Survey: Ben Shahn Galleries

Posted August 05, 2010 by Anonymous
Part 1.
Year Founded: 
1b. Primary activity[ies] of the organization.: 
University Gallery
1c. Organization's annual budget.: 
$100,001 - $250,000
1b. Primary activity[ies] of the organization.: 
Exhibition Space
Presenting Organization
Part 2.
2a. Mission Statement: 
Mission Statement The Ben Shahn Galleries of William Paterson University mount exhibitions of art and make these available to residents of the surrounding communities and to our students and faculty. The Galleries also sponsor lectures on art and oversee sixteen collections. The mission of the galleries is to introduce contemporary art forms to those unfamiliar with them, and to expand the horizons of the already familiar audience in order to help them enjoy the arts more keenly and in greater depth. William Paterson University is committed to “promoting community outreach with opportunities for life long learning.” The gallery programs are essential to the University mission. It is our conviction that, as part of an institution of higher education, the art galleries should create an environment that is challenging and engaging, which stimulates ideas, discussion, and discovery among our visitors.
Website Link to Mission Statement:
2b. Organization History / Organizational Overview. Index of important events in organization's history.: 
Program History Through the years the University Galleries’ role has been (a) to present changing exhibitions, (b) to maintain and periodically exhibit the permanent collections, (c) to present lectures on art. The galleries have a history of service, growth, and artistic excellence, and of making exhibits and educational materials available to a broad audience. A. Galleries for Changing Exhibitions: The East and South Galleries were part of the University’s original 1968 architectural plan and are state of the art, high security facilities. The Court Gallery, originally designed as a sculpture court open to the sky, was covered with a dome in 1981; in 1986 it was upgraded and designated for exhibitions. These three spaces total 5,000 square feet and usually host two “sets” of exhibitions each semester for a total of twelve exhibits per year plus an annual exhibit of student work. The primary thrust of the University Gallery Program based in the Ben Shahn Center, is the exhibition and documentation of contemporary art with a deliberate consideration of diversity of artists, style, medium, and philosophy. The program occasionally includes historical art exhibitions. The exhibits are curated by the Gallery Director and by guest curators. The gallery has also developed exhibition exchange programs with other institutions as an affordable way to introduce more variety of viewpoints to our audiences and to share our art and ideas with other audiences. (See Program Chart.) The University has purchased individual works of art and received gifts of whole collections as well, allowing us to broaden, deepen, and diversify the program. The use of the collections in the regular exhibition program will continue to expand. B. Collections: In addition to the exhibition spaces, the Gallery Program maintains and manages the University’s sixteen collections. The significance of the development of the University’s collections is two fold: (a) the collections are available to students, faculty, and scholars for study and research and further documentation, and (b) the collections are intended to be used in thematic exhibitions and made available, along with educational materials, to the campus population and the public. Following are examples of three collections: One of the most visible collections is Sculpture on Campus, an ongoing collection started in 1991 that currently includes twenty-one large outdoor sculptures by contemporary artists of national reputation. An example of collection development is the University’s commissioning of Stephen Antonakos to create a neon sculpture to be part of the Sculpture on Campus collection. Antonakos designed “Neon” for the façade of Ben Shahn Center. (See slides of façade.) A self-guided tour of this outdoor collection is provided through the Sculpture on Campus catalog (Attached.) which is scheduled to be redesigned and reissued this year with support from the William Paterson University Alumni Association. Another easily accessible collection is of decorative arts and period paintings housed in Hobart Manor, the National Historic Site that serves as the centerpiece of the campus. Another collection that has stirred great excitement is the Joan and Gordon Tobias Collection of African and Oceanic Art given to the University in 1998. Following a year of intense research and documentation of the African art and artifacts, a major exhibit of selections from the African part of the collection was mounted in the South Gallery. Following another year of research into the Oceanic part of the collection, an exhibit of those artifacts went on view in the Court Gallery in 2000. Educational materials on these collections are available to students and the public (Attached.) and an annotated catalog of both collections is available on CD. A thematic exhibit using the African collection is scheduled for Court Gallery in the fall of 2003. In 1999 the University retained the services of the international artists’ book expert, Amy Baker Sandback, to develop a collection of artists’ books. Corporate funding provided for the purchase of over 300 artists’ books and the development of an annotated catalog available on disk for use by students and the public. A traditional illustrated catalog with an introductory essay by Amy Baker Sandback is also available. (Attached.) This collection has grown significantly over the past three years. The University Galleries continues to develop and exhibit artists’ books. Currently on view in the Court Gallery, “Life with Pocket Change and Other Pleasures” is an ambitious survey of recent creations in the book form and includes the work of 26 New Jersey artists. (Catalog attached.) C. Lectures on art have always been an integral part of the gallery program. Exhibiting artists present their work and ideas to students and the public in conjunction with the exhibits. In addition, art curators, historians, and critics are invited to present public lectures. In the past two years, guest lecturers have included: *** 3. Programming The University Galleries mount exhibitions of art accompanied by educational materials and make these available to students, faculty, and residents of the surrounding communities. Over the last two years, the East, South, and Court Galleries have hosted an average total of ten to twelve exhibitions of the work of professional artists per year plus an annual student exhibit. The schedule is planned to present a balance of (a) thematic group exhibits based on a theme or unifying principle, and (b) one person exhibits showing a breath of work for a more comprehensive understanding of the exhibiting artist’s intentions and ideas. The schedule is also planned to include a variety of mediums, styles, and philosophies. The University Gallery Committee receives proposals from individual artists and curators and arts organizations, and reviews these on a regular basis. Programming is determined by the quality of the work and its appropriateness to the mission with a consideration of diversity of artist, style, medium, and philosophy. New York Times critic, William Zimmer, pointed to this when he wrote: “…diverse but enveloping world views can be found in the separate exhibition spaces that comprise the Ben Shahn Galleries…the entire offering is a salutary experience, proving that imagination is still vital to the making of art.” Engaging professional artists and art scholars ensures programming of the highest level.
