Around the MAG

Argentum: Double Positive installation by Jim Sanborn

MAG is commissioning artist Jim Sanborn to make a public work of art for the area in front of our 1913 building. Argentum: Double-Positive consists of placing two projection cylinders in front of the “1913”. These cylinders are perforated with a series of texts that will at night (with the aid of an internal point source light) be projected widely onto the facade and surrounding landscape of MAG’s “1913” building. The texts will specifically highlight the creativity and invention that have been the core industry of the City of Rochester for decades. Read more in this article in the Democrat and Chronicle.

A Night to Remember

On April 2, a sellout crowd celebrated Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair at a cocktail reception and dinner at the Strathallan, followed by a gala and after party at MAG.

inspiring beauty gala pictures

Top row, from left: MAG director Jonathan Binstock poses with some of the evening’s sponsors; pictured are Todd Green, chief investment officer of presenting sponsor Alesco Advisors, David Burns, Margaret Burns, Carolyn Ettinger and Alan Cameros. |  The Rochester Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, partnered with MAG’s Board of Managers to present the event; pictured is chapter president Diana Williams.  |  Bidding was brisk for five auction items, including dinner with artist Sam Gilliam and a tour of galleries and museums in New York City with director Jonathan Binstock.

Second row, from left: Deborah Gregory, Cheetah Girls author and former runway model, gave a lecture earlier in the afternoon. At left is Timothy Cosgriff of Gregory’s alma mater, SUNY Empire State College (which sponsored her talk); across the table is Garth Fagan, whose dancers performed. |  At the Strathallan, artist Wayne Higby danced with Frances Hare. | Director Jonathan Binstock brought his wife, Ann, and daughter, Ellen.

Third row, from left: Garth Fagan Dance performed for a packed auditorium; shown is the finale of Geoffrey Holder Life Fete…Bacchanal (2015). | In the Vanden Brul Pavilion, Nate Rawls set the mood, with vocals by Dilynda. | Chris Garland, MAG assistant director of advancement, provided staff support for gala cochairs Charlotte Herrera, Mary Sue Jack and Delores Jackson Radney.

Bottom row: In the M&T Bank Ballroom, guests danced to music by Atlas. In the center photo, they were led by emcee Shawn Dunwoody (in patterned jacket) and Frances Hare (in red dress).

Photos by Ria Tafani.

MAG Comes Alive at the Museum of the Dead

On October 29, 2015, 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

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).