Charles Penney, the late Lockport collector whose name adorns the side of the Burchfield Penney Art Center, had a complex relationship with the City of Buffalo. He loved its history and its art but despised the politics of its art community and the leadership of its largest museum, at least as it existed decades ago. For those reasons and others, Penney is largely thought of as a Lockport institution.
But on Friday and Saturday, when parts of Penney's collection go up for sale in the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site, some of his connections to Buffalo's history and culture will be on display. Penney's grandfather, for instance, was the district attorney at the trial of Leon Czolgosz, the assassin of President Wiliam McKinley.
"Charles Rand Penney was acutely aware of his family's history in the City of Buffalo," wrote F. Gerard Hogan, the lawyer representing Penney's estate. "In fact, he had a substantial collection of artifacts and memorabilia from the Pan-American Exposition. He also had a large collection of City of Buffalo memorabilia."
Some of that material will be on view during Friday and Saturday's event, which runs from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. The sale will include items from Penney's collection of artwork, World's Fair memorabilia, ethnographic objects and more than 700 volumes from Penney's research library.