Art=Text=Art: Private Languages / Public Systems, a traveling exhibition now in its fourth installation at UB Anderson Gallery, The State University of New York at Buffalo, has been made possible through the generosity of Sally and Wynn Kramarsky and their continued commitment to making accessible their extensive collection of modern and contemporary American works on paper. Art=Text=Art was first organized in 2011 by the University of Richmond Museums, Virginia, and was curated by N. Elizabeth Schlatter, Deputy Director and Curator of Exhibitions, University Museums, with Rachel Nackman, Curator, Sally & Wynn Kramarsky Collection. The exhibition has since traveled to the Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, where it was organized and expanded by Marilyn Symmes, Curator of Prints and Drawings & Director of the Morse Research Center for Graphic Arts, and to Hafnarborg | The Hafnarfjörður Centre of Culture and Fine Art, Iceland, where it was organized by Ólöf K. Sigurðardóttir, Director, as part of the 2013 Reykjavík Arts Festival. Although the core works from the Kramarsky Collection have remained consistent throughout the life of the exhibition, each new venue has been encouraged to reconfigure Art=Text=Art specifically for its own space and audience. Accordingly, curators have adjusted design choices and installation strategies, added artists and objects to the checklist, and borrowed artworks from other institutions. Sally and Wynn Kramarsky’s broad commitment to accessibility has been manifested throughout the exhibition’s life by the comprehensive online catalogue, which features catalogue entries, essays, and images of included artworks.
UB Anderson Gallery’s mission is to serve as a vital academic resource for the University and to support faculty and student research and creativity. Our deepest appreciation is extended to Sally and Wynn Kramarsky for their generosity and pedagogical vision. They organized an extraordinary traveling exhibition, particularly for university museums, that provides students, faculty, and the public with the rare opportunity to study seminal works by modern and contemporary American artists. Consistent with its mission, UB Anderson Gallery’s presentation of Art=Text=Art was co-curated by UB graduate students Sarah JM Kolberg, Cat Dawson, and Maddie Phinney under the direction of Jonathan D. Katz, Associate Professor and Director of the Doctoral Program in Visual Studies, with a unique curatorial premise that reflects the specialization of the Doctoral Program. This curatorial team researched, critically analyzed, and selected artworks for the exhibition by questioning how the words and texts within them define, camouflage, codify, and reveal the discourse of sexuality among post-war American artists.
We extend our gratitude to The Museum of Modern Art, New York, and to the Brooklyn Museum for lending important works of art donated by Sally and Wynn Kramarsky. We also thank the Poetry Collection of the University at Buffalo Libraries for approving loans of significant works of art that further enabled the exhibition to be re-curated at UB Anderson Gallery. Special thanks are due to Hope Cullinan, Senior Registrar Assistant, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, and to Elizabeth Largi, Assistant Registrar, Brooklyn Museum, for facilitating the loan process.
Many individuals provided assistance and guidance to ensure the success of Art=Text=Art. The exhibition was made possible by the organizational and curatorial skills of Rachel Nackman, Curator, Sally & Wynn Kramarsky Collection, and N. Elizabeth Schlatter, Deputy Director and Curator of Exhibitions, University of Richmond Museums. Rachel’s extensive knowledge of the collection, dedication to the artists, attention to the specific needs of different presenters, and professional counsel enabled the Art=Text=Art exhibition to travel and transform seamlessly between venues. We are very grateful for her patience and assistance. We also would like to thank Julie Reiter, Registrar & Collection Assistant, Sally & Wynn Kramarsky Collection, for her invaluable contributions to the success of the exhibition at UB Anderson Gallery.
We applaud co-curators Sarah JM Kolberg, Cat Dawson, Maddie Phinney, and Jonathan D. Katz for their courage and tireless efforts in undertaking this comprehensive exhibition within the short time frame of an academic year. We are very grateful for the hours of work they expended in recontextualizing the exhibition and in working with professional staff to plan and design this unique and beautiful presentation of Art=Text=Art. Special thanks are due to Robert Scalise, Assistant Director of Exhibitions and Collections and Registrar, UB Anderson Gallery, for the professional guidance he provided the co-curators throughout the exhibition planning and design, and for securing the loans.
At the State University of New York at Buffalo, we extend our deep appreciation to Satish K. Tripathi, President; Charles F. Zukoski, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs; and E. Bruce Pitman, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences for their continuing guidance and support of the University at Buffalo Art Galleries, particularly UB Anderson Gallery. As always, I would like to thank the staff of the UB Art Galleries for their diligence and professionalism: Mary Moran, Assistant Director; Robert Scalise, Assistant Director of Exhibitions and Collections and Registrar; Virginia O’Brien, Curator of Education; Lynn Lasota, Financial and General Operations Manager; Ken Short, Head Preparator; Tom Holt, Assistant Preparator; Jim Snider, Tech Assistant; and Paul Wilcox, Maintenance Supervisor.
Sandra H. Olsen, Ph.D.
Director, UB Art Galleries