Release Date: January 7, 2000
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- A New York City art dealer who surprised the art world in 1991 by trading his gallery's Manhattan address for Buffalo's University Heights district now has expanded his vision to include the University at Buffalo.
David K. Anderson has donated to UB the Anderson Gallery building, with an estimated worth of up to $3 million, and has established a $2 million charitable remainder trust to assist with gallery maintenance and exhibitions.
Anderson, whose previous donations to UB include support for the Center for the Arts and the donation of nearly 300 paintings, sculptures and prints with a value totaling more than $1.5 million, also plans to transfer to the university a substantial part of the Anderson Gallery permanent collection.
"When I first saw the abandoned school building that would become my Buffalo gallery, located in the student residential section near UB, I bought it with the intention of sharing it with the university," Anderson recalled. "Now my dream is coming true as we marry the university's diverse educational resources and student enthusiasm with a gallery space and a significant art collection to achieve a synergy of imagery and technology for a future that we can only imagine."
The Anderson Gallery, located on Martha Jackson Place off of Englewood Avenue, houses an international collection of 20th-century art or, as Anderson reflected, "the collection represents the sand that fell into our shoes as we walked all these years buying pieces of art from then-unknown artists that we exhibited."
The multi-million-dollar collection began with Anderson's mother, Martha Jackson, whose New York City gallery helped to establish Abstract Expressionism as an international art movement in the early and mid-1950s. Jackson, a Buffalonian and daughter of Howard Kellogg and Cyrena Allen Case -- both from prominent Buffalo families -- was considered one of the most influential female figures in the art world until her death in 1969.
UB President William R. Greiner said Jackson had a keen eye for outstanding works by artists of the 20th century. "David continued that legacy with his own tastes and vision -- a collection of magnificent artworks so beautifully displayed in the gallery that bears his name,"
Greiner said. "The Anderson Gallery is an extremely valuable asset for UB and for the larger Western New York community."
"This gift is generating great excitement around the university community," added Kerry S. Grant, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. "The gallery and its collection will provide quality teaching tools for a major period of American art. We are particularly pleased that the gift includes a major collection of works on paper of great significance."
Grant continued: "This donation is also an important step in furthering our plans to develop a museum and curatorial studies program. This is a very exciting program and certainly given the cultural institutions in Western New York and the strength of the university, UB is well-positioned to establish a program of national and international renown in this field."
Anderson said a program that documents and exhibits rising artists could have no better curators than university students because "they own the current culture and have an enthusiasm for what's new, like showing eBay 10 days before it went public.
"What my support gives them is the encouragement and discipline to visit the studios of the unknown artists and then to return to Buffalo with documentation and a rationale for exhibiting these young artists," he added. "The gallery and supporting programs would give them the space and opportunity to do so."
Anderson began as a dealer and collector working out of his mother's gallery in New York, then relocated to Paris, opening the Galerie Anderson-Mayer in 1962. After his mother's death, he acquired her gallery and collection from the estate and renamed it the David Anderson Gallery. By 1979, Anderson and his family had returned to Buffalo to he commuted to his New York City gallery. By 1991, Anderson had relocated his gallery to Buffalo, in a state-of-the-art exhibition space that he created by converting an empty school.
In addition to gifts to UB, Anderson has given a substantial group of paintings, sculptures and works on paper -- a collection designated as the Martha Jackson Collection -- to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, along with art donations to the National Museum of American Art, the Hirschorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and the Phoenix Art Museum.
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