industries. In 1912, at the age of thirty-five, Goodyear succeeded his father, Charles W. Goodyear, as a director of The Buffalo Fine Arts Academy. He eventually went on to be appointed the first president of The Museum of Modern Art in 1929, but not before kindling a long-standing interest in sculpture-oriented exhibitions and collecting in Buffalo.

To Goodyear, work created by living artists was a reflection of life—a living art. He lived his own life surrounded by the art he loved. During the 1920s, he became increasingly interested in collecting. He made several trips to Europe to visit galleries and artists and to acquire works of art; it was during this time that his collecting interests turned to works on paper and sculpture, which were, historically, less collected than painting. Sculpture became Goodyear’s passion and, during his time at The Buffalo Fine Arts Academy, he initiated and organized (with the assistance of Anna Glenny Dunbar, then “honorary curator of sculpture”) three groundbreaking monographic exhibitions—Meštrovi? Exhibition of Sculpture, 1925; The Bourdelle Exhibition of Sculpture, 1925; and Exhibition of Sculpture and Drawings by Aristide Maillol, 1925–26—followed by a comprehensive exhibition of modern European sculpture in 1927. Goodyear placed the Gallery on the map as a sculptural mecca by presenting some of the finest examples of sculpture being executed at the time. Congruently, Goodyear continued to collect and, in turn, acquire works for the Gallery. Some of his first gifts to the Gallery were sculptures by Emile Antoine Bourdelle (French, 1861–1929), Wilhelm Lehmbruck (German, 1881–1919), Frank Dobson (British, 1888–1963), and Aristide Maillol (French, 1861–1944). Even after Goodyear’s departure from Buffalo, his generosity continued.

Living Art: A. Conger Goodyear and Sculpture presents thirty-five sculptures and works on paper by nineteen artists, gifted or bequested to the Gallery by Goodyear between 1926 and 1970. The exhibition will also feature a small selection of archival material from the G. Robert Strauss, Jr. Memorial Library and Gallery Archives

This exhibition is organized by Curator for the Collection Holly E Hughes.

This exhibition is presented by First Niagara.

Additional support has been provided by Agnes Gund.

Gallery admission is required to view this special exhibition on M&T FIRST FRIDAYS @ THE GALLERY. 

Related Resources

The Long Curve Search
This web component of The Long Curve contains many details about the donors’ gifts in their entirety. Search for specific works or browse works by collector. 

The Room of Contemporary Art on Flickr
Visit the Albright-Knox’s Flickr page to view a set of artworks and, in the spirit of the Room of Contemporary Art, vote for your favorites and share your opinions.

Related Publications

Exhibition Catalogue: The Long Curve: 150 Years of Visionary Collecting at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery

Related Exhibitions

The Long Curve:
150 Years of Visionary Collecting at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery

November 4, 2011–March 4, 2012

The Impermanent Collection: The Room of Contemporary Art, 1939–1971
November 4, 2011–March 4, 2012

Related Events

The 150th Anniversary Gala
Saturday, November 5, 2011, 6:30 pm

Art'scool Educators' Preview
Wednesday, November 9, 2011, 3–6 pm 

Members' Reception
Thursday, November 17, 2011, 5–7 pm

Related News

150 years later, Albright-Knox is still hungry for the new (The Buffalo News)