Gift of photographs from gallerist Marcuse Pfeifer added to Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art permanent collection

Peter Hujar, “Susan Sontag,” 1975, Gelatin silver print, © 1987 The Peter Hujar Archive LLC;
Courtesy Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York and Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco

The SUNY New Paltz Foundation has accepted a donation of 67 photographs produced by a number of 19th and 20th century masters of the medium, from the collection of Marcuse Pfeifer, the legendary New York City gallerist and long-time friend of the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art.

The images will be added to The Dorsky’s permanent collection, and many will be exhibited this spring as part of “In Celebration: A Recent Gift from the Photography Collection of Marcuse Pfeifer,” a Dorsky Museum exhibition on view in the Sara Bedrick Gallery through July 14, 2019.

The gift includes images that span the history of the photographic medium, by key artists including Berenice Abbott (1898-1991), John Ernest Joseph Bellocq (1873-1949), Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908-2001), Timothy Greenfield-Sanders (1952- ), Peter Hujar (1934-1987), George Platt Lynes (1907-1955), Weegee [Arthur Fellig] (1899-1968), and many more.

About Marcuse Pfeifer
Marcuse Pfeifer was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1936, and is a current resident of Kingston, New York. She is an instrumental figure in the promotion of photography as an art form in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, a founding member and president of the Association of International Photography Art Dealers, and one of the first gallery dealers in New York City to exclusively show photographs.

Beginning in 1976, Pfeifer’s gallery (located first on Madison Avenue, and later in Soho) gained a reputation as one of the few spaces where one could view and purchase images by both well-known and up-and-coming artists. She helped launch the careers of numerous contemporary photographers, including Sally Mann, Peter Hujar and Timothy Greenfield-Sanders.

Keenly aware during her career of the art world’s tendency to overlook important women photographers, Pfeifer also played an important role helping restore to prominence artists including Carlotta Corpron, Nell Dorr and Lois Connor.

About the SUNY New Paltz Foundation
Founded in 1976, the Foundation works to enrich the quality of academic life at SUNY New Paltz by raising private contributions. Gifts to the Foundation enhance the teaching, learning, and discovery that takes place on campus, and allow New Paltz to enrich the cultural, economic and social fabric of the Mid-Hudson region. There is virtually no activity on campus that does not benefit from the gifts made to the Foundation and to the endowment. One hundred percent of donated funds are used for programs that benefit students.

For more information about the SUNY New Paltz Foundation, please visit

About The Dorsky Museum
Through its collections, exhibitions, and public programs, the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at SUNY New Paltz supports and enriches the academic programs at the college, presents a broad range of world art for study and enjoyment, and serves as a center for Hudson Valley arts and culture. The museum is gaining wide recognition as the premier public showplace for exhibition, education, and cultural scholarship about the Hudson Valley region’s art and artists from yesterday and today. With more than 9,000 square feet of exhibition space distributed over six galleries, The Dorsky Museum is one of the largest museums within the SUNY system. The Dorsky was officially dedicated on Oct. 20, 2001. Since then it has presented over one hundred exhibitions, including commissions, collection-based projects, and in-depth studies of contemporary artists including Robert Morris, Alice Neel, Judy Pfaff, Carolee Schneemann, and Ushio Shinohara, historic Woodstock artists Eugene Speicher and Charles Rosen, and Hudson Valley luminaries Russel Wright and Dick Polich.

Museum Hours:
Wednesday–Sunday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Closed Mondays, Tuesdays, Holidays, and Intersessions.

For more information about The Dorsky Museum and its programs, visit, or call (845) 257-3844.