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New, Newer, Newest!

When the Syracuse Museum of Fine Arts opened in 1897, there were no clear policies in place about what the Museum should collect. Occupying space on the top floor of the Carnegie Library in downtown Syracuse, the Museum quickly filled up with everything from antique weaponry to Old Master paintings. This changed in 1911 when the Museum announced that it would focus on collecting American art. In 1916, Adelaide Alsop Robineau’s modest selection of porcelains began the ceramics collection. The founding of the Ceramic Nationals in 1932 made the Museum’s ceramics collection among the most prestigious in the nation. From this point onward, ceramics became the sole collection with a global mandate.

In 1959, the Syracuse Museum of Fine Arts became the Everson Museum of Art and with that new name came a renewed emphasis on contemporary art. Adding marquee works to the collection by artists such as Helen Frankenthaler and Morris Louis helped prepare for and harmonized with the Museum’s new I.M. Pei-designed building, which opened in 1968. In the early 1970s, the Everson became the first museum in the world to establish a video collection, showing work by video artists like Nam Jun Paik and Bill Viola.

Today, the Everson’s collection numbers more than 10,000 works of art. The Museum’s curators scrutinize each new work when it comes into the collection to make sure that it aligns with the Everson’s mission to engage diverse communities and contribute to a more vital and inclusive society. New Newer Newest! showcases a dynamic selection of works that the Museum has acquired over the last three years, including pieces from the Everson’s exhibitions, those it has purchased from artists and galleries, as well as a host of generous gifts from patrons.

New, Newer, Newest! contains artworks in such time-honored media as oil painting and darkroom photography, but it also showcases the work of artists using digital technologies such as computer-driven 3D design and digital printing. The Museum’s collection continues to provide a platform for artists to document their reality and share ideas about the world today. The Everson strives to collect and present art that mirrors the diversity and vitality of our community and our goal is that all visitors to New, Newer, Newest! see something of themselves in these galleries.

Ann Van Hoey, Red Ferrari, 2022, Ceramic and automotive paint, 14.5 x 13.5 x 13 in., Museum purchase, Deaccession Fund, PC 2022.11

Kwame Braithwaite, Untitled (Couple’s Embrace), ca. 1971, printed 2021, Archival pigment print; ed. 1/5, 30 x 30 inches

Barbro Aberg, More Secrets, 2018, Ceramic, 23.5 x 18.5 x 5.125 in., Museum purchase, Deaccession Fund, PC 2021.11