Seymour H. Knox II

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Seymour H. Knox II
Chancellor of the University of Buffalo
In office
July 1 – August 31, 1954
Preceded by T.R. McConnell
Succeeded by Clifford Furnas
Personal details
Born (1898-09-01)September 1, 1898
Buffalo, New York
Died September 27, 1990(1990-09-27) (aged 92)
Spouse(s) Helen Northrup
Children Seymour Horace Knox III and Northrup Rand Knox
Parents Seymour Horace Knox I and Grace Millard
Occupation Banker
This article is about the Buffalo philanthropist and art exponent; see Seymour Knox for other people with this name.

Seymour Horace Knox II (September 1, 1898 – September 27, 1990) was a Buffalo, New York philanthropist and polo player. The son of wealthy businessman Seymour H. Knox, he owned a palatial home designed by C. P. H. Gilbert.[1]


He was born on September 1, 1898 to Seymour H. Knox and Grace Millard. Knox attended Nichols School in Buffalo and the Hotchkiss School in Connecticut. He was a 1920 graduate of Yale University. At Yale he was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon.

In 1923, he married Helen Northrup. They had two sons: Seymour III and Northrup. He was eulogized in Congress by Bill Paxon.[2]

In 1986, he was awarded the National Medal of Arts.[3]

He died on September 27, 1990.


Beginning in 1926 when he joined the board of Albright Art Gallery, he was a leader in the modernism movement and in modern cultural life in Buffalo until his death in 1990.[4] He is best known for his 1962 addition to the Albright Art Gallery, designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and named after Knox at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery Knox wing celebration. He gave 60 years of service to the Buffalo Fine Arts Academy. By 1939, he was President of the Academy. He bolstered the Contemporary Abstractionism collection during his tenure. He donated more than 160 works for the new wing. He is said to be in part responsible for the popularity of Jackson Pollock. Under his direction the Albright became the first museum to purchase a Clyfford Still, one of the first to purchase a Henry Moore, and as leading champions of Abstractionism they acquired selections from almost every major abstracionist.[5]


He became a Marine Midland Bank director in 1921, vice-president in 1926, and chairman 1943-1970. He joined the F. W Woolworth board in 1926 and was chairman from 1943 until reaching the mandatory retirement age forty-five years later in 1971. He became Chairman of The University at Buffalo's governing Council from 1950-69. By leading the university into the State University of New York system he transformed higher education in Buffalo.


He is the subject of the 1985 Andy Warhol "Portrait of Seymour H. Knox".

At Yale University Art Gallery, in New Haven, Connecticut, both the Seymour H. Knox, Jr., Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art and Seymour H. Knox, Jr., Curator of European and Contemporary Art positions bear his name.

Seymour was an avid polo player. He led his Aurora team to the United States Championship in 1932, and he later won a tournament in Europe and toured South America.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Seymour H. Knox, Jr. House excerpt from Oakland Place: Gracious Living in Buffalo by Martin Wachadlo Buffalo Heritage Unlimited (publisher)
  2. ^ Paxon, Bill (1990-10-01). "SEYMOUR H. KNOX, JR., AN EXTRAORDINARY MAN -- HON. BILL PAXON (Extension of Remarks - October 01, 1990)". Library of Congress. Retrieved 2008-02-24. 
  3. ^ "Lifetime Honors - National Medal of Arts". National Endowment For the Arts. Retrieved 2009-12-26. 
  4. ^ Goldman, p. 105
  5. ^ "Shorty's Triumph". Time Magazine. 1962-01-12. Retrieved 2008-02-24. 


  • Goldman, Mark, "City on The Edge: Buffalo, New York," Prometheus Books, 2007.