A. Conger Goodyear Collection .....................  Fellows for Life Fund

Albright-Knox - Table of Contents

A. Conger Goodyear Biography
Albright-Knox Art Gallery- Official Website



Photo on display in Dec. 2016 at the Albright-Knox

















Anson Conger Goodyear was born June 20, 1877 to a socially prominent family in Buffalo, New York.

He achieved his undergraduate degree from Yale University in 1899 and established a successful career in the lumber and railroad industries.

In 1912, Goodyear succeeded his father as a director of the Buffalo Academy of Fine Arts and was appointed the first president of The Museum of Modern Art in 1929. He served in that position until 1939 when he was succeeded by Nelson A. Rockefeller, but Goodyear continued serving on the acquisitions committee until the 1950s and remained a trustee of the Museum until his death on April 24, 1964.
- Museum of Modern Art  (online Dec. 2016)



Hailing from a successful Buffalo family whose many assets included lumber mills and railroads, A. (Anson) Conger Goodyear was elected to the Board of the Buffalo Fine Arts Academy in 1912, following in the footsteps of his father, Charles W. Goodyear. Over the course of 16 years, from 1912 to 1928, Goodyear supervised the daily operations of several national businesses at the same time he initiated, with his own money and occasional contributions from his family, a rapid-fire series of landmark exhibitions and acquisitions for the Albright Art Gallery.

Goodyear’s first encounter with modern sculpture took place in New York at the 1913 Armory Show. There, Constantin Brancusi’s “Kiss,” 1908, made a lasting impression on him, and sculpture became his passion. During his tenure as Board vice-president he produced, with assistance from Anna Glenny Dunbar (then the museum’s Honorary Curator of Sculpture), three monographic exhibitions: “Exhibition of the Work of the Eminent Jugoslav Sculptor Ivan Meštrović, 1925; “Sculpture by Antoine Bourdelle,” 1926; and the “Exhibition of Sculpture and Drawings by Aristide Maillol, 1925–1926,” 1925–26.

In 1926, Goodyear spearheaded the Fellows for Life Fund, which was designed as a cache of unrestricted dollars for the purchase of modern art. Capital for the Fund was secured through a group of patrons, each of whom donated $1,000 per year. In the first year, Goodyear mustered 42 individuals, including members of his own family and Seymour H. Knox, Jr., who had joined the Board the year before the Fund was established. Through the Fund, the museum acquired Pablo Picasso’s “La toilette,” 1906 (the fallout from which eventually resulted in Goodyear’s being voted off the Board); paintings by Paul Cézanne, Paul Gauguin, Augustus Edwin John, and Berthe Morisot; and Auguste Rodin’s bronze sculpture “Eve,” 1881 (cast executed 1913).

As early as 1926, Goodyear began to donate works from his own collection to the museum. Not surprisingly, his first gifts were sculptures by Antoine Bourdelle (in 1926), Wilhelm Lehmbruck (in 1927), Frank Dobson (in 1928), and Aristide Maillol (in 1929). In 1939, after returning from New York, where he served as the first president of The Museum of Modern Art, Goodyear donated a suite of drawings by George Bellows, Salvador Dalí, Georg Kolbe, Maillol, Henri Matisse, Amedeo Modigliani, Jules Pascin, Charles Sheeler, and Eugene Speicher. Also in 1939, Goodyear was elected an Honorary Member of the museum’s Board and wrote the foreword for the inaugural exhibition catalogue for The Room of Contemporary Art, which he helped found.
- Excerpts: Albright-Knox Art Gallery:  A. Conger Goodyear (online Dec. 2016)




Goodyear
was born in Buffalo, New York on June 20, 1877. Conger was the son of Charles W. Goodyear (1846-1911) and Ella Portia Conger (1863-1940), members of the prominent Western New York Goodyear family who resided at the 888 Delaware Avenue in Buffalo. He was educated at the Nichols School in Buffalo  and graduated from Yale University in 1899.

Goodyear was president of the Great Southern Lumber Company in Bogalusa, Louisiana (1920–38); served as vice-president of the Marine National Bank and vice-president of the Buffalo and Susquehanna Railroad (1907–10); and was president of the New Orleans Great Northern Railroad Company (1920–30).  He served as chairman of the board of directors of Gaylord Container Corporation, director of Paramount Pictures, director of the Gulf, Mobile and Ohio Railroad, and as an executive or director of several other corporations.

A noted philanthropist and avid collector of late-19th- and early-20th-century American and European art. He was invited  ...  to help establish the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. He served as its first president (1929–39) as well as a member of the board of trustees of the Museum of Modern Art after moving to New York City.

Anson married Mary Martha Forman (1879–1973) on June 29, 1904, in Buffalo, NY. Mary Forman was the only daughter of George V. Forman (1841–1922).   Before they divorced, Goodyear and Forman had four children. In 1950, he married Zaidee C. Bliss (née Cobb) (1881–1966).

His home in Old Westbury, New York, the A. Conger Goodyear House (built in 1938 by Edward Durell Stone), is on the National Register of Historic Places. Goodyear died in Old Westbury, New York on April 24, 1964 and is buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery, Buffalo. After his death, his art collection was bequeathed to the Buffalo Academy of Fine Arts.

He was a close friend of actress and theater producer Katharine Cornell, also from Buffalo. Upon her death in 1974, she bequeathed part of her foundation's assets to MoMA in his honor.
- Wikipedia: Anson Goodyear  (online Dec. 2016)



Source: Buffalo's Delaware Avenue: Mansions and Families, by Edward T. Dunn. Pub. by Canisius College Press, 2003





888 Delaware Avenue  ...  Conger lived here with his parents and siblings in 1903  (see above)  ...  2015 photo



Forman House, 824 Delaware Aveune, where Conger's wife, Mary Forman, grew up  ...  2011 photo




160 Bryant Ave.   ...  Newleyweds  Conger and Mary Forman Goodyear's house built in 1908  ...  2007 photo




Langdon Albright

Excerpt from
Oakland Place: Gracious Living in Buffalo
By Martin Wachadlo
Pub. by the Landmark Society of the Niagara Frontier in 2006, p. 101

During the 1920s, Langdon Albright (1880-1962) moved into the house [120 Oakland Place] with his family and lived here until his death. The second son of industrialist John J. Albright, Langdon had previously lived at 33 Oakland. In 1914, he moved into a large new house adjacent to his father's mansion on West Ferry Street. (Both ofthose mansions are now gone.) The senior Albright's reversal of fortune during the early1920s evidently affected Langdon as well: he left his West Ferry Street home and returned to Oakland Place. His sister, Ruth Albright Hollister, lived across the street at 115.

Langdon, who was trained as an electrical engineer, served as vice president of the Niagara, Lockport & Ontario Power Company. He also served as a longtime trustee of the Albright Art Gallery. Like architect Edward B. Green, he was opposed to the gallery's acquisition of avant garde art, spearheaded by A. Conger Goodyear, who lived around the corner at 160 Bryant Street.

Albright, Green, and other conservative gallery members were especially scandalized by the acquisition of Picasso's "La Toilette" in 1926, and they ensured that Goodyear was not reelected to the board three years later. By then, Goodyear had moved to New York City where he soon became the first president of the Museum of Modern Art. Prior to leaving Buffalo, though, he kindled an interest in modern art in Seymour Knox.


Photos and their arrangement © 2016 Chuck LaChiusa
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