The Making of a Museum: 50 Years

The Making of a Museum: 50 Years

Neuberger Museum of Art at Purchase College, SUNY

April 10, 2024
The Making of a Museum: 50 Years
A multi-part exhibition celebrating the Museum’s 50th Anniversary
January 24–December 21, 2024
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Neuberger Museum of Art anniversary events: April 13–17
Neuberger Museum of Art at Purchase College, SUNY
735 Anderson Hill Rd
Purchase, NY 10577
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Located at the heart of Purchase College, State University of New York, the Neuberger Museum of Art opened its doors in 1974. Over the next 50 years, the NEU has become one of the country’s largest and most respected academic museums. 

In honor of its golden anniversary, a multi-part exhibition entitled The Making of a Museum: 50 Years features many of the works of art that form the core of the Museum’s current collection. Four distinct projects illustrate how an expansive community of artists, students, members, friends, neighbors, faculty, and staff has empowered the Museum to champion those who create art, engage with art, and discover meaning through art: 

The Promised Gift tells the story of Roy R. Neuberger’s 1969 grand and optimistic philanthropic contribution, a gift of 300 works of art to the State University of New York. The exhibition features a selection of the works encompassed in that promised gift, which was accessioned into the collection of the Museum over the course of its first ten years.

1969–1974 tells the story of the inception of the Museum. It explores the role of Roy R. Neuberger as one of the most important collectors of his day, the conceptualization, design, and construction of the Museum, and its use in the early 1970s by the students and faculty of Purchase College. 

Threnody, a 250-foot-wide site-specific painting by American artist Cleve Gray, was created for the opening of the Museum. At that time, college students across the country were demonstrating against the conflict in Vietnam. An active anti-war supporter, Gray saw this commission as an opportunity to express his hope for humanity’s spiritual and emotional healing. 

1974–2024 tells the story of the years from the time of the formal opening of the Museum to the present. This multi-media installation features key objects, exhibitions, programs, and transformative moments in the Museum’s history.

Organized by the entire staff of the Neuberger Museum of Art with the guidance of Museum director Tracy Fitzpatrick, The Making of a Museum: 50 Years exhibition and related public programs are supplemented by a series of fifty stories. Each story plays an important role in honoring the institutions’ past, celebrating its present, and preparing the Museum to move boldly forward into its next 50 years.

Generous financial support for this exhibition has been provided by ArtsWestchester, with funding made possible by Westchester County government with the support of County Executive George Latimer; the Purchase College Foundation; and the Friends of the Neuberger Museum of Art. Additional support for Neuberger Museum of Art exhibitions and programs has been provided by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.

Friends, neighbors, and guests from around the globe are celebrating with the Museum during a series of social events this month and a year-long schedule of artist talks, lectures, and other programming. Learn more about the events on the anniversary webpage.

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Neuberger Museum of Art at Purchase College, SUNY
April 10, 2024

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