The University Art Museum (UAM), designed by Edward Durell Stone, is an iconic example of late twentieth-century modernism. The Museum comprises three art galleries, which provide more than 9,000 square feet of exhibition space for six to eight exhibitions per year. The Museum maintains a commitment to presenting contemporary art that broadens the worldview of students and external audiences alike; exhibiting work by internationally, nationally, and regionally recognized emerging artists, as well as UAlbany Alumni and MFA thesis candidates.
See upcoming exhibitions.
UAM serves as a caretaker for the University at Albany’s Fine Art Collections, which consist of over 3,000 works of art, with a focus on modern and contemporary works on paper, among them works by Vito Acconci, Mel Bochner, Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Willem deKooning, Richard Diebenkorn, Leon Golub, Donald Judd, Ellsworth Kelly, Yasumasa Morimura, Louise Nevelson, Eduardo Paolozzi, Dieter Roth, Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist, Yinka Shonibare, Lorna Simpson, Robert Smithson, Kara Walker, and Andy Warhol.
Selected works from the Collections are exhibited in public spaces on campus, allowing the museum to share works with the campus community and visitors to the university, educating audiences about contemporary art and enhancing the environment for students, faculty, administration, and staff.
Public programs explore contemporary art and culture by presenting a combination of established voices and new perspectives in the arts. Guest speakers include artists, theorists, writers, and scholars engaged in the critical examination of issues that shape and inspire us as individuals, cultures, and communities. The Museum aims to bring the university community and the people of the capital region together into closer engagements with each other and with current cultural issues. Speakers have included Vito Acconci, Roberta Smith, William Pope.L, Peter Schjeldahl, John Yau, Robb Storr, Jerry Saltz, Peter Saul, Lynn Tillman, Mary Reid Kelley, Carroll Dunham, Bob Nickas, Gerard & Kelly, and Sara Cwynar.
The Museum works closely with many academic departments and programs to promote museum-based pedagogy through class visits and independent projects. Area colleges and high schools visit the Museum to view exhibitions for class assignments. The Museum offers guidance to M.F.A. candidates in preparation for their thesis exhibitions and provides them with the opportunity to exhibit their work in a professional museum setting.
An Internship Program provides opportunities for students to learn first-hand about museum operations; students work alongside contemporary artists, curators, and museum professionals in all phases of exhibition production including research, design, installation, and programming. Work study, community/public service, and volunteer students assist in exhibition installation, general clerical work, and security and surveillance.
A faculty of accomplished artists and scholars invigorates both an undergraduate curriculum in studio art and art history and graduate-level MA and MFA programs. In addition, the department sponsors a lively lecture series of visiting artists, critics and art historians. While the Fine Arts Building is the main facility for art history, photography, printmaking, painting and drawing areas, the Boor Sculpture Studio, opened in 2002, boasts state-of-the-art sculpture and digital facilities for both traditional and emerging media. Working closely with the University Art Museum as well as with other museums in the Capital Region, the Department of Art and Art History offers its students unique opportunities to gain hands-on experience in museum work through internships, classes held in museum exhibition spaces, and a special curatorial studies class in which students curate their own exhibitions.