Annette Cravens, MSW ’68, of Buffalo, New York, has donated her multi-million dollar collection of archaeological and ethnographic objects —dating as far back as 4,500 BC — nearly doubling the size and exponentially broadening the the collection of the University at Buffalo College of Arts and Sciences. Formerly focused on European and American modern and contemporary art, the Cravens collection extends the reach of the visual arts at UB Anderson Gallery from modern to ancient times.
The collection has been curated into a world-class permanent installation, Cravens World, which presents an innovative, inspired design for “open storage,” providing visible access to an entire collection. Objects from around the world are displayed in transparent, acrylic cubes. On this display, 126 objects can be experienced from 360-degree views, which are organized into six thematic groups. Wall cabinets and drawers in the room house another 451 objects organized by geographic location. An interactive touch screen allows visitors to access information on the objects, and gain information about the cultures, countries, people and artists who created them.
The universality of the human aesthetic is apparent to the visitor standing in the Cravens Room. Even more observable is the stunning diversity of expression by individuals across many generations and traditions.
Exhibition overview from museum website