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SummerArts: College Art Museums

Syracuse University Art Galleries (Syracuse, NY)

Shaffer Art Building
Syracuse University
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Wrapped as they are in a fairly generic name, and ensconced in a chilly northern town, it’s easy to overlook the Syracuse University Art Galleries. Art aficionados do so at their peril, however, as Syracuse University has quietly built itself a substantial permanent collection. Founded in 1874 – making it one of the oldest university collections in the United States – the SUArt Galleries collection numbers some 45,000 pieces; its current focus is on 20th century American art, specifically works on paper, and notable holdings include photography by Berenice Abbott and Philippe Halsman, wood engravings by Winslow Homer and prints by Jan Gelb. The collection is also particularly strong in European art, and boasts a wide selection of ethnographic holdings from Chinese, Korean, Japanese and African cultures.

Recent renovations to the galleries and its storage facility have served to open up access to the collection; patrons are now able to view and examine more than one thousand ethnographic artifacts that had previously been off-limits. These renovations have also allowed for expanded display areas, enabling SUArt to display more of its collection of American paintings, sculpture and glassware. If you have the time and are inclined, it’s worth taking a stroll around campus; roughly sixty sculptures and paintings from the collection are on display. In the spring, SUArt hosts performance showcases for the school’s drama graduates and music MFA candidates; there’s also an annual concert in the fall by Cantus Novus, the school’s student-run new music organization, in which new grad student compositions are debuted. (JM)

Syracuse University Art Galleries Information

  • Public Transportation: (the free Connective Corridor Shuttle has a stop at SUArt Galleries)
  • Handicapped Accessibility: Good
  • Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 11 a.m.–4:30 p.m., open Thursdays until 8 p.m., closed Mondays, University holidays (including summer break), “green” days, and during the re-installation of exhibitions
  • Admission: Free
  • Tour: Some exhibitions offer tours, while others are self-guided. Call to find out if the exhibition you want to see has a guided tour.