The building which housed art exhibits at the Exposition was said to "make no pretensions to style or beauty." Indeed, construction on the brick Art Building did not even begin until December, 1900 because the Exposition planners had planned to use the newly constructed Albright Art Gallery to house the art exhibits in appropriate splendor. Unfortunately, material and labor problems delayed the completion of that marble edifice to the extent that the Exposition Company had to take action and construct a building for their use. But all of the souvenir postcards and envelopes and promotional materials were already being printed and they carried the image of the Albright Art Gallery, thus creating a century of confusion.
Despite the late start of construction which delayed the opening of the building until June 17,1901, the building was well-received. It had an excellent location on the north shore of the Park Lake within view of the Albright. Designed by the Buffalo architectural firm of Green and Wicks, it was a single-story structure of rough-textured red brick, 34 feet tall and 220 feet long, 105 feet wide. The architects designed it in the Spanish Renaissance style after the palace in Palma on the island of Majorca. Although it conformed to Exposition design requirements, it had more of a classic Roman architectural style than other buildings.
The building was designed to provide a series of connected display spaces around the interior, but its prominent feature was its Statuary Court, accessible from the vesitibule, rear entrance and from transitional spaces on either side. Columns defined this space and both walls and floor space were utilized for photographs of sculpture or pieces of sculpture.
Interior lighting was provided by freize windows under the eaves. Because of its reliance on natural light to illuminate the artwork, the building closed at 6:30 p.m. during the summer months.
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