Formed in April of 1891, the Buffalo Society of Artists is one of the oldest arts organizations in Western New York. The other being The Buffalo Fine Arts Academy, predecessor and parent organization of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, founded in 1862.
The history of these two organizations is tightly intertwined and reads as a continuing loop of discussions and controversy over issues such as the appreciation of local artists and traditional vs. modern and progressive art. The role of a publicly funded local art gallery and the decisions it makes in promoting and showcasing art of a particular region or genre has been an ongoing debate between the two factions.
Although they enjoyed a close relationship in the early years, the Society’s formation may have come about in direct relationship to a comment by Ralph H. Plumb, then president of The Buffalo Fine Arts Academy that “There is no art in Buffalo”.
Feeling that the Academy was not responding to or representing local artists, the Society looked to change that perspective. Thus began a long history of a complicated and often vitriolic relationship between the Buffalo Society of Artists and the Fine Arts Academy.
In 2021, the Buffalo Society of Artists (BSA) celebrates its 130th Anniversary with a non-juried Open Members Exhibition, including Exhibiting and Associate members. As one of the oldest continually operating arts organizations in the country, this is another stellar milestone for the Buffalo arts community.
In celebration of the Anniversary year the BSA has several exhibitions planned including a Spring Exhibition, Catalogue Exhibition, Past Presidents Exhibition and Thumb Box Exhibition.
As with so many other events, this exhibition will be virtual. That said, it’s a great opportunity to get to know the BSA artists, and their works.
This exhibition will be held virtually beginning February 19. To learn more about the exhibit, and to view the artists’ works during the show, click here.
Lead image: Artist Jeffrey Barnes– Becca, 2021 – Fine Art Photography