Salmagundi: Fifty Years
and Afflict the Comfortable

This two-part exhibition celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of Salmagundi Magazine, an international quarterly of literature, politics, culture, and the arts, and the pairing of words of images in recognition of Salmagundi’s fiftieth and the Tang’s fifteenth anniversaries.

Salmagundi: Fifty Years

Salmagundi, founded in 1965 and published since 1969 at Skidmore College, routinely publishes essays, reviews, interviews, fiction, poetry, debates, and symposia.

The magazine’s 186 issues have covered politics, culture, and a wide range of ideas, with work by some of the best creative writers of the last half-century — Nadine Gordimer, Seamus Heaney, J.M. Coetzee, Saul Bellow, Louise Glück, Joyce Carol Oates, Russell Banks, Marilynne Robinson, and many others. It has also devoted substantial attention to controversial topics, grappling with issues of race, identity politics, the post-9/11 world, and the ethics of art.

Salmagundi has earned a reputation as one of the most influential literary magazines in the United States. Contributors have been awarded Pulitzer Prizes, National Book Awards, MacArthur Fellowships, Nobel Prizes, and the title of Poet Laureate, among many other accolades.

Salmagundi invites conversation and debate. It creates a place for literature that is demanding and genre bending, including novella-length fiction and essays that — in terms of variety, complexity and range of interest — make it a unique publication.

On exhibit are letters, photographs, and other documents from the Salmagundi archive that convey the spirit of dialogue and the commitment to excellence that continue to define the magazine.

Afflict the Comfortable

Pairing words and images, this exhibition celebrates the quarterly magazine Salmagundi, which marks its fiftieth year of continuous publication in 2015, and the fifteenth anniversary of the Tang.

These Skidmore College “institutions” both exist to go against the grain of received ideas and to unsettle every consensus. Neither operates from the conviction that it is important primarily to be always “right.” The magazine has often sponsored events and symposia within the walls of the museum, and the museum has commissioned and published some of the magazine’s regular writers. Those who guide these “institutions” think of them as intimately related and yet utterly distinct.

The contributors included on these walls constitute a beloved community of artists and writers, who have guided and formed the reputation and legacy of Salmagundi and the Tang.

We want the artworks – drawn from recent museum acquisitions – and the writings chosen from the magazine’s long history to provoke and surprise. Their juxtapositions may puzzle and yet simultaneously gratify, and provide a taste of the many pleasures and incitements on offer in the pages of Salmagundi and in the galleries of the Tang Museum.

Exhibition Name
Salmagundi: Fifty Years
and Afflict the Comfortable
Exhibition Type
Faculty Curated
Atrium and Payne Presentation Room
Jun 27, 2015 - Oct 4, 2015
Afflict the Comfortable is organized by Robert Boyers, editor, Salmagundi, and Ian Berry, Dayton Director, The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery.
Oliver Herring, Frank Magnotta, Laurel Nakadate, Cordy Ryman, Amy Sillman
Student Staff
Evian Pan
Collections Assistant, The Carole Marchand ‘57 Endowed Intern, Tang Guide
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