The year and the weather may be on the wane, but there remain many bright spots to anticipate before the snow flies.
On Sept. 25, at 7 p.m., Dr. Anthony Bannon, director of the beautiful new Burchfield-Penney Art Gallery, in Buffalo, will speak in the Fireplace Room of the James Prendergast Public Library. The presentation is free of charge and open to the public.
The lecture will be the annual Murray L. Bob Memorial Lecture for 2012. The series of lectures was created in 2003, after the untimely passing of Murray Bob, who was both director of the James Prendergast Public Library and director of the Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Library System.
The Murray L. Bob Memorial Lecture for 2012 will be given on Sept. 25 by Dr. Anthony Bannon. Bob, above, was director for many years of both the Prendergast Library and the Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Library System.
This week, I'd like to tell you something about Dr. Bannon, then about Mr. Bob, then finally about the Bob Memorial Lecture Series.
Dr. Anthony Bannon assumed the directorship of the Burchfield-Penney Gallery in May of this year. The gallery expanded from its original location in a building of the State University at Buffalo, into a newly-designed, $36 million building in 2008. Before coming to Buffalo, he was the director of the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film, located in Rochester.
In my haste to share with you my enthusiasm for the latest album from Western New York native and SUNY Fredonia graduate Marcus Goldhaber, I omitted the name of the album and misrepresented the title of the song which is available for download at www.marcusgoldhaber.com.
The album is called ''Almost Love,'' and it will drop Oct. 9. The song which can be downloaded now from Goldhaber's website is ''Love Me Tonight.''
We're always happy to pass along information about the many talented young people from our area who make a mark for themselves in the arts.
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Since our topic for this week included the Burchfield-Penney Art Gallery, allow me to share with you two events which will be coming to the Buffalo gallery in the near future:
Wednesday, from 7-9 p.m., there will be a lecture and discussion with Judith B. Tankard on American landscape designer Ellen Biddle Shipman.
On Friday evening from 6-11 p.m., the gallery's annual art auction and gala will take place. This year the venue is in the gallery itself.
For additional information about these and any events at the gallery, phone them at 878-6011, or visit their website at www.BurchfieldPenney.org. The gallery is located on the campus of Buffalo State College, at 1300 Elmwood Ave., in Buffalo. For reference, it is directly across the street from the Albright-Knox Gallery.
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Tuesday, the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford will launch their Spectrum Arts Series of events with a performance of a play: ''17 Border Crossings'' by Thaddeus Phillips. The play takes its audience on a trip around the world, examining border crossings and usages of passports in a wide variety of nations and locations. The fall of the Berlin Wall and the causes of the ongoing Arab Spring are included in the play.
Tickets are $6 for the public and $2 for students. The performance will take place in the Studio Theatre, which is inside Blaisdell Hall, on the Bradford campus. For information or to reserve tickets, phone 814-362-5155.
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Today at 1 p.m., enjoy a faculty recital by cellist Natasha Farny in Diers Recital Hall, which is inside Mason Hall, on the campus of the State University of New York at Fredonia.
This evening at 8 p.m., enjoy an evening of French chamber music, performed in Rosch Recital Hall, by members of the university's string faculty with guest artists William Wolfram and Gary Hammond. Both this and the Farny recital are free of charge.
Tomorrow at 4 p.m. in King Concert Hall, the Western New York Chamber Orchestra will perform the music of opera and song composer John Musto. The composer will perform with the orchestra on piano. Other composers whose works will be performed will be Mozart, Respighi, Gershwin and Debussy.
Admission is $20 for the public, $10 for non-Fredonia students with ID, and free for students of SUNY Fredonia.
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An exhibit of artworks titled ''Tangled Narratives'' is now open in the Octagon Gallery of Westfield's Patterson Art Gallery through Friday.
The exhibit is the work of artists Debra Eck and Molly Jarboe. The Patterson Library is located at 40 Portage St., in Westfield. The Octagon Gallery is located in the library's downstairs, and is open whenever the library is open.
For further information, phone 326-2154. Both artists have websites at debraeck.com and mollyjarboe.com.
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Due to demand for tickets, the production of William Shakespeare's play ''Cymbeline,'' which was originally scheduled to end at the end of September at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Ontario, has been extended by three performances in October. Newly added performances will be Oct. 3 at 2 p.m., Oct. 5 at 2 p.m. and Oct. 6 at 8 p.m. in the Tom Patterson Theater.
