Upcoming Exhibitions

Mary Frank: The Observing Heart

Curated by David Hornung

February 5 – July 17, 2022
Morgan Anderson Gallery and Howard Greenberg Family Gallery

Mary Frank, Lift, 2021, courtesy the artist

As part of our Hudson Valley Masters series, this exhibition presents Mary Frank’s powerful artwork from over six decades, which has always centered on the twin themes of social justice and the preservation of the natural world. Acclaimed artist/activist Mary Frank has been making art in her Manhattan and Hudson Valley studios for over sixty years. She is an independent spirit who emerged during the years of rising feminism in the early 70’s and has always followed a personal vision distinct from prevailing art world fashion. Mary Frank: The Observing Heart is a gathering of sculpture, painting, drawings, prints, and photographs from throughout her illustrious career.

Somewhere in Advance of Nowhere: Freedom Dreams in Contemporary Art

Curated by nico wheadon

February 5 – April 10, 2022
Alice and Horace Chandler Gallery and North Gallery

Yashua Klos, The Generosity of a Hand With No Work To Do, 2021, courtesy the artist


Somewhere in Advance of Nowhere: Freedom Dreams in Contemporary Art lauds the vital role of artists in dismantling broken systems, envisioning new shared realities and building future alternatives. Organized by guest curator nico wheadon, the exhibition features works by eighteen artists and two artist collectives and draws inspiration from Robin D.G. Kelley’s seminal book, Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination. Taking up Kelley’s provocation that “without new visions we don't know what to build, only what to knock down,” the exhibiting artists offer tools to bridge the distance between the world as one might freely imagine it and the world as it actually is. The late Black poet Jayne Cortez described this site of convergence between dreams and reality as, “somewhere in advance of nowhere.” With its focus on unearthing strategies that can be shared between individuals fighting historical oppression and across social movements more broadly, this exhibition mobilizes our collective imagination to envision a freer society here and now. It prompts visitors to both radically and urgently orient themselves along a spectrum of liberatory practice, from individual expressions of agency to collective social action.

The Dorsky at 20: Reflections at a Milestone (Part II)

Curated by Wayne Lempka

February 5 – July 17, 2022
Sara Bedrick Gallery

Andrew Lyght, Painting Structure P340, 2018, gift of The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Foundation

Continuing to mark our 20th anniversary, we share more recent and promised gifts to the Museum’s permanent collection. It not only reflects on our twenty years of being an important cultural force in the region, but honors and celebrates the important individuals who have so generously given exceptional art gifts in order to ensure The Dorsky Museum will continue to be an abundant resource not only for the SUNY New Paltz campus community but for visitors far and wide.

This exhibition will be the second rendition of a two-part series where we reflect on our history, plan for our future, and honor all those who have helped to shape The Dorsky Museum into what it is today.

Follies and Picturesque Tourism

Curated by Kerry Dean Carso

February 5 – March 11, 2022
Seminar Room Gallery

American News Company, Kingfisher Tower, Otsego Lake, 1908, postcard, courtesy private collection


In the nineteenth century, middle-class Americans engaged in “picturesque tourism” by travelling to sites of natural beauty as an escape from rapid industrialization and urbanization.  Buildings such as temples, summerhouses, prospect towers, and ruins—known as “follies”—ornamented and framed the landscape for the viewers.  This exhibition examines follies and picturesque tourism in New York State through prints, paintings, postcards, photographs, book publications, and ephemera, to understand the tourist experience of the time.

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.

Madonna and Child: A Journey from Conservation to Restoration

Curated by Abigail Mack

March 30 – July 17, 2022
Seminar Room Gallery

Unknown, Italian(?), Madonna and Child, 16th c., gift of Mr. & Mrs. Wilbur Campbell, 1949.002

This exhibition will explore, through photographic documentation, the steps taken by art conservator Abigail Mack as she approached the initial conservation of the Dorsky’s Museum’s 16th-century Italian plaster relief of the Madonna and Child. The story of how this task changed from a conservation to a restoration project will be highlighted. 

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