Around the MAG

Around the MAG

What’s New

Welcome to Around the MAG, the Memorial Art Gallery’s online magazine. Check this site frequently for breaking news, feature articles and special offers.

Longtime Friend of MAG Earns Top Honors at Fine Craft Show

Stephen Merritt of Rochester received Best in Show at the 2015 Fine Craft Show & Sale.Five artists were honored for their work at this year’s Fine Craft Show and Sale, held November 6–8 at MAG. Among them was ceramic artist Stephen Merritt of Rochester, a longtime friend of MAG whose work is in the museum’s permanent collection; he received Best in Show. Awards of Excellence went to Lisa & Scott Cylinder (jewelry) of Oley, PA; Kathleen Curtin (jewelry) of Tamworth, NH; and Sandra Miller (fiber) of West Chester, PA.

Pictured: Fine Craft Show chair Marguerite Quinn, Merritt and MAG director Jonathan Binstock.

MAG Comes Alive at the Museum of the Dead

On October 29, a sellout crowd got an early start on Halloween at MAG’s first Museum of the Dead. It was, in the words of director Jonathan Binstock, “a screaming, hair-raising success.”

The 21+ event featured live music, “De-Tours” of the museum, fortune telling, food and drink, giveaways, a costume contest and much more. And it was anything but dead. As one visitor said, “There was unbelievable energy… I have never seen the museum so alive.”

Top row, center: Mingling in the Fountain Court. Director Binstock with MAG staffers Sheri Burgstrom (with John) and Debbie Foster (with Jeff)—you guess which one is Jonathan! Zombies march through the museum. Bottom row, from left: John Magnus, the evening’s winner for “funniest costume.” Escapees from the Ancient Gallery enjoying a “De-Tour.” Professor Edoardo Bellotti of the Eastman School of Music accompanying Phantom of the Opera on the Italian Baroque organ.

see photos in the Democrat and Chronicle

2015 Clothesline Merit Award Winners

The weather may not have cooperated, but the quality of the art at this year’s M&T Bank Clothesline Festival did not disappoint. Ten artists received awards of merit  at the annual show, which took place September 12 and 13.

abby-dening-webCongratulations to Abby Dening of Rochester (pictured), painting; Andrea Durfee of Rochester, mixed media; Jill Heir of Canandaigua, mixed media; Samantha Lake of Rochester, jewelry; Mark & Jessica Leonard of Ithaca, wearable art; Jacob Martin of Rochester, jewelry/wearable art; Metal Some Art of Rochester, metal/wearable art; Rocket Girls Studio of Rochester, jewelry; Kevin Schoonover of Geneva, photography; and Caroline Stanis-Gage of Spencerport, fiber.

They were chosen from more than 400 exhibitors.

MAG Acquires Works by Renowned Contemporary Artists

mirrored sculpture by Monir FarmanfarmaianAs the MAG prepares the first major reinstallation of its collection of postwar and contemporary art in decades, director Jonathan Binstock has announced the acquisition of important works by four internationally renowned artists. Three of the artists—Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian, Mickalene Thomas and Hung Liu—are still active; the fourth, Beauford Delaney, died in 1979. more about the artists

“The beauty of these acquisitions is how well they fit into MAG’s historical collections,” says Binstock, who is an expert on the art of the post World War II era. “They can be exhibited together, in the context of a modern and contemporary art installation, or inserted into other areas of the museum, as provocative foils that expand the conversation on the relevance of art, both past and present, for contemporary audiences.”

Shown: Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian’s Convertible Series, Group 10 (2011), will be a focal point of the newly renovated galleries. Mirror and reverse-painted glass on plaster and wood. Maurice R. and Maxine B. Forman Fund and Marion Stratton Gould Fund.

Indian print ca. 1820MAG Awarded Federal Grant to Conserve Asian Miniatures

MAG is one of 196 not-for-profit organizations nationwide selected to receive a Museums for America award from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The highly competitive, $24,085 award will be used to conserve 22 high-quality miniature paintings from the Gallery’s Asian art collection. Read the whole story

Pictured: Priests Worshipping the Image of Shri Nathaji (India,
ca. 1820). Gift of Helen H. Reiff in memory of Robert F. Reiff.

University of Rochester Memorial Art Gallery Director Jonathan Binstock in the Vanden Brul Pavilion March 2, 2015 // photo by J. Adam Fenster / University of RochesterJonathan Binstock Named
Memorial Art Gallery Director

In July 2014, Jonathan Binstock was named the Mary W. and Donald R. Clark Director of the MAG. Binstock comes to Rochester from New York City, where he was a senior vice president and senior advisor in modern and contemporary art for Citi Private Bank’s Art Advisory & Finance group. He brings more than a decade of curatorial work in major American museums including the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.


Binstock is the Gallery’s seventh director and succeeds Grant Holcomb, who retired after nearly 29 years in the position. learn more

Right: In September 2014, Binstock (second from left) hit the ground running his first week at MAG. He’s shown greeting visitors to the Clothesline Festival along with Dan Burns, regional president of M&T Bank; Mary Koegel, president of the Gallery’s Board of Managers; and Joel Seligman, president of the University of Rochester.

Photos by J. Adam Fenster (top); Richard P. Wersinger (Clothesline).