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About this collection

From its modest beginnings in 1939, the permanent collection of The Dorsky Museum has grown to include over 5,500 objects. Encyclopedic in nature, the strengths of the collection include American Art, with an emphasis on the Hudson Valley and Catskill Regions, 19th, 20th and 21st century photography and metals, and a small but excellent world collection of art and artifacts dating back to ancient times and representing diverse cultures. An annual Hudson Valley Artist Purchase Award initiated in 2009 has spurred the growth of contemporary art within the collection.

While the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art officially opened its doors to the public in 2001, the collecting of artworks at the State University of New York at New Paltz has a much longer history beginning with the acquisition of a painting by James Scott in 1939. In 1956, with the help and dedication of a visionary art committee, the university began to earnestly acquire works of art from various sources leading to the establishment of its first official permanent collection. Yet, the bulk of The Dorsky’s holdings has been built by the generosity of others who, over the years, have donated art works from their personal collections.

Through its collections and exhibitions, The Dorsky supports and enriches the academic programs at the college, presents a range of world art for study and enjoyment, and serves as a center for Hudson Valley arts and culture.

 
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