• Art

    Buffalo akg art museum launches national council

    With Eleven Founding Members, National Council Is Dedicated to Sharing the Buffalo AKG with Global Contemporary Art Community

    The Buffalo AKG Art Museum formally launched the National Council, a new group that will bring together the voices and viewpoints of individuals from across the country, at a special celebration in Buffalo last weekend. The Council’s members are united in their passion for contemporary art and dedication to advancing the museum’s mission to flourish as an exceptional hub of artistic and creative energies that enriches and transforms people’s lives in and beyond Western New York. The launch of the National Council comes on the heels of the opening of the Buffalo AKG’s new campus, designed by OMA/Shohei Shigematsu in collaboration with Cooper Robertson. The culmination of an unprecedented $230 million capital campaign and three-and-a-half years of construction, the Buffalo AKG comprises more than 50,000 square feet of prime exhibition space; five state-of-the-art studio classrooms; major site-specific art installations; and more than half an acre of new public green space.

    “With this summer’s opening of the new Buffalo AKG, we are reintroducing this 161-year-old museum on the global stage,” said Janne Sirén, Peggy Pierce Elfvin Director. “Though the Buffalo AKG has played a significant and often decisive role in many of the most important developments in the art world, the establishment of the National Council is the first time that we have formally convened a North American group of collectors, supporters, and lovers of art who will guide and advance the mission of the renewed and revitalized museum. This is a transformative moment in our history and the launch of the National Council is a fitting capstone to the opening season of the Buffalo AKG.”

    Advised by Amy Cappellazzo, a native of Buffalo and member of the Buffalo AKG Art Museum’s Board of Directors, the National Council is composed of visionary collectors and civic leaders who share the Buffalo AKG’s passion for discovery, learning, and community engagement. The National Council’s eleven founding members are:

    1. Cynthia van Eck (co-chair), Rye, NY
    2. Antonio Valverde (co-chair) and Anna Valverde, New York, NY
    3. Abby and Doug Bennett, Rochester, NY
    4. Jane DiRenzo Pigott, Park City, UT
    5. Mark Giambrone, Dallas, TX
    6. Michael and Abby Gregory, Dallas, TX
    7. Charlotte Grey Jackson, Santa Fe, NM
    8. Deborah Ronnen, Rochester, NY
    9. Matthew P. Schaab, Miami, FL
    10. Richard Stamberger, Washington, DC
    11. Amy Blum Houston (New York, NY) and Nancy Houston (Nova Scotia, Canada)

    The National Council will have up to thirty-five members and will meet twice annually. As a geographically dispersed group, council members serve as the museum’s ambassadors in communities across the United States. The National Council will provide intellectual guidance and feedback related to artistic and cultural phenomena, as well as other relevant topics, to the museum’s Board of Directors and staff in Buffalo. Together, the council members will decide how their membership dues are collectively designated to support upcoming Buffalo AKG exhibitions.

    The launch of the National Council is the Buffalo AKG’s latest move in its systematic effort to advance sustainable partnerships and collaborations beyond Western New York. In 2012, the museum founded the Canadian Friends of the Buffalo AKG Art Museum with supporters in Canada. In 2021, the museum launched the AKG Nordic Art and Culture Initiative, whose seventy-two Founding Patrons supported the creation of a new transatlantic platform for art and artists working in or associated with the Nordic Region.


    About the Buffalo AKG Art Museum

    Founded in 1862, the Buffalo AKG Art Museum (formerly the Albright- Knox Art Gallery) is the sixth oldest public art institution in the United States. For more than 160 years, the Buffalo AKG has collected, conserved, and exhibited the art of its time, often working directly with living artists. This tradition has given rise to one of the world’s most extraordinary collections of modern and contemporary art.

    In June 2023, following the completion of the most significant campus development and expansion project in its history, the Buffalo AKG opened anew to the public. The project is funded by a $230 million capital campaign, the largest such campaign for a cultural institution in the history of Western New York, including $195 million raised for construction and $35 million in additional operating endowment funds.