In February 2007, Siena College officially accepted ownership of a large gift of contemporary art from the Fine Arts Museum of Long Island (known as “FAMLI”), which ceased operations in 2000. Siena became the recipient of this important gift largely through the efforts of Joseph Pirinea, former accountant for FAMLI, at the suggestion of his daughter Heather, a student at Siena.
The FAMLI Collection of Siena’s Fine Arts Collection includes over 400 original works of contemporary art. While most of the works date from the 1960s to the year 2000, there are also many pieces from the early and middle 20th century. It is truly an international collection; among works from European artists are also many from American artists who had emigrated from Europe during the period.
The art is as diverse as the body of people who created it. Along with the traditional media of oil, watercolor, etching, marble and cast sculpture are examples of collage and mixed media, digital photography, shaped canvas paintings, and batik. Representational works from artists such as Maurice Kish, Paul Anderson, Fletcher Martin and Emily Barnett mingle with action paintings from Rosalind Cohen and Eugene Brands, non-objective, large-scale works from artists like Okimoto and Lee Lozano, and three-dimensional works from Claire Faulkenstein and Tom Molloy. Other valued holdings are complete series of drawings and photographs, ancient American textiles and artifacts, and a large jute wall hanging designed by sculptor Alexander Calder.
As part of Siena’s Fine Arts Collection, the FAMLI Collection will feature prominently around the campus, on exhibit in public spaces, corridors and the Standish Library. Works will be rotated in and out of storage periodically to allow for greater access to the extent of the Collection. The art will also be made accessible for study by both faculty and students through the Curator of Fine Arts.