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Artist Collecting: Former Juniata Professor Shares Art Collection

(Posted November 3, 2008)

"Still Life" by Gillian Pederson-Krag, is one of the many artworks on display from the personal collection of Steve Barbash, a former art professor at Juniata.

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Steven Barbash, a former professor of art at Juniata College from 1961 to 1970, has exhibited his own work many times at the college, but this time the retired educator is returning to campus with an exhibition of his personal art collection at the Juniata College Museum of Art called "The Steven Barbash Collection," which opens Nov. 13 and continues through Feb. 28.

Barbash will give a gallery talk about his collection and how he accumulated the more than 50 artworks on display at 4:30 p.m. at the museum. There will be an opening reception at 5 p.m. at the museum.

The reception and gallery talk are free and open to the public.

Barbash, who received his first art training as an undergraduate at Bard College and later received a bachelor's degree and master's of fine arts degree from Yale University, built his personal collection like many artists -- by buying works from friends and teachers, trading pieces with colleagues and making judicious purchases from other artists when possible.

"I always wanted a memento of people who I really loved or whose attitude and work I loved," said Barbash in an interview with Andrew Weislogel, associate curator of the Johnson Museum at Cornell University. The Johnson Museum and Weislogel curated "Shared Experience: The Steven Barbash Collection" which debuted June 28, 2008 and ended Sept. 14

"I always wanted a memento of people who I really loved or whose attitude and work I loved."
Steven Barbash, professor emeritus of art, SUNY-Cortland

The exhibition has one Barbash artwork on display, "The City," which is a large New York streetscape presented as a triptych. His piece accompanies art by Louis Schenker (Barbash's teacher at Bard) and Gabor Peterdi, who taught Barbash at Yale. The entire exhibition details not only the evolution of a teaching career, as the works transition from art he obtained as a student through works accumulated through his long teaching career at SUNY-Cortland, where he taught from 1970 to 1999 and at Juniata, where he taught from 1961 to 1970.

Barbash was one of the first studio artists to teach at Juniata College, where he helped create one of the college's first team-taught courses, "Great Epochs." He also is responsible for the design and creation of Shoemaker Galleries, the art display space in the museum.

The works displayed in the exhibition are tied together by Barbash's long career.

There are a variety of images from artist Michael Mazur, including "Boiler Room #2" and "Images from a Locked Ward." Mazur studied at Yale with Barbash. One of Barbash's students at SUNY-Cortland, Evan Summer, is included in the exhibition with a variety of etchings and collography (a technique combining collage and printmaking).

Other artists represented in the display are Zevi Blum, a professor of art from Cornell University who worked with Barbash at Cortland's printing facility, and Gillian Pederson-Krag, who lives near Barbash. Other artists represented in the exhibition are Robert Birmelin, a classmate at Yale, George Dugan, a professor at Cortland State University, and Joan Branca and Susan Pickens, both graduates of SUNY-Cortland


Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.