2021 11 10 – 2021 01 31
Small & mighty : newly conserved thumb-box
arches gallery


SAL record control number: 87851 ;

Record level: Listing ;

Record type: Exhibitions ;

Exhibition type: Museum ;



Title: Small & Mighty : Newly Conserved Thumb-box ;

Begin Date: November 10, 2021 ;
End Date: January 31, 2021 ;

Exhibition hours:
Monday 1:00 PM – 6:00 PM EST
Tuesday 1:00 PM – 6:00 PM EST
Wednesday 1:00 PM – 6:00 PM EST
Thursday 1:00 PM – 6:00 PM EST
Friday 1:00 PM – 6:00 PM EST
Saturday 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM EST
Sunday 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM EST

Location: Salmagundi townhouse, grand stair gallery ;

Admission: This show is FREE and open to the public ;


Small & Mighty : Newly Conserved Thumb-Box
Salmagundi presents 13 newly conserved works in the first exhibition of its complete Thumb-Box collection


NEW YORK, New York (November 8, 2021)—Beginning November 10 and continuing until December 31, 2021, Salmagundi presents Small & Mighty: Newly Conserved Thumb-Box, in the Grand Stair Gallery of its historic 1853 townhouse at 47 Fifth Avenue. The exhibition marks the first time the organization’s permanent art collection of over fifty thumb-box paintings will be on display as a group. The exhibition is arranged by era and affords the viewer a chance to see 20th-century American art history at a glance.

“The thumb-box works are some of the best paintings Salmagundi owns,” says Bill Indursky, chair of the curatorial committee. “The works are a small window into past times, by some of America’s top artists from 1897 to today. They pack a punch for their diminutive size, inspiring the exhibition title Small & Mighty. This show should not be missed.”

Thumb-box paintings are similar to what most galleries today call ‘small works,’ ‘cabinet works’ or ‘intimate works.’ The yearly Salmagundi exhibition received the name, ‘thumb-box,’ after the compact wooden paint box that was used to paint outside on location and then to carry the wet panels back to the studio. Salmagundi’s thumb-box show began in 1908 and continues today, 113 years later. The works enter the collection through purchase prizes or accessioned donations.

Several of the works have been on continuous display in the townhouse’s lower level for approximately fifty years. Recently, the curatorial committee chose to professionally conserve and clean the works which had yellowed and browned over the years. A member of the club privately donated 100% of their professional painting conservation services, cleaning thirteen works specifically for the show.
“The works are so beautiful, but you could not see them the way the artist intended. After the conservation and cleaning, they glow and a few take my breath away,” says Mr. Indursky.

The thirteen award-winning conserved works had been chosen for their importance to the collection, the stature of the artist, and their conservation need. Artists whose works have been conserved include Junius Allen, R.S. Bredin, John Carlson, Antonio Cirino, John Folinsbee, Antonio Martino, Hobart Nichols, Thomas Olenchak, John Pellew, Arthur Towell, John Gale Tyler, Walter Granville Smith, and John Scott Williams.

The exhibition is free and open to the public. Viewing hours are 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm Monday through Friday, and 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm Saturday and Sunday.



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Record birth date:
May 24, 2021

Last updated: April 25, 2022 at 12:58 pm