The Economy Project
10:26 am
Mon September 28, 2009

Collectors Gallery at Albright Knox Art Museum is Latest Victim of Cash Crunch

Buffalo, NY – The Albright Knox Art Gallery is scaling back again to help get through the economic crisis. It is now official. The Collectors Gallery, featuring local artists, will close permanently at the end of October.

Click the audio player above to hear Joyce Kryszak's full story now or use your podcasting software to download it to your computer or iPod.

The Collectors Gallery has been a familiar institution within the museum since 1933. The volunteer-run gallery spotlights regional artists and gives the public a chance to become art patrons. Museum director Louis Grachos said the painful decision to close the collectors gallery was made after an extensive review of all museum programming.

Other cost savings measures in recent months have included, reduced hours, a temporary furlough for staff, and raised admission prices.

But Grachos said the museum is not abandoning local artists. He said the museum is still able to maintain its other forms of support for regional artists. He said Gusto at the Gallery often showcases local artists. And Grachos said the museum's sponsorship will continue for the "Beyond and In Western New York" curated art show.

Grachos said it is also important the museum not compete with the many art galleries that have popped up all over the city in recent years. He said there are about 15 venues where local artists can exhibit their work.

To get through the economic crisis, Grachos said it is important for the museum to refocus on its core mission. And that will also mean abandoning, for awhile, the big traveling exhibits. That is part of the three-year plan developed to help weather the fiscal storm. Instead, Grachos said that over the next five years the museum will mount exhibits that feature works from the permanent collection.

Grachos added that they are hopeful some additional grant support will come through soon that could allow the gallery to return to regular hours Tuesday through Sunday.