Albright-Knox Art Gallery to become Buffalo AKG Art Museum
Nineteen shovels, one big expansion
Photos by JP Thimot
A chilly november day didn’t stop more than 100 art patrons from attending a groundbreaking that symbolizes a new era for the Albright-Knox Art Museum. First, there were speeches and presentations indoors, with all the major players onstage in the museum’s auditorium. Among the speakers was Jeffrey Gundlach, who has donated more than $70 million of the funds necessary to add a new building and revamp the current museum buildings, which are all receiving new identities. The new structure, which adds 30,000 feet of exhibition space, is to be named after Gundlach, while the Neoclassic 1905 building is to be named after the late Buffalo banker and philanthropist Robert Wilmers. The 1962 buildings are being named in honor of Seymour Knox Jr.
Architect Shohei Shigematsu of OMA speaks on the AK360 process.
When the new museum opens in 2022, it becomes the Buffalo AKG Art Museum (the G is for Gundlach). For many observers of Buffalo’s art scene, this has been a dizzying process, in which— over just a few years—what many would call a pipedream became an expected reality. It’s safe to say that November 22, 2019, the day of the shovels, will be a day to remember.