The Albright-Knox Art Gallery, which this week announced the appointment of new director Janne Gallen-Kallela-Sirén, has long been a champion of photography as an art form. Among its proudest accomplishments in that area was its landmark 1910 “International Exhibition of Pictorial Photography,” which came at a time when photography was widely dismissed as an artistic form.

Today, while the idea that photography occupies an artistic rung several steps lower than painting or sculpture still persists in some quarters, museums have roundly embraced the form and all its artistic possibilities. The Albright-Knox (1285 Elmwood Ave.) – long an avid collector of photography from artists pushing all kinds of visual and conceptual boundaries – will show off its holdings with the new exhibition “Looking Out and Looking In: A Selection of Contemporary Photography.”

The show, which opens Saturday and runs through May 26, contains selections from the past 30 years of photography collecting at the gallery. It includes work by Western New York-based photographer John Pfahl and Danish artist Olafur Eliasson, along with envelope-pushing examples from Jennifer Karady, John Massey and Sophie Ristelhueber.

The exhibition kicks off a month of openings, which continue Jan. 26 with Dennis Maher’s “House of Collective Repair,” “Agnes Martin: The New York-Taos Connection (1947-1957)” and a long-planned Kelly Richardson retrospective Feb. 16. Admission to the gallery is $5 to $12. Call 882-8700 or visit

– Colin Dabkowski