Thinking About the Future of Art from the Past

Danny Allen - Surrealist drawing, 1974. Graphite and mixed media. Private collection.

Danny Allen – Surrealist drawing, 1974. Graphite and mixed media. Private collection.

More of Danny Allen’s art is about to become part of the permanent collection of the Rochester Memorial Art Gallery (see the image above).  As for the pieces I have, I’ve made a provision in my will that Danny Allen’s family will receive all of his art in my possession. In fact, I will probably make that transfer while I’m still hale and hearty rather than waiting until I’m a great deal older, and life is more difficult. Much of Dan’s work is lost forever because a collector failed to make special provisions for the art she owned, and left her entire estate to a caretaker who didn’t understand the value of what she been given, and disposed of it all. That is a scenario I’d like to see avoided in the future.

A prominent collector and retired museum professional willed his original art by Danny Allen to go to the Rochester Memorial Art Gallery (a drawing and a collage if I’m not mistaken). For a man with his credentials and professional history, this is and honor to Dan’s memory—and wonderful news in general. The donor has chosen to remain anonymous, and I’m respecting that request. If you want to figure out who it is, buy the book, and you’ll figure it out easily enough—I’m just not publishing the name online.

This bequest insures the survival of more of Dan’s art. It is my understanding that the art is officially accepted, but not yet physically transferred. Generally speaking, one can’t simply “will” art to a major institution and expect it to be part of the permanent collection. There’s a process that needs to be followed—submitting things through committee or through museum personnel with the authority to act on behalf of the institution. For the most part, I am advising people who own art by Danny Allen to leave it to the Allen Family. Anyone wishing to do so, please contact me through this site, and I will handle contacting the point person for the family.

Sometime in the future I’d love to find reasonable gallery space for a small retrospective exhibit of Danny’s work. I can’t allow myself to think about the costs involved with matting, framing and transporting art at the moment. All of that is a challenge for another day.

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BookJacketStudyAdI have a limited number of books available. Anyone who’d like to purchase a copy contact me at Put the words “Sunny Ducks” in the subject heading. $34.95 includes shipping and handling. $29.95 if you live within walking distance.

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Books are on sale at the Memorial Art Gallery’s Museum Store for $29.                  It Came from the Vault: Rarely Seen Works from MAG’s Collection

March 17–June 9, 2013 500 University Avenue · Rochester, NY 14607-1484 585.276.8900 · 585.473.6266

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