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Edgar C. Schenck. Image courtesy of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery Digital Assets Collection and Archives, Buffalo, New York.

Edgar C. Schenck

American, 1909-1959

As director, Edgar C. Schenck was dedicated to developing more meaningful collaborations with regional public schools. Under Schenck’s administration (September 1, 1949–July 1, 1955), the museum reintroduced a robust program of gallery tours and lectures for public school children tailored to tie into their general curriculum. Working with the University at Buffalo and Buffalo State, the Albright Art School offered professional studio and art history classes for both children and adults. Beyond his work in Buffalo, Schenck was one of six museum directors who helped found ICA—Art Conservation, the nation’s first non-profit regional art conservation center.

Although the museum’s exhibition program in the early 1950s was limited, the number of acquisitions grew dramatically under Schenck’s leadership. Notable additions to the collection during this time included works by Max Beckmann, Pierre Bonnard, Charles Burchfield, Honoré Daumier, Thomas Eakins, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Jacques Lipchitz, Franz Marc, Pablo Picasso, Peter Paul Rubens, Georges Seurat, and Chaïm Soutine, and a gift of 57 drawings from A. Conger Goodyear.

Prior to leaving the museum to become director of the Brooklyn Museum, Schenck coordinated the numerous programs, special events, and exhibitions celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the 1905 Building.

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