2c. Exhibition / Programming / Publishing History.: 
See above.
Part 3.
3a. Names and email addresses of Founders, Board Members, Directors or other key individuals:: 
Nancy Einreinhofer
3b. Could any of these individuals assist in providing an oral history of your organization?: 
Part 4.
4a. Is organization currently active?: 
4b. Year activity suspended if no longer active.: 
Organization Still Active
Part 5.
5a. Type of organization at its founding.: 
Non-Profit [IRS certified]
5b. Type of organization currently, or at the termination of activities.: 
Non-Profit [IRS certified]
Part 6.
6a. Does the organization have an archive?: 
6b. Are there any short or long-term threats to the organization?: 
None / Not Applicable
6c. Other threats to the organization:: 
Are there other threats to your organization? Please describe below.
Part 7.
7a. How important is to the organization to preserve the organization’s historical material. From 1 – Very Important to 5 – Not Important.: 
7b. Has planning for the preservation and documentation of archive begun?: 
7c. Does the organization know how and where to seek expertise and assistance?: 
7d. Does the organization have specific concerns regarding starting an archive working with its historic materials?: 
Technical Support / Expertise
Part 8.
8a. Is the organization's archives in the collection of another institution or promised to one?: 
8a. Location: 
IF YES to 8: University (Name)
8b. Archival materials are also located at:: 
Where are these locations?: 
Where are these locations? [I.E. Home / Office of Private Individual(s) (i.e. Former Board, Staff, Funders, etc)]
Part 9.
9. Does the organization maintain archives for any other organization.: 
IF YES to 9: 10a. Please describe:
Part 10a.
10a. Is the archive accessible to scholars, curators or researchers?: 
Part 10b.
10b. Are there conditions of access for scholars, curators or researchers?: 
Part 10c.
10c. How are arrangements made for access to archive?: 
Usually we receive a request via telephone or email and we try to accommodate.
Part 11.
The following questions address the historical materials (type, quantity and storage) of the organization. 11a. Paper Files and Documents: 
Artist Files
Exhibition or Production Files
Other Artwork
11c. Press and Promotional Materials: 
Newspaper / Magazine / Media Clippings
Posters / Flyers
Other Press or Promotional Materials:
11d. Printed Publications: 
Artists' Publications
Checklists / Performance Programs / Price Lists
Other Printed Publications - Please describe below.
exhibition catalogs
Part 12.
12. What years does the materials cover?: 
Part 13.
13a. How is the material stored?: 
Banker Boxes
File Cabinets
Three-Ring Binders
13b. Are some or all of these storage units “archival”?: 
Part 14.
14a. Estimated Number of Boxes or Milk-Crate Sized Storage Units: 
31 - 40
14b. Estimated Number of Archive Drawers: 
1 - 10
14c. Estimated Number of Archive Notebooks: 
1 - 10
14d. Estimated the total Linear Feet. ["Linear Feet" is standard measure of the quantity of archival materials on the basis of shelf space occupied or the length of drawers in vertical files or the thickness of horizontally filed materials. For example, a: 
I don’t know
Part 15.
15. Is the historical materials - or archives - inventoried or catalogued in any way, either formally or otherwise?: 
Part 16.
16a. Is there a key, index or finding aid to the materials inventoried?: 
16b. Paper-based:: 
Written or Typewritten Inventories
16c. Electronic Based:: 
Word Processing Document [i.e. Word]
Spreadsheet [i.e. Excel]
Part 16 / Electronic Files & Archival Management
16f. Does the organization have a back-up program, or back-up schedule, for its electronic records and perform monitoring of its removable media (i.e. floppies, ZIP disks, CD-ROMs, DVDs, portable hard drives, etc.)?: 
16g. Who is responsible for working with the archival material?: 
General Staff
Part 17.
17. How are new materials processed?: 
Manual System (Card File, File Folders)
Inventory List
Part 18.
18. What, if any, conservation methods are in place for both physical materials and electronic data?: 
Controlled Access
Acid-Free Housing
None or Limited
Part 20.
20a. What are the goals for the historical materials for the next year?: 
better organize archive
20b. What are the biggest challenges to reaching these short-term goals?: 
20c. What goals are in place for the historical materials for the next three to five years?: 
same as above
20d. What are the biggest challenges to reaching these long term goals?: 
same as above
20e. Are there any additional goals for the organizations historic materials?: 
Part 21.
21. Estimated cost to achieve these archival goals for the next year.: 
$3,001 - $4,000
Part 22.
22. Estimated cost to achieve these archival goals for the next five years.: 
$10,001 - $15,000
Part 24.
24. What archival issues could / should visual arts organizations address collectively in the next three to five years? Ranked from 1 (highest priority) to 5 (lowest priority).24a. Shared standards / protocols for digitization: 
Promote professional standards / protocols for digitization
Part 25.
25a. Is the organization a member of, or in contact with, any organizations concerned with archival issues?: 
Part 26.
26. Additional information, comments, observations, and questions.: 
Awareness of the importance of preserving materials seems to be the first issue. The how to follows that, then the concerns for funding. Perhaps methods that would be low cost might be developed and the information shared.
William Paterson University
Who executed this survey.: 
Nancy Einreinhofer
I wish to defer payment and allow AS-AP to use these funds to further AS-AP’s efforts to preserve the history of the alternative and avant-garde movement in America.
Is this survey complete and all appropriate questions answered?: