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Queens College's Museum to Exhibit its Global Treasures at Citi DeFord Gallery in One Court Square, Long Island City

-- Artworks from Five Continents Represent Homelands of Queens Residents; Include Pre-Columbian Textiles, Chinese Paintings, Christian, Muslim, and Buddhist Objects --

FIVE CONTINENTS, ONE BOROUGH: Art Treasures from the Homelands of Queens. Selections from the Collection of the Godwin-Ternbach Museum, Queens College of the City University of New York

Citi DeFord Gallery

Lobby of One Court Square, Long Island City, NY 11120
Gallery Hours: Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm 

September 28, 2015 – January 12, 2016
Thursday, Oct. 1, 5:30-7:30 pm – opening reception at Citi DeFord Gallery

Five_Continents_One_Borough-Web.jpgFLUSHING, NY, August 4, 2015 — Five Continents, One Borough: Art Treasures from the Homelands of Queens. Selections from the Collection of the Godwin-Ternbach Museum, Queens College will offer a group of 33 of the museum’s most striking artworks from all the corners of the world that Queens residents have called their homes. These include works ranging from pre-Columbian textiles to contemporary Chinese painting to Christian, Muslim, and Buddhist objects. The exhibition will be on view in the Citi DeFord Gallery in the lobby of One Court Square, Long Island City, Queens. The research, writing, and design of the exhibition was done by Queens College students in the Museum Studies class taught by Professor James M. Saslow (Art Department) last spring. Like the borough of Queens, the college’s student body is exceptionally diverse.

In fact, as home to people from 150 countries, speaking 90 languages, Queens is the most
ethnically and linguistically diverse county in America. More than two out of five residents were born abroad, and many more treasure the culture and memory of their ancestral countries. The borough’s extraordinary diversity is the result of overlapping waves of diaspora: the spread of groups beyond their original borders seeking better lives or escaping changing fortunes.      
Less known to lovers of art and culture than its sister institutions in Manhattan, the Godwin-Ternbach Museum on Queens College’s Flushing campus boasts wonderful examples of art from global cultures of all periods. Its 6,000 treasures feature examples of art from all the continents to which local residents trace their heritage. The objects for this off-campus exhibition were chosen to spotlight the community’s wide range of cultural traditions and offer a rich sample of the overlapping nationalities that make our nation one of the most diverse in the world.

According to museum director Amy Winter and Professor Saslow, the project not only offered students the opportunity for professional development, but also advanced the museum’s goal “to provide educational access and cultural enrichment for all.” In a joint statement, Winter and Saslow noted, “This collaboration with Citi, the largest private employer in Queens, has offered a much-appreciated opportunity to expand the community missions and outreach of both institutions. We’re delighted to work with Sarah Richardson, Global Curator, and Teri Lehner Stack, Assistant Curator of the Citi Department of Fine Art, and look forward to continued partnerships.”

The exhibition is organized into five sections that correspond historically to immigration from our collective origins: Europe: The First Arrivals; Iberia & Latin America: The Spanish Diaspora; Western Asia: Birthplace of Monotheism; South and East Asia and the Asian Diaspora; and Africa and the African Diaspora. Although these broad categories help viewers to understand history, the exhibition is careful to observe that ideas about national or ethnic identity are complex and fluid. In our globalizing world, the concept of identity raises questions about the relationship between where we come from and who we are now; the effects of increasing travel and electronic communications on people and art; and the many possibilities of cross-cultural encounter, from appreciation to conflict, from assimilation to hybridization.

An opening reception will take place in the Citi DeFord Gallery at One Court Square from 5:30-7:30 pm on Thursday, October 1. Docent tours for Citi employees, the public, local K-12 schools, and LaGuardia Community College will be offered.  For further information call (718) 997-4747 or write to

For more information and additional photographs, please contact Maria Matteo, Office of Communications, (718) 997-5593, 
and at the museum Brita Helgesen, (718) 997-4724, and at the museum Brita Helgesen, (718) 997-4724,
The Godwin-Ternbach Museum, a part of Queens College’s Kupferberg Center for the Visual and Performing Arts, presents contemporary and historical exhibitions and programs that provide exciting educational opportunities and aesthetic experiences to residents of the borough of Queens and neighboring Manhattan and Long Island. As the only collection of art and artifacts in the borough, housing over 6,000 objects that date from ancient to modern times, the museum introduces many individuals to works they might not otherwise encounter, often for the first time. Lectures, symposia, gallery talks, workshops, films, concerts, and tours as well as digital displays, catalogues, and an active website complement and interpret the art on view, to serve the needs and interests of local communities. All exhibitions and programs are free.
Queens College is located at the corner of the Long Island Expressway and Kissena Boulevard (Exit 24) in Flushing. For driving and public transportation directions, visit Google maps:


 Office Information

Deputy Director of News Services
(Position vacant)

(718) 997- 5597

Maria Matteo
Assistant Director of News Services
Kiely Hall, Room 809
(718) 997-5593

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