For additional information about this or any of the plays in the 2012 season of productions, phone the festival, toll free, at 800-567-1600, or visit their website at www.stratfordshakespearefestival.com.
The number of plays being performed and the frequency of performances will gradually decrease, through Oct. 28, barring additional extensions.
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If you attended the performance of a cappella vocal group Straight, No Chaser at Chautauqua last summer, and you just can't wait to hear the group again, or if you had to miss the performance and your friends have been torturing you with how good they were and how much you missed, the group will be performing in Erie, at the Warner Theater, on Dec. 19 at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are $31.50 and $41.50, and are now on sale. Charge them by phone at 814-452-4857 or purchase them through the theater's website at www.erieevents.com, or purchase in person at the box office in the Warner Theater box office, on French Street, in downtown Erie.
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The Buffalo and Erie County Historical Center invites the public once per month for a behind-the-scenes tour of their Resource Center. The tours are taken aboard the center's famed trolley.
The tour includes the 35-foot sculpture which was created for the entrance of the famed Pan American Exposition of 1901, and introduces participants to thousands of artifacts, exhibits, and hands-on events relating to the international event which attracted visitors from all over the world, and which became infamous when U.S. President William McKinley was assassinated on the grounds of the exposition.
The tours last from 6-8 p.m. and cost $10 per person. The remaining tours will take place on Oct. 10, Nov. 14 and Dec. 12.
The center is located at 459 Forest Ave., in Buffalo. For more information or to pre-register for one of the remaining tours, phone 873-9644, ext. 301, or visit the center's website at www.buffalohistory.org. Each tour is limited to 20 participants.
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The television series ''So You Think You Can Dance'' has sent its 10 finalists on a 30-city tour of the U.S. The tour will come to Buffalo's Shea's Performing Arts Center on Nov. 9 at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets range in price from $39.50 to $65, and they are now on sale. Purchase them in person at Shea's box office, which is located directly to the right of the main entrance of the theater, on Main Street in downtown Buffalo, or through Ticketmaster. The web address is www.ticketmaster.com, and the phone number is 800-745-3000.
During his 16-year tenure at the Eastman House, Bannon led the creation of three postgraduate schools of film and image preservation. He negotiated alliances with museums, universities, and collectors' clubs in many U.S. cities, and he created many of the most well-attended exhibitions in the museum's 65-year history.
He also oversaw the digitalization of collections and aggressive social media campaigns to share Eastman House's unparalleled collections of images, and other materials, with the world.
This is the second term of directorship for Bannon at the Burchfield-Penney Art Gallery. He began his career as arts editor and critic for the Buffalo Evening News and then the Buffalo News, between 1969 and 1985. In 1985, he left the newspaper to become the director of the Burchfield Gallery at Buffalo State College. The gallery was dedicated to the art and vision of Buffalo resident Charles E. Burchfield, and to other artists who were born or lived in Western New York.
During his directorship, he received the donation of 1,485 works of art from collector Charles Rand Penney, inspiring the joining of Penney's name with that of artist Burchfield in the name of the museum. He also is credited with establishing key endowments and community partnerships which remain central to the gallery's programming. He left his first directorship at the Burchfield-Penney to become director at the Eastman House, in Rochester, and has now returned.
Anthony Bannon earned a bachelor's degree from St. Bonaventure University, followed by a Master of Arts in English, with a concentration in media study and a doctorate in English with a focus on cultural studies, both from the University at Buffalo. During his career, he has spoken several times on the lecture platform of the Chautauqua Institution, and he has curated and assisted with the creation of a number of visual arts exhibitions for the VACI Gallery and earlier incarnations of that gallery.
MURRAY L. BOB
Murray Bob was born in New York City in 1930. He attended City College of New York, and received his graduate degree in library science at the State University of New York at Albany in 1953.
He worked for two years as a reference librarian at the Free Library of Philadelphia, then was made manager of a branch of that library from 1955-60. His duties expanded to being chief selector for new acquisitions through 1961.
From there he moved to Richmond, Calif., as assistant city librarian from 1961-63. That year, he moved with his wife and three children to Jamestown, where he was named director of the two-county library system and of the system's central library, in Jamestown, where he remained until his death in April of 2003.
