Claire Shuttleworth (1867-1930), Flags Flying, Avenue of the Allies, Main Street, Buffalo, 1919; oil on canvas, 30 ½ x 26 ½ inches, framed; Collection of the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society
Time Share: An Historic Collaboration
Presented by an Anonymous Donor
On View Saturday, October 23, 2010–Sunday, May 29, 2011
Two of Buffalo’s finest museums collaborated to select art that reflects our regional history—portraits and landscapes that document glorious historical moments, vignettes of everyday life, iconic views of Niagara Falls, and patriotism after World War I. The Burchfield Penney Art Center was pleased to celebrate the collection of the Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society. Our two institutions share focused regional missions. The Historical Society, strives “to tell the stories of Western New York, from the ordinary to the extraordinary.” The Burchfield Penney Art Center is “dedicated to the art and vision of Charles E. Burchfield and distinguished artists of Buffalo-Niagara and Western New York State.” Through an aesthetic lens, we present historic portraits and landscapes to bring attention to the artists’ mastery.
The art provides a documentary look at individuals, events and the environment as it looked more than a century ago. The earliest painting in the exhibition by William John Wilgus is reminiscent of Rembrandt’s shadowy works. Playful, self-portraits portray the artist Joseph Josephs as a master of various trades: rail-splitter and tanner. Raphael Beck, best known for his 1901 Pan-American Exposition logo design, shares with us his larger-than-life portrait of President McKinley, who was tragically assassinated by the Temple of Music, making the painting not just a great artistic expression, but also a hallmark of history. Swedish-born Lars Gustaf Sellstedt taught and promoted the arts, was one of the founders of the Buffalo Fine Arts Academy in 1862, and wrote a comprehensive history, Art in Buffalo, in 1910. Claire Shuttleworth’s celebration of the end of World War I, Flags Flying, Avenue of the Allies, Main St, Buffalo (1919) brings to mind the patriotic flag paintings Childe Hassam produced in New York City.
The exhibition also included the work of Lt. Clement Beuchat, James Francis Brown, Evelyn Rumsey Cary, Charles Abel Corwin, Reginald Cleveland Coxe, John Renfrew Dean, William Graham, Mildred C. Green, Hamilton Hamilton, Eugenie Hauenstein, John Ross Key, Thomas Le Clear, Frank C. Penfold, Ferdinand Richardt, Augustus Rockwell, John C. Rother, Amos W. Sangster, A. Thiese, and Urquhart Wilcox.
Importantly, a significant corresponding exhibition Fact, Fiction & Spectacle: The Trial of Red Jacket was presented at the Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society from October 8, 2010 – August 7, 2011. Featuring the colossal painting, The Trial of Red Jacket, by John Mix Stanley, the exhibition tells the stories behind the canvas through the exploration of four major themes. These themes include the artist, John Mix Stanley (1814-1872); the social dynamic of life on the Buffalo Creek Reservation; Native American clothing, jewelry and accessories; and the question of why Red Jacket so captured the public's imagination.
The curatorial team included Cynthia Conides, past-Executive Director and Walter Mayer, Director of Museum Collections of the Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society, as well as Burchfield Penney Art Center co-curators Albert L. Michaels, Professor, Dept. of History and Social Studies Education, Buffalo State College and Nancy Weekly, Head of Collections and the Charles Cary Rumsey Curator. Individuals whose assistance was essential included, Tullis Johnson, Mary Helen Miskuly, Cynthia M. Van Ness, Alyssa Klena, Sabine Fisher, and Lianna Tatman.
The exhibition and accompanying brochure was made possible through an anonymous donation. The Burchfield Penney Art Center is supported in part with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts and Erie County. Additional support is provided by Buffalo State College, the Elizabeth Elser Doolittle Trust, the Mary A. H. Rumsey Foundation, the James Carey Evans Endowment, and the museum’s members and friends.