History & Mission
The Gallery is named after former Albright trustee and alumna, Doris Chanin Freedman.
The first space on campus to be designated for a permanent art gallery was opened on Oct. 31, 1976. This facility (now known as Klein Hall) formed a part of the Campus Center. Perspective was the inaugural exhibition and it included works by Jim Dine, Sam Fransic, Nancy Grossman, Al Heid, Robert Morris, Louise Nevelson and Frank Stella.
By the late 1980s the gallery’s needs had outgrown this space and in 1990, construction began on a new facility. With the assistance of a major National Endowment for the Arts grant, the College launched a $6.5 million building project under the direction of architect Adele Santos who collaborated with sculptor Mary Miss to create the central plaza and amphitheater that forms the heart of our Center for the Arts (CFA).
Around this courtyard, Santos designed a south-wing to house the art department with studios for drawing, painting, printmaking, and for woodworking and ceramic sculpture. The north-wing houses the Freedman Gallery, originally designed as classic kunstellar or “white box.” With its temporary walls, the main gallery can be broken down into smaller spaces. However, the adjacent project space also offers options for exhibitions of smaller scale. The music department, with its studios, practice rooms, and Roop Hall performance space is located on the ground floor of the CFA’s northeast-wing. On the second floor of this wing, one can find the Wachovia Theatre, box office, and mezzanine, where special events and receptions are held. Altogether, the CFA provides a unique nexus for the multidisciplinary study of the visual and performing arts.
Doris Chanin Freedman
In 1975 Doris Freedman responded to the College's capital campaign and pledged a major donation towards the creation of a permanent exhibition space on campus. A proviso of her gift was "…that the works exhibited be of consistent highest quality and that [the program] represents, primarily, living American contemporary artists."
Doris Freedman studied sociology and graduated from Albright College in 1950. She earned a master's degree in social work from Columbia University and began to focus her attention towards culture and the arts. Freedman served as the first director of New York City’s Department of Cultural Affairs, president of City Walls, and founder of the Public Art Fund. Each of these organizations focused on making the arts more accessible to the general public.
For more information about Mrs. Freedman's contributions to the cultural life of New York City, please visit: www.nycgovparks.org/about/history/women/parks-employees
The Freedman Gallery seeks to create, expand, and engage our passion for personal expression, individual creativity, and intellectual curiosity through exposure to the highest quality of contemporary artwork by, primarily, living American artists.