Neuberger Museum Reopening

After a ten-month renovation, the Neuberger Museum of Art at SUNY Purchase College is set to reopen next weekend.

A6 Ruben Ortiz Torres
Published April 18, 2013 7:41 PM
3 min read


A6 Ruben Ortiz TorresAfter a ten-month renovation, the Neuberger Museum of Art at SUNY Purchase College is set to reopen next weekend.


By Arthur Stampleman


A6 Ruben Ortiz TorresAfter a ten-month renovation, the Neuberger Museum of Art at SUNY Purchase College is set to reopen next weekend. To learn what museum- goers can expect to see then, we met with Director Paola Morsiani and Associate Curator of the Art of the Americas Patrice Giasson.


Gathering in the museum entrance lobby, wearing hard hats as the building was still somewhat of a construction site, Director Morsiani pointed out that most of the work involved changes above the ceilings or in the mechanical rooms the public never sees – replacement of the heating, air conditioning, and ventilation equipment.


A native of Venice, Italy, Morsiani was most recently Curator of Contemporary Art at the Cleveland Museum of Art, following previous positions at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, and the New York Drawing Center. As the new Director of the Neuberger, she is considering making some changes. The museum’s second floor will continue to focus on the permanent collection, but will no longer be restricted to the gifts from Roy Neuberger.


A6 Enrique Chagoya“Mr. Neuberger’s gifts number 800,” said Morsiani, ”but the museum’s collection includes 6,000 other pieces that should also be displayed.” She added, “The public, local artists, and art students will all gain by having an opportunity to see the range of works in the permanent collection.” The change would also help promote acquisitions, because there would be an opportunity to display brand-new works. The African collection will remain on the main floor, but with some reorganization and links to other art.


Plans for exhibits over the coming year include:


• “The Compromised Land: Recent Photography and Video from Israel;”


• “Dear Diary: Update All” (a reference to social media);


• A tribute to Roy Neuberger next year for the 40th anniversary of his gifts, which established the museum (accompanied by a special catalog);


• “The Art of the Zero” (proto-conceptual 1960s/70s art given to the museum by sculptor George Rickey).


Other initiatives include the Neuberger Young Collectors, which is already underway, the development of a more comprehensive website to communicate with museumgoers and represent the Neuberger’s projects and exhibits.


A6 Nadin OspinaThe special exhibit for the museum opening is “Pre-Columbian Remix: The Art of Enrique Chagoya, Demián Flores, Rubén Ortiz-Torres and Nadín Ospina.” It features 90 works by these leading Latin American artists from Mexico and Colombia and runs through July 14.


Ospina’s sculpture includes a giant inflatable that was at the 2001 Venice Biennial, and figures combining cartoon and ancient elements. Flores’ large mural paintings mix pre-Columbian figures with images appropriated from pop culture. The hybrid photography of Ortiz-Torres captures pre-Columbian images he has come across in strange modern settings. And, the prints of Chagoya, one as long as 20 feet, use pre-Columbian iconography to address bold political issues of the present. A number of special programs are planned in connection with this exhibit. Giasson said there is a common theme in their work. “They mix elements of pre-Columbian art, mass media, and modern art, which allows them to inscribe their own time and concerns into the historical context.”


The Neuberger will reopen to the public on Sunday, April 28 with a free reception from 1-4 p.m. It will include hors d’oeuvres, entertainment, and Latin American jazz performed by SUNY students. The main floor galleries for special exhibits will be open then. The permanent collection galleries will reopen in late May.


For more information, call 251-6100 or go to


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