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Olsen to speak on 'Ponder Price, Purchase: Armand Castellani - Building a Collection in the 1980s'

by jmaloni

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Sat, Apr 26th 2014 07:00 am

"Meet Me at the CAM"

On Thursday, May 15, the Castellani Art Museum will open its "Meet Me at the CAM" "Art City" series with a presentation by former director Sandra Olsen, Ph.D., on the formation of the museum's collection of modern and contemporary art.

Olsen traveled often to Manhattan with founder Armand Castellani as they acquired the artwork that would form the core of the collection.

"Armand Castellani's goal for collecting artwork was to fill a museum with a collection of artwork that could serve as a cultural and educational center for Niagara County and WNY at Niagara University," Olsen said. "It was a daunting goal in the 1980s when the art market was increasingly global, artwork had become synonymous with financial investment, and prices were soaring. Armand succeeded because of his unique combination of his ingenious business acumen, particularly price analysis, his breathtaking enthusiasm for learning, and his dedication to philanthropy."

Olsen will bring to life a particularly exciting time in the "Art City" of Manhattan.

She is director of the University at Buffalo Art Galleries (UB Art Gallery and UB Anderson Gallery). Before coming to the UB Art Galleries, Olsen was, for 21 years, director of the Castellani Art Museum of Niagara University. There, she formulated the collection, curated exhibitions, and planned the museum's construction.

Each year, the Castellani Art Museum presents a series of five programs with an art history theme. "Art City" focuses on contemporary art, artists, galleries and collectors. The next four programs will include screenings of three films in the "Art City" series: "Made in Manhattan," "Simplicity" and "A Ruling Passion," which focus on the art world in 21st century Manhattan and move across the country to meet southwestern and West Coast artists. The series concludes with a presentation on Western New York's burgeoning cultural scene.

Dates for this year's "Meet Me at the CAM" series are May 15, 22 and 29; June 5 and 12. "Meet Me at the CAM" programs are free for museum members and $5 for non-members (membership sign-up is available at the registration desk.)

Light refreshments are provided. Programs start at 10 a.m. The museum is located in the center of the Niagara University campus, 5795 Lewiston Road. Reserved parking is available in the Gallagher lot across from the museum. For more information, or to register, call Susan Clements, coordinator of community relations, at 716-286-8201.

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