In Jamestown, Bob launched a long list of innovations, including the purchase and operation of a bookmobile to bring library services to rural areas and to library patrons who had difficulty reaching the various member libraries in the Chautauqua-Cattaraugus System for whatever reason. He spearheaded efforts to build two additions to the library building, which was built and donated in the 19th century by Mary Prendergast, daughter-in-law of the city's founder, as a memorial to her son.
During his administration, the library converted to an automated circulation system, with an online catalog, and created a computerized home page. Every library in the system achieved the status of Electronic Doorway with his encouragement.
He initiated the library's books-by-mail program, the film and video collection, and the radio broadcast program for reading to the blind and physically challenged.
Murray Bob was a past president of the New York Library Association and former chairman of the Public Library System Directors Organization of New York. He served on many boards and committees throughout New York and was sought as a consultant by libraries in Minnesota, Connecticut, Maryland and Pennsylvania.
Bob was listed in ''Who's Who in the East,'' and won the distinguished alumnus award from the School of Library and Information Science at SUNY Albany in 1984. He was selected to be a judge for the American Book Awards, and received the coveted Allie Beth Martin Award from the American Library Association. He was a visiting lecturer at the University of Illinois and at the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Library and Information Studies.
He was a member of the New York Governor's Planning Commission for Libraries, a member of the Regents Advisory Committee on Libraries and a consultant on visual arts for the New York State Council on the Arts.
In addition to his work in libraries on all levels, he was actively involved in the intellectual life of our community. During his career in Jamestown, he published more than 120 articles and evaluations in more than 80 publications, including the New York Times and the Washington Post, on subjects such as the correct role for money in political campaigning, the measurement of intelligence in infants, and the appropriate balance between private and public support for culture and the arts. He also published a number of books.
He was a leader who believed in the mission of the library, both to entertain and inspire the public, as well as to be a bastion of fact and information, so that any person could advance and better himself through his own energy and efforts, without being handicapped by a lack of wealth, in acquiring truth. He recognized the importance of the library's staff in creating the kind of service the community needed, and he considered the staff's welfare part of his responsibilities, as director.
Bob and his wife, Renate, were the parents of two sons: Clifford and Daniel, and a daughter, Elisa.
THE BOB LECTURES
When Murray Bob died, while visiting his son in Japan in the spring of 2003, the Bob Family and the library came together to memorialize his life and his beliefs with a series of lectures, to be delivered at the library, free of charge to the public.
The subjects of the lectures are not particularly about library science, but rather about the many interests which the former director actively pursued during his life.
The first one was delivered in 2004; the Dr. Jules L. Lobel, professor of International and Constitutional Law at the University of Pittsburgh Law School, spoke about "Prevention and Pre-emption in the War Against Terrorism."
In 2005, Dr. Carl Elliott, M.D., Ph.D., and associate of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Minnesota, spoke on the intersection of American medicine and the American Dream.
In 2006, Clifford Bob, elder son of the Bobs and assistant professor in the Department of Political Science and Graduate Center for Social and Public Policy at Duquesne University, spoke on the subject of ''Marketing Humanitarian Crises,'' regarding how some natural and political crises come to attract the attention of millions of people and inspire huge amounts of material and financial support, while others are virtually unknown more than a few miles from the scene of the event.
In 2007, Dr. Bruce Kuklick, Nichols Professor of American History at the University of Pennsylvania, spoke on the responsibilities of historians in times of war.
The 2008 speaker was Pulitzer Prize winner David Cay Johnston, author of the book ''Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense and Stick You With the Bill.'' He spoke about his findings in the book.
In 2009, the Prendergast Library was closed due to the million dollar renovation program of the building and facilities, so the lecture did not take place.
In 2010, Dr. Raymond Belliotti, Distinguished Teaching Professor of Philosophy at the State University of New York at Fredonia, spoke about the writings of Friedrich Nietzsche and repeated the philosopher's question, ''Is God Dead?''
In 2011, the speaker was Connie Schultz, a nationally syndicated columnist for the Plain Dealer and Creators Syndicate, and regular essayist for Parade Magazine, who spoke about her career and her views of the media in contemporary life.
If you're thinking nobody could care about these serious topics, please be aware that the lectures have been very well attended, usually with overflow crowds listening through the open doorways of the beautiful Fireplace Room.
I knew Murray Bob, and respected him deeply. His lecture series is just one more way in which this fine man served humanity and our community, and created for us a place of beauty and intellectual growth.
If you'd like more information about Dr. Anthony Bannon, or about the Bob Lecture Series, phone the library at 484-7135, ext. 225.