Current Exhibitions

Totally Dedicated: Leonard Contino, 1940–2016

Curated by Anna Conlan

January 22 – April 5, 2020
Alice and Horace Chandler Gallery and North Gallery

Leonard Contino, LADY, 1967, courtesy the Estate of Leonard Contino


Leonard Contino was a Brooklyn-born, self-taught abstract artist whose tenacious exploration of pictorial space spanned a fifty-year career. In 1959 at the age of 19, Contino was severely injured in a diving accident. Paralyzed from the shoulders down, he retained some mobility in his arms and hands, and needed to use a wheelchair for the rest of his life. While in rehabilitation at the Rusk Institute in New York City, Contino met a fellow patient, the sculptor Mark di Suvero, who would become a lifelong close friend. Di Suvero challenged him to start making art. Until this point, Contino’s creativity had been mostly directed to “pinstriping” decorative lines onto hot rod cars in his Brooklyn neighborhood. With di Suvero’s encouragement and the help of a metal brace to support his wrist, he began to draw and then to paint. Contino went on to create extraordinary art for the next five decades. He became devoted to his daily practice of painting from morning to evening, and often then making collages late into the night. Contino later observed that being an artist was like a religious calling, you had to be “totally dedicated.” 

Featuring over eighty artworks, Totally Dedicated is the largest exhibition of Contino’s work to date and encompasses large hard-edge geometric paintings, playful collages, delicate reliefs and sculptures from the 1960s through the 2000’s. It also includes two painted steel sculptures that di Suvero and Contino made together.

Jan Sawka: The Place of Memory (The Memory of Place)

Curated by Hanna Maria Sawka and Dr. Frank Boyer

February 8 – July 12, 2020
Morgan Anderson Gallery & Howard Greenberg Family Gallery

Jan Sawka, Post-Card #36 (from the series “Post-Cards”), 1987-89, printed 1990, collection Samuel  Dorsky Museum of Art, gift of the Dorsky Gallery Curatorial Programs, 2007.010.022


Jan Sawka (1946–2012) was a noted contemporary artist of Polish origin and global reach. His work is in the collections of over 60 museums worldwide. Sawka lived and worked in the mid-Hudson Valley from 1985 until his death, conceiving of and producing many of his most notable works in his High Falls, NY, studio.

This exhibition is made up of works that illuminate two aspects of his practice, his fascination with human consciousness, in this case, with memory, and his interest in place, and the places through which a human life passes. Sawka’s working method and artworks are truly visionary, in the sense that he always worked from mental images. Every work he did is open to his thoughts, his emotions, his mental associations, and, above all to memory.

Collecting Local: Twelve Years of the Hudson Valley Artists Annual Purchase Award

Curated by Anna Conlan

February 8 – July 12, 2020
Sara Bedrick Gallery

Libby Paloma, Chingona AKA Libby (from the series “Lo Que No Sabrías”), 2017, Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, Purchased with funds from the Alice & Horace Chandler Art Acquisition Fund

The Hudson Valley is home to a vibrant community of artists and makers and The Dorsky Museum is committed to supporting their work. For the last twelve years we have invited local artists to share their new work through our juried Hudson Valley Artists exhibition. From hundreds of submissions, curators select artwork that resonates with a chosen theme. The aim is to gather exciting new work in a cohesive exhibition, whilst demonstrating the strength and diversity of contemporary art across the eleven counties. Thanks to the Alice and Horace Chandler Art Acquisitions Fund, each year artwork from the Hudson Valley Artists exhibition is chosen for the Annual Purchase Award and becomes part of our permanent collection. Collecting Local allows the public to see these outstanding artworks displayed together for the first time.


Curated by Wayne Lempka

February 8 – July 12, 2020
Seminar Room Gallery

Captured Soldiers & US tank

Robert Capa, Captured Soldiers & USA Tank, 1944, gift of Howard Greenberg

As our world becomes increasingly chaotic, the threat of war occurring on our home soil appears more likely to be a reality rather than a possibility. Since the beginning of time, both major and minor conflicts between individual ethnic groups and nations has had a significant impact on the course of history and on the power to shape and change our world.

Was there ever a time in history when there was not some warring faction facing off against another group of people?  One would be hard pressed to find a time period when the world was completely free of conflicts. Beginning with primitive man in the bronze age, to the earliest battles in ancient Mesopotamia, to medieval Europe, to today’s wars in the Middle East and beyond, armed conflict has been a primary preoccupation throughout history and its use has become deeply rooted in our culture.

The Dorsky Collects: Selections from the Permanent Collection

Curated by Wayne Lempka

Corridor Gallery


Milton Avery, Card Players, 1944, oil on canvas, gift of Mr. & Mrs. Roy R. Neuberger, 1954.002

From its humble beginnings in the 1950s, the permanent collection of the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art (formerly known as The College Art Gallery) has grown to comprise roughly 6,000 objects spanning over 4,000 years. While many individuals have been responsible for the increase in the number of objects accessioned into the collection, it was through the initial efforts of both the University’s Faculty Wives Club and the Arts & Crafts Society that a permanent collection was established on campus. When one considers that the few hundred objects which initially formed the core of the permanent collection in the 1950s, have grown to comprise approximately 6,000 objects, one cannot help but reflect upon the diligent efforts and the extreme generosity of a vast number of patrons over the last six decades.

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