Clyfford Still Collection

“A single painting by Clyfford Still is an experience; a broad survey of his work is a revelation of the full impact of his images and the immense power of his statements.”
—Gordon M. Smith, Director (1955–1973)

The Buffalo AKG Art Museum’s collection includes 33 paintings by Clyfford Still (American, 1904–1980). This ensemble—one of the largest public collections of the artist’s work—spans critical developments in his career from 1937 to 1963.

Clyfford Still (American, 1904–1980). PH-48 (1957-D-No. 1), 1957. Oil on canvas, 113 x 159 inches (287 x 403.9 cm). Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Gift of Seymour H. Knox, Jr., 1959 (K1959:26). © 2016 City and County of Denver / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. 

The artist and others at the Members’ Opening for Paintings by Clyfford Still, Albright Art Gallery, November 4, 1959. Image courtesy of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery Digital Assets Collection and Archives.

Notoriously fickle when it came to long-term friendships with art dealers and fellow artists, Still developed a unique relationship with the museum in the 1950s through Director Gordon M. Smith and Board President Seymour H. Knox, Jr. This relationship was initiated in 1957 with the purchase of a monumental painting, PH-49 (1954), 1954, for the museum’s collection. In 1959, Smith invited Still to organize his first large-scale survey at the museum, and granted the artist complete control over the exhibition’s content, design, and installation. Following the retrospective, an additional work by Still, PH-48 (1957-D-No. 1), 1957, entered the museum’s collection.

Convinced that the Albright-Knox would make a suitable home for a carefully chosen group of paintings, Still subsequently donated 31 works to the museum in 1964. This gift secured the museum’s place as the most significant repository of the artist’s work until 2011, with the historic founding of the Clyfford Still Museum in Denver.

Additional public collections of the artist’s work can be found at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

  • Related Exhibition

    Paintings by Clifford Still

    November 4, 1959–December 13, 1959

  • Related Exhibition

    Clyfford Still, Thirty Three Paintings in the Albright-Knox Art Gallery

    February 1, 1966–March 31, 1966

  • Related Exhibition

    Clyfford Still, 1904-1980: The Buffalo and San Francisco Collections

    January 16, 1993–March 7, 1993

  • Related Exhibition

    Clyfford Still

    June 25–August 29, 2010

  • Related Exhibition

    Shade: Clyfford Still / Mark Bradford

    May 26–October 2, 2016

  • Related Publication

    Paintings by Clyfford Still

  • Related Publication

    Shade: Clyfford Still / Mark Bradford

  • From the Archives

    Clyfford Still Photo-Documentation

    This special archival collection contains complete photographic documentation of the oeuvre of Clyfford Still.