BUFFALO, N.Y. — It's already a jewel in Western New York and now with an infusion of more money,  Albright-Knox Art Gallery will shine. New York State forked over a $3.3 million grant from the state's Buffalo Billion economic program for a planned expansion project.

Philanthropist Jeffrey Gundlach told an audience of art enthusiasts, it's true that we are under appreciated, but it's also true we punch way above our weight class." He matched the state's funding for expansion dollar-for-dollar.

The state's additional $3.3 million in funding supports the $155 million Albright-Knox Gallery expansion project, known as AK360. It will become a new freestanding building on a park-like campus.

Albright-Knox Art Gallery's Peggy Pierce Elfvin Director Janne Siréns said at a Friday morning press conference, "we are building the Buffalo Albright-Knox Gundlach  Art Museum as a global beacon of our shared excellence."

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The expansion will have a larger exhibit space for masterworks, underground parking and a signature bridge connecting the new to the old.

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"People don't know what it is, it's one of the reasons why I want to change the name to the Buffalo Art Museum, it's an art museum. Albright-Knox is a fine name, but it sounds like a commercial enterprise, it doesn't sound like a world class art museum."

AK360 will add a new 21st-century masterpiece to Buffalo’s magnificent lineage of architectural marvels, increasing Buffalo’s and Western New York’s recognition globally.

"I am thrilled to be at the anchor of this project and we are going to see it through all the way home," said Gundlach.

MORE: Future of Albright-Knox Museum takes major step

Future look of the Buffalo Albright-Knox-Gundlach Art Museum
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Future look of the Buffalo Albright-Knox-Gundlach Art Museum
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Future look of the Buffalo Albright-Knox-Gundlach Art Museum
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Future look of the Buffalo Albright-Knox-Gundlach Art Museum
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Future look of Albright-Knox museum
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