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The Making of a Museum: 50 Years

On View
January 24 - December 31, 2024

For fifty years, the Neuberger Museum of Art has fostered learning, sparked the creative process, and investigated understandings of the world in which we live through its collections, exhibitions, and education programs. 

Its first exhibition, a 1974 project entitled The Making of a Museum: 1, featured many of the works of art that form the core of our current collection.

In honor of the Museum’s 50th anniversary, a multi-part exhibition entitled The Making of a Museum: 50 Years features four distinct projects that will be unveiled at different times over the course of Spring 2024. Each tells a part of the compelling story of how the Neuberger became one of the country’s most respected and important academic museums. 

  • 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.
    OPENS: January 24, 2024

  • 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. 
    OPENS: January 24, 2024

  • Threnody is a 250-foot-wide site-specific painting created by American artist Cleve Gray for the opening of the Neuberger Museum of Art. 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. 
    OPENS: February 21, 2024

  • 1974—2024 tells the story of the years from the time of the formal opening of the Museum to the present. A multi-media installation, this project features key objects, exhibitions, programs, and transformative moments in the history of the Neuberger Museum of Art.
    OPENS: March 20, 2024

The Making of a Museum: 50 Years stories, exhibitions, and public programs have been organized by the staff of the Neuberger Museum of Art. 

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.