Binghamton University Art Museum to reopen its doors October 11


After a year of renovation, the Binghamton University Art Museum is set to reopen its doors at a reception scheduled for 4 p.m. Friday, October 11, at the museum located in the Fine Arts Building. The reception is free and open to the public.

The renovation has expanded the museum by about 1,000 square feet of exhibition space and added an eight-foot wide balcony viewing area.

“The reopening of the Art Museum is very important because it is a visual library for the campus and community,” said Lynn Gamwell, director of the art museum. “It is a place where students and local residents can see with their own eyes objects from all around the world spanning 5000 years."

The additional space will accommodate a new Asian collection to be dedicated to donor alums Susan and Stanley Reifer. The collection features items such as furniture, prints, ceramic objects and bronze vessels.

Gamwell is excited about reopening the museum with an expanded and reinstalled collection.

“The Reifer donation has especially enriched the University's Asian art collection,” she said. “They have given the Museum its oldest piece of art, a terracotta vessel from prehistoric China (the Neolithic era), and twelve bronze vessels, which have survived thousands of years. These are irreplaceable cultural artifacts and we are very lucky to have the opportunity of sharing them with both the campus and local community."

Two of the more unique pieces of furniture in the collection are folding chairs carved in wood with metal fittings and a seat woven from fine rope. Although more than a century old, they have been folded countless times and are in superb condition.

Several Japanese wood-block prints also make up part of the collection, most dating from the nineteenth century. The prints present a variety of scenes from the theater to everyday life in the home. The images were cut into blocks of wood, one for each color, and then printed in superimposed layers.

The crowning glory of the new ceramic acquisitions for the Museum are a pair of tall, thin vases painted with a very pale green "celadon" glaze. They were made during the Southern Song dynasty (c. 1127 – 1279 AD.) and feature images of animals with bird figurines perched on each lid.

The Asian collection also includes 12 bronze vessels dating from the Shang dynasty (c. 1500 - 1050 BC) and from the Zhou dynasty (c. 1050 - 221 BC). Although made as functional objects, they were decorated to make them more attractive. Some are tripod vessels, which allow a fire to be built under them and used to cook food. Others are rounded with side handles and designed for use in eating and drinking wine.

The Binghamton University Art Museum is open year round, Tuesday to Sunday from  1-4 p.m. It is closed Monday and holidays. Admission is free.
For more information, contact the Art Museum at 607-777-2634 or visit

Last Updated: 9/17/13