• Dan Sankowsky, retired faculty member

    Artist, and Suffolk University Professor

    [Text Contributed by the Artist, September 2006]

    Dan Sankowsky’s paintings displayed on the fourth floor are a representative sample of about 2000 works produced by the artist between 1970 and 2006. Unconventional media highlight this portfolio, beginning with permanent marker on 4” x 6” memo paper and culminating in computer program interactions. Technology plays a role throughout: the earlier pieces are photographically enlarged while the latter ones are generated entirely by software. Specifically, Dan uses two programs in tandem, always concluding with Microsoft Photo Editor. He seeks to express interactions between people-like forms, relying on various color blending techniques in the process. Some of his works seem fairly abstract, but there generally are “little creatures” somewhere in them.

    Dan Sankowsky’s connection to Suffolk is long-standing and well established prior to this donation of paintings. Recently retired, he is a professor emeritus of management, a department he chaired for 10 years (1990 – 2000) out of the 26 he taught in the Sawyer School at Suffolk University. Although an accomplished researcher, he is best known for demystifying and taking the fear out of quantitative methods courses, on both undergraduate and graduate levels. He won the Deans’ Service Award and the Teaching Award twice.

    Dan received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania and his doctorate in mathematics from the University of California. In addition, he learned the art of counseling at a psychiatric clinic in Los Angeles. His various interests are chronicled on his website, www.sankowsky.com, where a fuller range of his artwork is available, along with essays and articles on counseling, art, leadership, and education.

    Art Work by Dan Sankowsky in the Sawyer Library

    • The worm (1974)
      Permanent markers on paper
      HISTORY: An early experiment in layering of color and superimposing a new painting over a blotter to get the mottled effect with the pastels.
    • Repeated magenta figures (1970)
      Permanent markers on paper with photographic copies
      HISTORY: When I would go into a department store and see many TVs all tuned to the same station, I liked the effect and tried to duplicate it here.
    • Planet 17 (1971)
      Permanent markers on paper photographically enlarged
      HISTORY: Focusing just on some circles arbitrarily placed to begin with, I made one larger than the rest; and the others fell into place as background.
    • Magenta Interior (1970)
      Permanent markers on paper photographically enlarged
      HISTORY: I was experimenting with different color combinations and with negative space when this came together as a composition.
    • The Dancers (1978)
      Permanent markers on paper
      HISTORY: I rarely started a painting with definite forms in mind, but this one just came to me as a whole.
    • Chaos IV (2006)
      Microsoft paint and photo editor programs with photocopy enlargement
      HISTORY: I used a simple picture from the Paint program as input and then applied various effects from Microsoft Photo Editor.
    • Zanzibar (2006)
      Marker on 3 x 5 card scanned to computer; Microsoft photo editor effects with photocopy enlargement
    • Times Two (2006)
      Marker on 3 x 5 card, scanned to computer; Microsoft photo editor effects followed by photocopy enlargement
      HISTORY: The original on the 3 x 5 just had two red lumps on the bottom of the page and some purples and reds around it. After scanning, I used the negative effect and smudging to get the green background.
    • Good Cholesterol (2006)
      Microsoft paint and photo editor programs with photocopy enlargement
      HISTORY: The Paint program input had a lot of arbitrary stick figure brushstrokes which I blended in with the rest of the painting, using Photo Editor. 

  • Peter Vanderwarker, photographer

    Peter Vanderwarker is an internationally-regarded architectural and editorial photographer. His work appears regularly in Architectural Record and Architectural Digest magazines, among others. His photography work is found in the collections of the Boston Athenaeum, the MIT Museum, and the Boston University Art Gallery. He is also the author /co-author and photographer of several books, and is a columnist for the Boston Sunday Globe's Cityscapes.

    Two sets from Mr. Vanderwarker's collections are found on the library's fourth floor. The first are sets of side-by-side photographs of building and street scenes of Boston's Tremont Street, taken from the same location, separated by about 50 years. The second includes photographs taken by Mr. Vanderwarker during Boston's "Big Dig" construction project.


  • Allan Rohan Crite

    Allan Rohan Crite
    March 20, 1910 - September 6, 2007

    Born on March 20, 1910 in Plainfield, New Jersey, of African, Indian, and European ancestry, Crite has spent most of his life in Boston. During the course of his long life, Crite enjoyed an extensive career as a painter, draftsman, printmaker, author, librarian, and publisher. At an early age his mother encouraged him to draw and paint, and he took art classes at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Massachusetts School of Art, and Boston University. Later he focused on history and the natural sciences, earning a Bachelor of Arts from Harvard University and an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities degree from Suffolk University in 1979. During the 1930s, Crite worked under the auspices of the Works Progress Administration, and in the early 1940s began a thirty-year career as a technical illustrator for the Department of the Navy.

    Mr. Crite's work is in the permanent collection of several local institutions - the Museum of Fine Arts, the Boston Athenaeum, Harvard's Fogg Art Museum, the Boston Public Library, the Museum of the National Center of Afro-American Art, and the Addison Gallery of American Art - but it can also be found in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Smithsonian Institution, the Phillips Collection, the Corcoran Gallery of American Art, and the St. Louis Museum of Art.

    Crite’s longstanding interest in recording the urban scene reveals his desire to depict black people as ordinary citizens rather than as Southern sharecroppers or Harlem jazz musicians, images that were becoming prevalent and stereotypical by the 1930s. Crite frequently taps history and autobiography to connect people of color and himself to a larger context, carefully composing the settings of his works to ground them in reality and to make the images accessible to the viewer.

    The figures in Crite’s work are individualized in appearance and clothing. An emphasis on fine detail is in part a manifestation of Crite’s ongoing study of the detailed paintings found in Flemish Late Gothic art. Variations in brushwork, along with rich colors, animate the surface of Crite’s paintings. Even though he was aware of modernism, Crite chose a representational style because it was natural to him and appropriate to his form of communication. “I'm a storyteller, telling a story of people,” Crite claimed, “and I started out with my own people in the immediate sense, like the neighborhood, and people in a general sense when I make a neighborhood out of the whole world.” [From http://www.phillipscollection.org/research/american_art/bios/crite-bio.htm]


  • Student-contributed pieces

    Students from Suffolk University's New England School of Art and Design have loaned the Sawyer Library art work created for their courses. Examples include the installation in the occulus between the second and third floors in the Granary Reading Rooms