A lifelong philanthropist and patron of the arts, Annette Cravens dedicated her time to the expansion and diversification of her collection of archaeological and ethnographic items and the allocation of artifacts for the benefit of the continued education of others. Her substantial donation of over 1,100 items, some dating back to 4500 BC, nearly doubled the collection of the University of Buffalo in 2010. The creation of “Cravens World: The Human Aesthetic” reflects Annette’s 40 years of travel and acquisitions and her passion for art ranging from prehistoric to modern day. Cravens herself was involved in the unique globe design of the display and provided additional funding to ensure the accessibility for students of any age.
After completing her bachelor’s degree from Sarah Lawrence University in 1945, Cravens relocated back to the Buffalo area to raise her family. Her belief in continued education led her to complete her master’s degree in 1968 from the University of Buffalo in Social Work, and eventually led her to working as a Social Worker at Buffalo Children’s Hospital. Annette and her husband became world travelers, amassing a vastly diverse collection of Asian, Mesopotamian, South American and European pieces. The expansive range of time period and location in her collection, as well as her meticulous museum-quality cataloging, reflected Cravens’ enthusiasm for the arts and her fine attention to detail. The spectrum of her personal collection includes an Egyptian Cycladic Marble head; many contemporary ceramics, including the work of Hans Coper and Lucy Rie; the work of American artists Harry Bertoia, Alexander Calder, Joan Mitchell, George Rickey; and the paintings of Spanish artist Antoni Tàpies.
Following the example of her stepfather, Thomas B. Lockwood, and his donation and benefaction of the Lockwood Library at the University of Buffalo, Cravens donated the original renderings of the library. She also established a lecture series based on her mother’s poetry collection and founded the Edgar R. McGuire Historical Medical Instrument Collection in her father’s name. Her father was a protégé of Dr. Roswell Park and his successor as a professor of surgery and medicine at UB. The collection contained 230 items ranging from Early Roman to late 19th Century.
Annette Cravens’ dedicated her life to the collection and distribution of items for the betterment of education, as is reflected in the way she cataloged and organized her own personal collection. This unique collection demonstrates a phenomenal range of time periods and styles; much of it is being offered for the first time through Cottone Auctions.