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The Neuberger Museum of Art Celebrates Its 50th Anniversary

In 1969, private art collector, philanthropist, and arts advocate Roy R. Neuberger promised 300 paintings and sculptures as the founding gift for a new museum that would be established to showcase visual arts education on a public college campus. Five years later, the Neuberger Museum of Art (NEU) opened its doors at the heart of the emerging Purchase College, State University of New York (SUNY), campus a few miles north of New York City. Ever since, the NEU has been a center of teaching and learning — telling new stories and histories through art, as well as supporting artists and the making of new art.

50 Years NEU

Throughout 2024, as the Neuberger celebrates its golden anniversary, its galleries will be filled with a commemorative, multimedia exhibition illustrating important moments from its history, highlighting objects from its collection, and showcasing materials from its archives. One project on view will be Threnody, a site-specific installation by American artist Cleve Gray. Commissioned for the museum’s 1974 opening and conceived amid the brewing Watergate scandal and the final years of US involvement in the Vietnam War, Threnody expressed the artist’s hope for humanity’s spiritual and emotional healing. The monumental 250-foot-wide work comprises 14 paintings executed in situ on 28 panels.

The Neuberger is also hosting a yearlong schedule of artist talks, lectures, social events, and other programming, including the inaugural Fred Wilson Lecture Series (to be held at the NEU in February) as well as an online conference for academics, artists, and curators involved with African art in US art museums.

To learn more about the anniversary and upcoming events, visit or subscribe to the Museum Director’s blog.

Weekly blog updates will recount the history of the museum from its founding to the present day, honoring the Neuberger’s past, celebrating its present, and preparing the NEU to move boldly forward into its next 50 years.


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