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Rey’s ‘Lost Beauty II’ solo exhibit opens at Buffalo Museum of Science

An Alberto Rey painting of the Blue Spotted Salamander.

Paintings by SUNY Distinguished Professor Alberto Rey of the State University of new York at Fredonia Department of Visual Arts and New Media will be featured in “Lost Beauty II: The Art of Museum Stories,” a special two-month exhibit that opens Saturday, Oct. 16, at the Buffalo Museum of Science.

“Lost Beauty” will showcase a selection of 15 items from the museum’s vast collection. These small fragments inspired Mr. Rey, and through his paintings he asks audiences to look beyond the scale, label or fragment and appreciate the lost beauty within. A book accompanies the project.

“While museums can house artifacts and specimens from across time and place, it is how these items inspire others that truly gives them value,” explained Kathy Leacock, the museum’s deputy director. “The same object or specimen invokes something different in each of us. The Buffalo Museum of Science has more than 750,000 objects and artifacts in its collection – but why these items? What can they tell us? Why should they matter? And how does safeguarding these collections further our understanding of the world around us?”

Each of the 15 items is accompanied by a large painting by Rey. One particular item – a handwoven basket from the 20th century that measures just millimeters in diameter – is brought to life in a four-foot painting.

Some items have never before been on display for public viewing.

An exhibition catalog will accompany the exhibition which details the history of the Buffalo Museum of Science, the process in creating the artwork and narratives about each of the artifacts.

“We are thrilled to finally be able to present this beautiful and carefully curated exhibit. ‘Lost Beauty II’ shines a light on the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences’ (BSNS) significance as a collecting institution. Alberto Rey’s paintings help us tell the rich stories that make these items significant – stories that, without such close inspection and context, may easily go unnoticed at first glance,” said Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences President and CEO Marisa Wigglesworth.

Three years in the making, “Lost Beauty II” is the second in a series of exhibits by Rey. “Lost Beauty I” was on display at the University at Buffalo’s Anderson Gallery in 2019 and featured Rey’s “The Extinct Birds Project.” This second installment was scheduled to open at the museum in Summer 2020 before the exhibit was put on hold in response to changes to the museum’s exhibit schedule due to the pandemic.

“This exhibit will appeal to those with interests in science, history and world cultures just as much as it will to art enthusiasts, making it a can’t-miss attraction in Buffalo this fall,” Ms. Wigglesworth said. The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“I have always loved science and art and this project was a wonderful opportunity to explore and highlight a few of the tiny gems ‘lost’ in the museum’s vast collection,” Rey said.

Aleron is the exhibit sponsor. Admission to the museum, located at 1020 Humboldt Parkway, can be purchased by calling (716) 896-5200 or online.

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