Reprinted courtesy of: Buffalo and Erie County Public Library
Extraordinary Art Collection Gathered by Former Library director
Works from internationally acclaimed artists Joan Miro, Helen Frankenthaler, Robert Motherwell and Buffalo native Charles Clough are part of a spectacular collection of modern and contemporary art donated to the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library by the foundation of former Library Director Donald H. Cloudsley (1925 – 2012).
In all, 24 pieces including limited edition prints and original artwork-watercolors; charcoal, pen and pencil; gold leaf on wood; color etchings; pastel on paper; nickel, copper and patina; etched glass, and lithographs comprise the eclectic Cloudsley collection currently on display at the downtown Central Library, 1 Lafayette Square.
“It is such an honor for the library to share the great legacy of our former director Donald Cloudsley through this sizable and very inspiring collection,” said Library System Director Mary Jean Jakubowski. “Mr. Cloudsley’s dedication to the library and this community will live on through his beloved art collection.”
"The Library is the ideal home for this art collection," said Donald H. Cloudsley Foundation President Patrick Martin. "With the development of the Library's new second floor, the collection can be exhibited together, free and open to the public. It can be the anchor for the Library's community and student art exhibitions, for the Library's art education programs and its public art initiatives. It will welcome the community back to a revitalized and beautiful second floor. For the Foundation trustees, it is very touching to know that Don will live on through this collection in the Library that he served so well for 46 years."
Known as the “Library Lion” for his passionate defense of the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library System’s interests, Cloudsley held a 46-year career with the Library System beginning in 1949 as a junior librarian at the Dudley Branch on South Park Avenue in Buffalo. He was named system director in 1983. His tenure proved eventful, overseeing the transition of the Library to digital operations in collections and administration; implementing the first online catalog; recovering the first half of the manuscript of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, lost for 107 years; and creating the Mark Twain Room where the manuscript is displayed in the Central Library.
As Library Director, Cloudsley also oversaw passage of the inaugural Library Protection Act ; initiated the process of obtaining “The Milestones of Science” collection; and created the Ring of Knowledge space in the Central Library. He retired in 1995 after 12 years as director.
Mr. Cloudsley graduated from Bennett High School and served in its mentoring program from 1978 until his death. A World War II Navy veteran, he was assigned to the Pacific Theater, serving in the Philippines and in post-surrender Japan at Yokohama. Mr. Cloudsley graduated from Bethany College in 1948 and completed his Master’s degree in Library Science at Carnegie Mellon University in 1949. He returned to Buffalo to begin his library career. In 1995, he established the Donald H. Cloudsley Foundation, which supports arts and library initiatives and social and educational programs in Erie County.
The collection of art on display represents a broad selection of Mr. Cloudsley’s collected works. Additionally, on loan from the Albright Knox Art Gallery is Richmond Burton’s 1999 untitled pencil, gouache and ink on paper piece.
The donation to the Library features the works of:
Karel Appel, Heads All Over, 1996, color lithograph, visible paper;
Mark Carroll, Red Queen, 2002, steel sculpture, tubular & diamond plate elements, red;
Mark Carroll, Standing Figures, 2004, walnut, butternut, cherry and steel;
Charles Clough, Untitled, 2001, watercolor on paper;
Sam Francis, Toward Disappearance, 1974, color serigraph;
Helen Frankenthaler, In the Wings, 1987, color etching;
Helen Frankenthaler, Crete, 1969-1972, color etching;
Dorothy Gillespie, Starburst, 1999, sculpture, enamel on aluminum;
Adolph Gottlieb, Black Ground, Red Disk, 1966, silk screen;
Warren Isensee, Untitled, 2005, paper;
Wolf Kahn, Late Fall - Orange to Red, 2005, pastel on paper;
John Luebtow, Linear Form Series, 1989, etched glass;
Robert Mangold, 5 Colored Frame, 1985, black & white woodcut on Japanese paper;
Gail McCarthy, Gilded Vessel #51, 1990, palladium interior: pigment, gold leaf exterior;
Joan Miro, untitled, lithograph;
Robert Motherwell, Summer Trident (State ll), 1990, lithograph on chine colle;
Claes Oldenburg, Apple Core, 1991, color lithograph;
John Okulick, Spinner, 1997, painted wood with gold leaf;
Walter Prochownik, Untitled from flight series, 1974, charcoal, pencil and chalk;
Beverly Pepper, Janus Altar, 1996, etching and aquatini;
Alan Siegal, Fiddle Fern, 1993, copper, nickel and patina;
Steven Sorman, Those From Far Away ll, 1989, Lithograph;
Antoni Tápies, # 8 from Suite Montseny, 1993, etching and collage;
Thornton Willis, Match Play, 1982, oil pastel on paper
Graciously on loan from Albright Knox Art Gallery is a framed piece by Richmond Burton, Untitled, 1999, pencil, gouache and ink on paper donated in 2003 by Cloudsley in memory of William (Billy) La Curt Woods.
The opening night reception was sponsored by Jaeckle Fleischmann & Mugel, LLP.