The University at Buffalo College of Arts and Sciences has received a multimillion dollar collection of archaeological and ethnographic objects that will be on display this weekend at the UB Anderson Gallery. The premiere opening of the exhibit – “Cravens World: The Human Aesthetic” – will take place this Sunday, March 28, from 1-5 p.m. for anyone interested in checking it out. Admission is free of charge.
The 1,100-piece collection was donated by former student Annette Cravens, MSW ’68, who personally collected all of the objects during more than 40 years of traveling around the world. The oldest artifacts, from Asia, Mesopotamia, South America and Europe, date back as far as 4,500 BC. The new exhibit features a large room, called “Cravens World,” that showcases 126 objects from around the world in transparent, acrylic cubes shaped into a life-size globe, allowing each of them to be experienced from a full 360-degree view.
“We came up with the idea of the globe to reflect Annette’s world travels and her unique way of viewing objects and of seamlessly moving from culture to culture without borders or bias,” Peter Biehl, associate professor of anthropology at UB and director of the project, said in a press release.
Another 451 objects adorn several wall cabinets and drawers throughout the room, organized according to their geographic location. The room also features an interactive touch screen that will enable visitors to access information on the objects, cultures, countries, people and artists who created them. Meanwhile, modern prints, paintings and sculptures from the Cravens collection will be on display at the Anderson Gallery, revealing the aesthetics that are shared by modern works of art and ancient archaeological objects.
The acquisition of the Cravens collection, which will now serve as a resource for the entire UB community, marks a momentous occasion for the university. The permanent installation of the curated objects will boost UB’s profile as a center for world cultural heritage research, and also enhance the role the Anderson Gallery plays in the education of its students.
UB Anderson Art Gallery:
1 Martha Jackson Place
Buffalo, NY 14214
Photo: Provided by Mehrdad Hadighi of Studio for Architecture