The Rockwell Museum’s emphasis is certainly unexpected for this neck of the woods.
Back in 1976, Bob and Hertha Rockwell donated their collection of Western art to the city of Corning and set in motion a process that not only created the museum, but saved the historic old city hall building.
The 1893 structure was about to be demolished, but fortunately the city found an opportunity to save the building -- and the money to tear it down -- selling it to the museum for one dollar.
It only took two-and-a-half million times that amount to transform the former city hall / firehouse / jail into a beautiful state-of-the-art museum.
Perhaps the most popular part of that renovation, and the first thing we noticed when we arrived, is Artemus (art is a must).
It’s hard to miss a life-sized bison bursting through a second story brick wall. In one of the museum’s many outreaches to local schools, he was named by a second grade contest winner.
Other programs include free admission for everyone under seventeen, a student gallery devoted to displaying artwork created by students, and the Alley Art Project.
Alley Art is a special collaboration between The Rockwell Museum and the High School Learning Center where young artists involved in the instruction program showcase their talents through murals in Corning's side streets.
WATCH: The community benefits that stem from projects like Alley Art are countless!
The Family Exploration Studio allows ample space for creativity
One of the first things we noticed were the vibrant colors - so unusual for a museum of art - but it worked, beautifully!
We were thrilled to find several iconic pieces of Western art inside the beautifully restored gallery.
James Earle Fraser’s The End of the Trail, was closely followed closely by Cyrus Dallin’s Appeal to the Great Spirit.
Both statues depict Native Americans on horseback, but with vastly different emotions, one exhausted and trail weary, the other raising his arms in prayer.
We immediately recognized Appeal to the Great Spirit from the silhouette of it that was famously seen on The Beach Boys in Concert album from 1973.
It was also the logo for their record company, Brother Records.
Other well-known works in the collection include Albert Bierstadt's stunning painting Mount Whitney, and several by the king of Western art, Frederic Remington, including Winter Campaign, The Cheyenne, and The Arizona Cowboy.
Like any good cowpoke, Arizona is a tall drink of water… and we know right where he can get the glass - as Corning is famous for their glass.
OTHER NOTABLE WORKS THAT GOT THE GYPSYNESTER STAMP OF APPROVAL:
The Buffalo Hunt, William Robinson Leigh
We were enamored with this untitled piece by Deborah Butterfield of a "driftwood" horse - made of bronze
David & Veronica, GypsyNester.com
DELVE DEEPER and find more to do in the Finger Lakes Area of New York:
Visit the Rockwell Museum website
Kick some glass in Corning!
Watch us soar above it all while gliding in a sailplane
We drove our motorhome on Watkins Glen Speedway!
See all of our adventures in New York!
A big thank you to Corning and the Southern Finger Lakes for providing this cultural adventure. As always, all opinions are our own.
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